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February 12, 2009

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Mitch Beck

Mike,

I own an employment agency and search firm here in Connecticut and as they say in the movie "Airplane," "Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes." The timing of this contest couldn't be more perfect.

One of my employee's kids owns a restaurant in Pine Bush, New York called "The Culinary Creations Cafe." He was telling me how great their stuff was, so I challenged him to prove it. So on the weekend we took a drive from my place in Connecticut up to the restaurant. He was right. The food absolutely kicked ass. I had a burger there they called a "Root Beer BBQ Bacon Burger."

It was served on an egg twist roll, has bacon, aged cheddar and Phil, my employee's son in law told me they served it with a house made Root Beer BBQ sauce. They served it just like I like it, grilled and juicy and it was made with an 8oz piece of Hereford beef.

The burger was freaking awesome. The thing threw my diet completely out the window, but it was worth it.

Try it yourself...it's awesome. Thanks for putting out such a great blog. BTW, I cooked up your chocolate covered bacon over the holidays and it was a HUGE hit.

Also when will there be some new episodes of Dinner Impossible? Is there any way to get into a taping of Iron Chef?

Thanks and keep up the great work...

Mitch Beck

Mike,

I own an employment agency and search firm here in Connecticut and as they say in the movie "Airplane," "Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes." The timing of this contest couldn't be more perfect.

One of my employee's kids owns a restaurant in Pine Bush, New York called "The Culinary Creations Cafe." He was telling me how great their stuff was, so I challenged him to prove it. So on the weekend we took a drive from my place in Connecticut up to the restaurant. He was right. The food absolutely kicked ass. I had a burger there they called a "Root Beer BBQ Bacon Burger."

It was served on an egg twist roll, has bacon, aged cheddar and Phil, my employee's son in law told me they served it with a house made Root Beer BBQ sauce. They served it just like I like it, grilled and juicy and it was made with an 8oz piece of Hereford beef.

The burger was freaking awesome. The thing threw my diet completely out the window, but it was worth it.

Try it yourself...it's awesome. Thanks for putting out such a great blog. BTW, I cooked up your chocolate covered bacon over the holidays and it was a HUGE hit.

Also when will there be some new episodes of Dinner Impossible? Is there any way to get into a taping of Iron Chef?

Thanks and keep up the great work...

Mitch Beck

Mike,

I own an employment agency and search firm here in Connecticut and as they say in the movie "Airplane," "Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes." The timing of this contest couldn't be more perfect.

One of my employee's kids owns a restaurant in Pine Bush, New York called "The Culinary Creations Cafe." He was telling me how great their stuff was, so I challenged him to prove it. So on the weekend we took a drive from my place in Connecticut up to the restaurant. He was right. The food absolutely kicked ass. I had a burger there they called a "Root Beer BBQ Bacon Burger."

It was served on an egg twist roll, has bacon, aged cheddar and Phil, my employee's son in law told me they served it with a house made Root Beer BBQ sauce. They served it just like I like it, grilled and juicy and it was made with an 8oz piece of Hereford beef.

The burger was freaking awesome. The thing threw my diet completely out the window, but it was worth it.

Try it yourself...it's awesome. Thanks for putting out such a great blog. BTW, I cooked up your chocolate covered bacon over the holidays and it was a HUGE hit.

Also when will there be some new episodes of Dinner Impossible? Is there any way to get into a taping of Iron Chef?

Thanks and keep up the great work...

(BTW, I cut and pasted this back in because I couldn't see my posting the first time and wasn't sure if it got through. I hope it didn't go through twice... I'm sorry if it did)

Mitch Beck

sorry for the multiple postings... they didn't show up at first... my bad...

