I often boast that my burgers are the best, but truth be told, I can never even satisfy myself when cooking a burger. Take that to heart, Boston restaurants, I’m just as hard on myself (if not more so) than I am on a local dining establishment. Making burgers at home is a huge production, it often involves making a slew of condiments, side dishes, and endless searches for the right beef in various shops. I preach simplicity all the time, and I swear I do mean it, but simplicity in burgers with me, at least on this, my day off, involved the following: making smoked paprika aioli, baking fresh buns, prepping falafel burgers for the veggie girlfriend (including making harissa for a sauce), driving to McKinnon’s for the meat (an hour round trip) and making bacon milkshakes. Phew. Luckily I had the candied bacon ice cream done yesterday, and only needed to crisp up some fresh bacon to include with the actual milkshakes. Aioli, as anyone knows, couldn’t be easier to make, and is always much more delicious than any pre-made mayonnaise on the market. The buns took time and were well worth the effort, can’t say I’m going that extra mile every time, but you never know. Beef aside, every component was delicious, the milkshakes were as amazing as they sound, and the aioli added the perfect touch of spice and fragrance to the burger. But. like so many failed restaurants before me, the beef was sub-par. I wish I could say differently, but it was mediocre at best. I had the McKinnon’s crew grind up boneless short rib for me, but I’m not convinced they have top quality meat, cheap yes, but quality not so much. Cooked well, seasoned appropriately, the beef was just not beefy enough for this burger lover, in actuality it possessed little flavor at all. My newest addition, however, is the double hit of cheese. I’m picky about having fully melted cheese, which I accomplished, but now I also like the complement of slightly un-melted cheese added to the burger as it nears the end, creating a nice textural difference for me, and one can truly never have too much cheese on a burger anyway. All in all, it was just too much burger for my mouth, weighing in around 7 ounces, the bread could have been toasted a little, and it really lacked the beefiness I always search for. I’m not perfect, and I know restaurants aren’t either, but to be fair, I’m not charging $12 for my burger, maybe it’s time for restaurants to take a little credibility before they start profiting off their ordinary burgers.
Archive for April, 2010
Why all the fuss with french fries, isn’t this supposed to be a blog about burgers? Well yes, the burger is and always will be the focus here, but we want that ideal combination of a properly cooked burger paired with the perfect french fry. Otherwise, what’s the point, when are you going to be eating just a burger, sans any side dishes (I’ll even settle for an onion ring that’s good at this point), the burger paired with the french fry is classic for a reason. We’re still searching for that perfect pairing in Boston, we’ve had decent burgers but lousy fries, remarkable fries but an average burger, why can’t we have both? Are we asking too much? By no means are fries as important as the burger, but to gain top billing, you have to give us both, throw in some good service and a reasonable price and I may run out of things to say, but so far, it seems a safe bet that day may never come. But I wont stop searching and eating until then.
I’m convinced most people are indifferent towards burgers, they just don’t know it. It’s more the pleasure of biting into a big piece of meat (get your mind out of the gutter, please) than it is actually tied to any beefy taste. Yes, a steak is quite “beefy,” and massive, that’s why we love it, but I strongly believe most burgers err on the side of bland, how often does a burger actually taste like beef? Based on my recent findings, rarely, if ever. Too often we’re blinded by toppings, when a burger, is it’s simplest form, is nothing more then beef, a bun, cheese, and maybe some lettuce and tomato. So why aren’t there beefier burgers out there? Why isn’t there more emphasis on the beef, and less on loading it up on toppings that just cover up the meat anyway. continue reading »