UPPER WEST SIDE — This device could really save your buns.
Three Upper West Side burger lovers invented a device that they claim keeps juice of thick patties from destroying delicate buns and ruining perfectly good hamburgers.
“We know we’re not saving lives here,” said Jasmine Katatikarn, 34, the designer. “But people really enjoy it.”
Matt Hureau, 33, came up with the idea of the Burger Lift — a stainless steel coaster that raises the hamburger and lets the juices drip onto the plate without compromising the integrity of the bun — while eating the Original 5 Napkin burger.
It was a particularly juicy burger with a delicious rosemary aioli sauce, he said. But as he ate it the juice and sauce dripped onto the plate, creating a puddle that destroyed Hureau’s burger experience.
“It’s sort of a simple concept,” said Hureau, a middle school math teacher. “We’re just lifting it a little. We were really surprised no one has thought of it before.”
Hureau, Katatikarn, a 3D animator, and their business partner Mike Tanzillo, also an animator, have been perfecting the Burger Lift throughout the city. Throughout the three-month process they’ve each eaten about 30 burgers.
They’ve started a fundraising campaign to mass produce the burger coasters and they plan to launch in August, by selling them online and teaming up with local restaurants.
“I can see it at a serious burger restaurant,” said Rev. David Ciancio, 40, founder of NY Burger Week and owner of Idle Hands Bar.
Ciancio hosts an informal gathering of burger chefs, bloggers, and enthusiasts — a group he calls the Burgeratti. During one of their last meeting they tried out the Burger Lift.
“Immediately I thought of two-three restaurants that could use this,” said Brad Garoon, 30, who runs Burger Weekly. “There are only four in existence right now. If they gave me one it would come in handy.”
For the three burger lovers, the Burger Lift is a passion project. They don't expect the demands of mass producing the burger coaster will keep them from their day jobs.
"That would be a good problem to have," Hureau said.