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Emeril Lagasse's Burger Ambitions

From Paul Frumkin of Nation's Restaurant News: Emeril Lagasse has named his upcoming burger restaurant Burgers And More, or BAM, after his signature expression, and said he doesn't want the brand to be a premium burger "gimmick."

The restaurant, set to open Nov. 22 in the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pa., will specialize in hamburgers made from a blend of prime and grass-fed beef, Lagasse said at a New York City press conference Monday. 

Lagasse said he will not go the bargain-burger route with "a dollar menu" at Burgers And More, but that he also does not want to push the average check too high, either.

"I don't want to serve a Kobe beef burger with foie gras for $22," he said. "I don't want it to be a gimmick."

The check average for Emeril's concept is expected to be about $20 per person.

Lagasse joins several well-known chefs who have taken a break from fine-dining to open burger-centric restaurants, including Bobby Flay, Hubert Keller and, more recently, Daniel Boulud. The menu at Boulud's new DBGB Kitchen & Bar in New York offers three kinds of gourmet burgers, and his more upscale DB Bistro Moderne features a burger stuffed with shorts ribs and foie gras for $32.

Lagasse's 90-seat Burgers And More will also offer nonbeef burgers prepared from turkey, crab, salmon and mushrooms, along with hand-cut French fries, condiments made from scratch, appetizers, malts and shakes, and local draft beers.

Asked if he planned to replicate the burger concept elsewhere, Lagasse said he didn't know yet, adding, "We'll have to see how it goes."

The burger restaurant will mark Lagasse's second eatery in the eastern Pennsylvania casino-resort, where he debuted Emeril's Chophouse earlier this year.

In addition to partnering with the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, Lagasse also operates restaurants in two Las Vegas Sands properties Ñ Delmonico Steakhouse, Table 10 and the recently opened Lagasse's Stadium.


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