From Our Editors
Burgers and pizza may speed out of High Heat’s “fast-casual” kitchen, but chef Waldy Malouf hasn’t rushed a thing in planning his recently opened restaurant. He started by getting to know many of his suppliers on a personal level, collaborating with butchers from DeBragga & Spitler Meat Company over the course of six months to develop the recipe for the smokestack burgers’ blend of antibiotic-free, certified Black Angus beef and 30-day dry-aged beef brisket.
Cooks sear each of those patties at high temperature on a cast-iron griddle before transferring it to a wood-burning grill and covering it with an iron dome to seal in heat. Malouf applies the same level of care to his pizzas, crafting the dough from organic whole wheat, wild flower honey, and century-old starter yeast that he formally adopted 30 years ago. He tops the resulting pies with sauce simmered from fire-roasted imported tomatoes, a blend of seven imported and domestic cheeses, seasonal produce, and local organic meats. The Wall Street Journal has praised both pillars of the menu, lauding the High Heat burger for its “thick, well-seasoned patty” and the pizzas for their “hearty thin crusts that don't get soggy under piles of toppings—and there are plenty of choices of those.” The concise menu flanks these staples with umami-packed vegan burgers, organic turkey, and barbecue pork seasoned with 13 spices.
Malouf keeps the restaurant a family operation: his daughter Merrill manages the eight vintage American wines on tap, each stored in stainless steel kegs, and his son Max rules the eight craft beer kegs—which include Brooklyn Sorachi Ale, Empire Amber, and Firestone Walker IPA. The family beverage fixation extends even to sodas, whose syrups they craft in-house using natural cane sugar, ginger, lime, and star anise before submitting each batch to a panel of the strictest soda jerks. Sleek accents of wood, iron, leather, and rough stone smoothly frame the fast-paced, aromatic action.