MenoRikey

veggie burger

Reid Clark

Mike

Good to see you posting on the blog again. I am from the great city of Philadelphia. I have lived here for 4 years. My favorite burger is first and foremost grilled. The bun is very important. A good Fresh Kaiser roll is the way to go. As I was raised on the philly cheesesteak, people would always ask me how to tell a good cheesesteak. The first thing I would say is..... The Roll. This is true with the Burger as well. Next is the beef used. I like a nice lean Ground beef with my burger The old saying of keep it simple stupid applys here as well. I take the following spices and mix them in a bowl, combining them with the beef to make pattys. Vidalia Onion, Fresh clove of Garlic, Rosemary (Fresh) For that matter, all spices are fresh... Oregano, Dried Parsley and Dried Basil A touch of fresh ground pepper, and sea salt. Finaly a bit of Worshestershire and a packet of onion soup mix. Once the pattys are made I grill them for 5 minutes on a side. Once that is done I add a slice of applewood smoked bacon and a bit of gouda Cheese. On top of that, I put a fried egg. This served on a fresh kaiser roll that has been lightly toasted on a grill using smoking chips (hickory) completes my favorite burger. Condiments are a personal choice. I use a bit of ketchup. That is it! Simple, but tasty..

J. R.

Mike,

Good to have you back posting! My sympathies for the loss of Mable, and on the flip side, congrats on the new kitchen. "Flow" is no more important in a house than in the kitchen.

First, I have to comment about your restaurant choice: Five Guys isn't the same unless you go to one of the two original restaurants here in Northern VA. I've been to a few of their franchises, and nothing compares to the original(s). If you are ever in Northern Virginia, check them out.

Second, my favorite burger? Arrogantly, I'd have to say my own. However, if you are even in Charlottesville, VA, on UVA's famous "Corner," get yourself to this little dive called "The White Spot." Their (in)famous burger is called the GusBurger, and is darned near a requirement for graduation. It's pretty basic, but is a flat-top cooked quarter pounder topped with cheese, bacon, pickles, mayo, mustard and a fried egg.

I have to say that the GusBurger got me through a couple of finals.

When I make my own I use a heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, then a patty seasoned with kosher salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of garlic powder. Touch of oil in the skillet just to smoking, then drop in the burger. Flip once. Mayo on a toasted bun, pepper on the mayo (Alton Brown did this years ago on his burger show, and boy was he right!). Top the burger with blue cheese and red onions, and cover the skillet to melt the cheese. When it's done, Put it on the bun and top with pickles and bacon, and if available, heirloom tomato.

Pardon me... Drool is shorting out the laptop.

Cheers,

J. R. in No.Va.

Scott

Where I live, we don't have a nice burger spot, so I am always trying new things to get my burger fix, so after many attempts I believe this is my favorite burger.

My favorite burger of all time has to be a grilled quarter pound burger (mixed with maple syrup) on a croissant, topped with fried egg, some thick cut jalapeno bacon, some real nice sharp cheddar cheese, then topped off with a very spicy salsa!

Scott

Maria

Cool idea!

I guess I'm a purist. My favorite burger is a thinnish beef patty, well seasoned, with lots of cheese and a thin whole wheat bun. Pan-fried. No toppings. So simple. Probably not worth a t-shirt, but there it is.

Recently, I made turkey burgers with 92% ground turkey, mixed in fresh salsa, a locally made Mexican seasoning (from Detroit Spice Co. in Eastern Market), S&P, crushed red pepper, crushed garlic and Muenster melted on top. Grilled on my Le Creuset grill square with a toasted whole wheat bun. Super juicy thanks to the salsa.

The Roast burger is amazing. My husband almost always gets it.

And so sorry about Mabel. : (

J Trout

There's a high end restaurant on the first floor of my office in Frederick, MD called Volt. They have a lamb burger (aka lamburger) that is incredible. The roll is baked fresh in house and comes nicely toasted to provide support for the burger. The burger is cooked to a perfect medium rare. Nice and crisp on the outside, then tender and juicy in the middle. The burger is topped with blue cheese which complements the lamb nicely. On the side is a red onion relish that totally balances out the richness of the burger. It also comes with ketchup and mustard made in house. Not that crazy of a concept, but it is perfectly executed burger using local, fresh, high quality ingredients.

Zach

My favorite burger is made like this.

Home ground beef, half sirloin half brisket- meat salted before grinding.

Form 6oz balls, season liberally with salt/pepper.

I like the smash technique. Searing hot griddle, throw a ball on it wait 15seconds, flip ball and smash flat! cook for a min, flip and cook till rare. This gives the outside a nice seared crust.

I love them on a potato roll, with roasted diced ancho or hatch chilis, lightly grilled onions and good ole kraft american cheese(i'm a food snob but you still cannot beat it for burgers).

