Foie Gras and Truffles Are OK -- and Other Ways to Win Tonight's Burger Contest
|Rok: Brgr, maker of this fine burger, is one of 15 restaurants competing in the Riverwalk Trust Burger Battle.|
You eat with your eyes first, they say, which is why appearance will certainly be part of my criteria when I judge the Riverwalk Trust Burger Battle tonight. To be clear, the Riverwalk Trust developed a system of criteria that the six judges will all be
using. But in general, when tasting burgers, I have developed, after several months of research (really), how to judge a damned good burger.
Yes, You Can Buy Me Off
|New York supermarket Dean and Deluca puts a slice of foie gras on its burger.|
Traditional Is Good
When my wife spent a few years as a vegetarian (those were painful years for me), one of the things she missed most was a good burger. Convincing her to sneak an occasional Winstead's burger helped win her back to the dark side. Thing is, most of us have fond memories of some simple, backyard-style burger. It ought to be charred over charcoal, maybe with a simple cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, and maybe mayo. Yeah, a foie gras burger is impressive, but there's also something to be said for an old-school burger built from good, simple ingredients.
Easy-to-Eat Burgers Win Battles
|The Boca Raton Resort created a $100 burger in '06. The sticks made it easy to eat; the bill didn't.|
The Patty Has to Be Killer
Steak 954 makes one hell of a porterhouse. If you have the means, eat it before you die. But the burger? Meh. It has too many seasonings, and all that flavor hides whatever grind they've used for the patty. Better is a high-quality meat -- grass-fed beef, lamb, bison, whatever -- left simple. Sorry, arteries, but it's probably a fatty cut, like short ribs, flavored with little more than salt and pepper. Cook it until it has a crust on the outside and is red in the center. Yeah, that's a burger.
Turkey? Chicken? That's a Hard Sell
|Ron Swanson does not approve of your lean turkey burger.|
Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB. Follow Eric Barton on Twitter: @ericbarton.