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Burgers....Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers, Burgers

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

The humble cheeseburger is my most common craving. It has it all: Beef, carmellized meat, cheese, bread, pickle, sauce. Really, there is not more you can ask from a humble sandwich than this. It works for any mood. You can eat one and drink wine, a cocktail, or beer with it, even coffee! (when I was young, my family knew to get me a burger and a coffee if I was out-of-sorts). Even though I indulge in this craving probably far too often, I am most often disappointed. I am astounded at how often restaurant burgers commit serious atrocities like using brioche. Yes, it's trendy, but brioche is too soft, too sweet, too delicate, and importantly, way too buttery for a burger. Brioche adds nothing except to highlight the amount of fat you are eating while disintegrating in your hand.The biggest sins, to me, with a burger are the aforementioned brioche, any kind of whole-grain or wheat bread rolls (yuck), too much seasoning or onion/pepper in the patty (it's a burger, not a gross meatloaf sandwich), and, of course, overcooking. Yet so many places fall into these evil hellholes of culinary atrocity.

 

Yesterday, I decided that a quick burger would be the perfect lunch since I had all the needed accoutrements ready at hand, and I was astounded at how good it was, even though I was just going for the simple "fast food" style burger (one of the two styles I love -- the other being a more thoughtful gastropub style burger).  It was a simple burger: thin 85% chuck patties, salted and peppered, grilled fast over coals on a Weber, seeded buns, mustard, ketchup, dill pickles, onion, perfection. My gf and family had Cal burgers, nixing the mustard and opting for tomato, lettuce and mayo. This dramatic shift in taste between us was traced to my young and shameful love of McDonald's cheap cheeseburgers (no Big Macs for me), and my family's preference for Whoppers, which are far more California in style. When I am looking for something more substantial, a bigger patty, heartier roll, bacon and bleu cheese (along with the prior condiments, of course) is just what I am looking for. I had some beer, a bog-standard Sierra Nevada IPA, though I prefer English Bitters (like Wells' Bombardier). For wine, I find that mellowed Zins and Cotes-du-Rhone are wonderful; if cocktails, the Boulevardier, Red Hook, or just JW Black on the rocks.

 

What is your burger, where do you get it, and what do you drink with it?

post #2 of 39
Burgers are awesome. The local bar a couple blocks from me makes a pretty decent burger that does a pretty good job of satisfying me, though I find a lot of places screw up burgers, even (and sometimes especially) nicer places. My favorite in Chicago is Owen & Engine (mix of three different meats, forget details, excellent cheddar and caramelized onions, etc. David Burke's Primehouse has a decent burger, though they cheat by using 40 day dry-aged meat which gives it a unique flavor. There are also a few decent other gastropub burgers that I enjoy too.

Typically I get a beer with a burger. Really pretty much any beer does the trick.
post #3 of 39
I know it's an obvious choice, but I really do like Shake Shack. I got scared for a while when they started messing with the fries, but thankfully they saw the error of their ways quickly. I've yet to find a really great burger in Texas. People here like to ruin them with mountains of pointless toppings like peanut butter and jelly and truffle oil, and nobody here knows what a potato roll is. It's very disappointing.
post #4 of 39
I still enjoy a Mcdonalds double cheeseburger every once in a while… Sometimes it just hits the spot. 5 guys does a good job of recreating the juicy goodness too.
post #5 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntsman View Post

Yes, it's trendy, but brioche is too soft, too sweet, too delicate, and importantly, way too buttery for a burger.

i came to the same conclusion myself recently. i love the meat of the minetta black label, but the bun can't hold it together.
love a potato roll, they stand up nicely to the texture of a good burger imo.
i've grown to love the smoke shack at shake shack. with a single patty, i find two is overkill.
might have to go and try a mcd for old time's sake.
post #6 of 39

Gotta love Five Guys Bacon Cheeseburger with pickles, tomato, ketchup, mustard and hot sauce.

post #7 of 39
Tried Shake Shack today. Thought it was okay but way over hyped.
post #8 of 39
I've been trying to cut back on red meat, but when I do get a burger, I like it on the heftier side. Cooked medium rare (obviously), and topped with lettuce, tomato, carmelized onions, mushrooms, and a fried egg. Provolone, gruyere, or blue cheese, depending on my mood. No ketchup, mustard, pickles, or bacon for me. The only alcoholic beverage I'll drink with a burger is beer, either an amber ale or an IPA.

I've found both Shake Shack and Five Guys to be rather mediocre.
post #9 of 39
When I travel internationally and feel a little homesick or tired of the place I'm in, I'll go out and get a burger.

Once a year or so we buy a roast that our butcher dry ages for us (60 days). After they trim it to a roast and/or steaks, the fat cap and other scraps are ground up in an 80/20 mix. We make our burgers using that. Toasted, seeded bun, burger cooked over an open flame, grilled onions, aged cheddar and a pickle on the side. Normally don't do cocktails with a burger, but if having a drink then I like beer - the cheaper the better - Miller High Life, Schlitz, Rainier, something like that. Sometimes wine, and then a red.

For going out, 5 guys is pretty good and lots of restaurants and boutiques do some really good and interesting burgers varying the cuts used or other combinations. The Owen and Engine one being a great example. Our old butcher in Alameda used to have a 50/50 beef and bacon burger.

I must also confess a weakness for a good lamb burger.
post #10 of 39
Couple of local spots are my favorite - Red Mill - has 3 locations in Seattle and is probably my favorite, however, they are cash only and closed on Monday, so probably only get to go 25% of the time I think of it. Zippy's Giant Burgers - close to my house, can get a schooner of really good beer while I wait for my burger - still hip but more friendly than the folks at Red Mill.


I have discovered that I don't really care if my burger has cheese on it. Always need mayo, ketchup, tomato, lettuce, a few onions, and a small amount of bacon. Don't care for pickles as I feel they overwhelm the burger. As in any sandwich, bread is paramount.

When at a bar or something I usually like a mushroom/swiss burger or something like that.

Also, when I make burgers at home, I will occasionally put a whole canned green chile on it, as my mother is partial to that for some reason.
post #11 of 39
I love gourmet deli-style chicken burgers shog[1].gif
post #12 of 39
Update and bump:

Favorite Chicago burgers are now:

(1) Owen & Engine
(2) Au Cheval (fantastic bacon definitely helps)
(3) Longman & Eagle / David Burke's Primehouse

Also, 5 Guys > Shake Shack overall. Burgers are fairly equivalent but 5 Guys has far better fries.
post #13 of 39
Charlie Bienlichs in Northbrook on Skokie Blvd. Old school . The sign says that they serve food for the convenience of their bar customers. I think the menu only has shrimp cocktail, burgers and chilli. Never had the chilli. No need. The burger is perfect, no modern flair.
post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by archibaldleach View Post


Also, 5 Guys > Shake Shack overall. Burgers are fairly equivalent but 5 Guys has far better fries.

crazy talk.
post #15 of 39

The Red Rooster in Oceanside California, or as we call it "The Crimson Cock" has excellent burgers.

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