Hot damn I need to make some tonight.

precious

Here's how I make my favorite burger...
Grill a burger with a pat of herbed butter in the middle of it. So juicy when you bite into it! Top it off with grilled onions and cheddar cheese. MMMMMMMMM!

Micah Sharpe

Blue Burger
Mix burger meat with one egg and bread crumbs, garlic salt,salt and pep.
Saute onions and mushrooms
Saute burgers
Top burgers with mushrooms, onions and Salemville blue cheese place in oven at 400 degrees for 7 minutes.
Put burger on an Orlando roll and top off with mustard, mayo ketchup and tomato.
Enjoy
Micah

George

My all time favorite burger is one that My Yiayia (grandma) made for me.

Take ground beef, mix it with diced red onion, feta cheese, oregano, black pepper salt and minced garlic. Cooked in a saute pan with olive oil, then topped off with fresh tomatoes from the garden and kalamata olives. All this between 2 pitas and I was the happiest ( and sometimes fattest ) kid in the neighborhood.

Oh how I wish I could make these just like Yiayia...I am close to her recipe, but I just can't get it to taste right.

Thanks for getting back to the blog. It's great to read your thoughts again...

Bozo

Lara

Once upon a time, there was a place called Elegant Buns that had the best burgers. Their beef was flavorful and had a good fat to beef ratio so it stayed juicy. They used a grill of some sort because ou could taste that charcoal'ey-ness as you bit in. Yes, you needed lots and lots and lots of napkins.
My personal favorite had blue cheese in the center. The blue cheese was so perfectly "melted" that it didn't just fall out when you bit into it, but it wasn't gooey. It was, if you will, al dente.
They used a bun that was almost like a molasses based brown bread egg bun. You could smell the yeast. And they would put red onion, beefsteak tomato and romaine lettuce.
But you know what really MADE it a great burger? They would make these great french fries that had pepper on them, and it was so perfectly seasoned.

Still, my other favorites are just a regular burger from Johnny Rockets or a local chain called Kirk's (but they insist that you call them "steak burgers"). A nice yeasty bun with flavorful and juicy meat, cold tomato, lettuce, and onion.

I don't like mayo, but I do enjoy the tang of mustard.

Simple is best. And the fries or onion strings make it work :-)

Caz

I like a lot going on in my burger.

Firstly, home-made patties are the way to go, with some finely minced shallots, grated carot, egg, quick-cook oatmeal, dash of worchestershire and tabasco, and lots of fresh ground pepper.

They must be grilled, none of this frying stuff, although I will settle for a grill pan if it's the only option.

Egg bun, bottom with a generous smear of chili aioli and curly red leaf lettuce. Top with burger, carmelized onions, slice of tomato and possibly a pickle. Often cucumber instead. Top of the bun with dijon mustard.

Delicious, homemade, and best served with yam fries.

All to often I don't order burgers out because I hate pre-formed frozen patties and often find them too greasy. I'd like an upscale bar's burger (a place more likely to have blue cheese than processed cheese).

Caz

oh and ground beef obviously in the burger mixture! can't forget the key ingredient. Juicy is good, greasy is not. I prefer a medium/med rare burger with lean beef.

elly

It's so hard to pick one favorite burger. I feel like there are so many "favorites" I have, just for different occasions. Being Greek, I always love a good lamburger with some tzaziki, red onion and tomato. Being American too, I love a bacon cheddar burger. :)

But, I think if you tied me down and made me pick one favorite burger, it would be a bison burger, simply (but well) seasoned with sea salt, fresh pepper, minced garlic and a little parsley. Topped with caramelized onions that have been cooked with pinot noir, and goat cheese. As for the bun, I'm with you on the crucial bun to burger ratio. I like a pretty standard yeast bun, topped with sesame seeds. A little crusty on the outside, but not so you have to gnaw through it.

elly

It's so hard to pick one favorite burger. I feel like there are so many "favorites" I have, just for different occasions. Being Greek, I always love a good lamburger with some tzaziki, red onion and tomato. Being American too, I love a bacon cheddar burger. :)

But, I think if you tied me down and made me pick one favorite burger, it would be a bison burger, simply (but well) seasoned with sea salt, fresh pepper, minced garlic and a little parsley. Topped with caramelized onions that have been cooked with pinot noir, and goat cheese. As for the bun, I'm with you on the crucial bun to burger ratio. I like a pretty standard yeast bun, topped with sesame seeds. A little crusty on the outside, but not so you have to gnaw through it.

elly

It's so hard to pick one favorite burger. I feel like there are so many "favorites" I have, just for different occasions. Being Greek, I always love a good lamburger with some tzaziki, red onion and tomato. Being American too, I love a bacon cheddar burger. :)

But, I think if you tied me down and made me pick one favorite burger, it would be a bison burger, simply (but well) seasoned with sea salt, fresh pepper, minced garlic and a little parsley. Topped with caramelized onions that have been cooked with pinot noir, and goat cheese. As for the bun, I'm with you on the crucial bun to burger ratio. I like a pretty standard yeast bun, topped with sesame seeds. A little crusty on the outside, but not so you have to gnaw through it.

elly

It's so hard to pick one favorite burger. I feel like there are so many "favorites" I have, just for different occasions. Being Greek, I always love a good lamburger with some tzaziki, red onion and tomato. Being American too, I love a bacon cheddar burger. :)

But, I think if you tied me down and made me pick one favorite burger, it would be a bison burger, simply (but well) seasoned with sea salt, fresh pepper, minced garlic and a little parsley. Topped with caramelized onions that have been cooked with pinot noir, and goat cheese. As for the bun, I'm with you on the crucial bun to burger ratio. I like a pretty standard yeast bun, topped with sesame seeds. A little crusty on the outside, but not so you have to gnaw through it.

elly

It's so hard to pick one favorite burger. I feel like there are so many "favorites" I have, just for different occasions. Being Greek, I always love a good lamburger with some tzaziki, red onion and tomato. Being American too, I love a bacon cheddar burger. :)

But, I think if you tied me down and made me pick one favorite burger, it would be a bison burger, simply (but well) seasoned with sea salt, fresh pepper, minced garlic and a little parsley. Topped with caramelized onions that have been cooked with pinot noir, and goat cheese. As for the bun, I'm with you on the crucial bun to burger ratio. I like a pretty standard yeast bun, topped with sesame seeds. A little crusty on the outside, but not so you have to gnaw through it.

tenpointfarmer

technically, it is not a hamburger, but a pork burger (bar style). ground pork (from a FFA pig by a student at the local high school), salt, pepper, Worcestershire Sauce. the toppings are cheddar cheese, bacon ( from the same pig), homemade pickles, home grown lettuce and home grown horseradish and homegrown sliced onion, homemade mayo(with eggs from our chickens). the bun is a sesame seed egg bun that is cooked in the wood burning pizza oven we use to heat our house. we heat a cast iron skillet in the wood oven if it is winter and bbq if it is not. if i wasn't such a luddite i would figure out how to post a pic, oh well. good to see you back blogging!

SteveO

Mike-

I know this wont win me any Tshirts, but I have to say I am a bit of a traditionalist. All I need is perfectly cooked pink in the middle burger on a crisply toasted bun. Anything else just spoils it. And I definately dont forget a couple of pints of Guiness to wash it all down!

-SteveO

Columbus Foodie

I spent this past summer breaking in my outdoor kitchen by making totally off the wall burgers - from lamb burgers with feta and black olive mayo, to poultry and beef and everything in between, I really gave the grill a workout. Because we both know a burger that isn't grilled isn't a burger worth eating, right?

For a truly rich burger, my favorite was this knife and fork Bastille Burger (http://www.columbusfoodie.com/2008/07/16/bastille-burgers/), which combined a grilled beef burger with tomato, lettuce, red onion, cambozola cheese and Bernaise sauce.

From a taste standpoint, my favorite was the Thanksgiving Turkey Burger (http://www.columbusfoodie.com/2008/10/10/thanksgiving-turkey-burgers-and-cranberry-potato-salad/), which paired turkey burgers that were mixed with stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, and dried cranberries (among other things) with a cranberry mayo on a bun. I'm not usually a fan of turkey burgers, but these were all kinds of awesome.

As a rule, though - when ordering a burger out, I like a thick beef burger, cooked medium rare to medium, with lots of cheese, all of the standard fixings, and a fried egg or two on top. Bacon is purely optional.

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