Well we’ve talked about the great American hot dog so I guess we need to give the beef hamburger it’s due as well. There probably are just as many hamburger joints as there are hot dog stands so let’s get on with some famous hamburger places.
Charm City Burger Company is located in Deerfield Beach, FL (yes, I’ve been here) and their fare includes hamburgers called the Cowboy Style, Volcano Style, The Big Sloppy, and the Emperor to name a few. Visit their website at www.charmcityburgers.com
Next is Eagle’s Deli in Boston, MA and this is so close and I’ve yet to visit this establishment (ya gotta love those road trips though). Anyway, Eagle’s Deli is home to the Challenge Burger. This burger is a whopping 5 pounds of meat, 20 pcs of bacon, 20 pcs of cheese, 5 pounds of fries, and 1 deli pickle – that did it for me, after adding the pickle I know I’d never be able to finish this now. Do you know how much food this is? A whole bunch (and you remember my definition of bunch?). They also have varying degrees of weight limits to their burgers such as the King Kong (1/2 lb. burger), the Godzilla (1 lb. burger), the Cowabunga (2 lb. burger), the Reilly Burger (3 lb. burger), and the Paul Jones (4 lb. burger), and of course for you lightweights the Kiddie Burger (a mere 1/4 lb. burger). See their fare at www.eaglesdeli.com
At Fuddruckers (say this ten times fast) (oh, and I want to be there when you do this) you can get burgers in 1/3, 1/2, and 2/3 lb. sizes with all kinds of fresh toppings for your burger. You can also order Buffalo, Elk, Wild Boar, and Ostrich burgers too. Visit them at www.fuddruckers.com
Five Guys Burgers and Fries burger chain offers burgers and other stuff too. What’s unique about this chain is their enormous toppings menu which you can view at www.fiveguys.com When you order fries ask for the small size in either regular or Cajun style. You’ll be surprised what you end up with.
Louis’ Lunch in New Haven, CT is the birthplace of the hamburger. The story behind the burger began when a customer explained he was in a hurry and Louis took one of the meatballs and made a patty out of it and put it between two slices of toast. It’s still made that way today. Why have I never been here? Yeah, you guessed it, another road trip, anyone want to go? Go to www.louislunch.com and check them out.
Another place I’ve never been to is Ted’s in Meriden, CT. This establishment steams their burgers and they have a delectable array of toppings to add to your burger bliss. See them at www.tedsrestaurant.com Might as well be the same road trip, don’cha think?
Burgermeister in San Francisco is one of the best burger joints I’ve been in. You can get the San Francisco, the San Diego, the Colossal, and of course the Burgermeister. Go to www.burgermeistersf.com for their menu items.
One of the best fast food burger joints I’ve been in is In ‘N Out where you can order the Double-Double while you watch them make fresh fries in the background. Although the Southwestern chain only has four items on its menu: the Burger, the Cheeseburger, the Double-Double, and Fries they have a unique sub-culture for ordering them which is not on their menu. Phrases such as the 2 X 4 will get you two beef patties and four slices of cheese on a bun. What about the 3 X 3, the 4 X 2, and the 4 X 4? What do you think they mean? Or how about the Flying Dutchman, Mustard Grilled, Protein, or Animal Style? Try www.in-n-out.com to find out.
Bobby’s Burger Palace name their burgers after famous cities such as the Philadelphia, the Dallas, the Miami, the Santa Fe, and the LA. This burger place is so close to where I live it’s a shame I haven’t been here yet. What am I waiting for? Yes, a definite road trip. All of about three miles down the road. Check out Bobby Flay’s at www.bobbysburgerpalace.com Note: After I wrote this post I decided to complete the road trip to this hamburger heaven and I had the Philadelphia and it was the best burger I’ve ever tried. It was amazing, I highly recommend going there if you can. It’s located at the Mohegan Sun Casino. I must get there at least once a month to try each one of the burgers on the menu.
White Castle gets an honorable mention as their uniqueness is in the size of their burgers. Unlike what you’ve seen in the large size challenges this chain boasts the mini-burger. This is unique in today’s world, even though they give you four of them as a serving but you don’t have to eat them all at one sitting. See them at www.whitecastle.com
Another burger establishment gets an honorable mention because they were voted best juicy hamburger in South Florida. Cheeseburgers and More located in Jupiter, FL boasts a juicy burger with the likes of the Rodeo Burger, the Garbage Burger, the Chili Burger, the Gorgonzola Burger, and the Salsa Burger. Let’s not forget to mention the 1 & 2 lb burgers that if you finish them you get to have your picture taken and put up on the walls. The neat niche about this burger joint is the amount of memorabilia hanging from the ceiling from model planes to model cars and full size bicycles. Oh, and you know those toothpicks restaurants use to hold your burger concoction together are stuck on the ceiling too. One of the dining rooms sports an arcade for your pinball pleasure. See them at cheeseburgersandmore.com
Here are some wines I believe go well with burgers.
Cupcake 2007 Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine opened with black cherry, clove, leather, and smoked bacon aromas. Flavors were of black currant, clove, and pepper with a slight tart blueberry finish. $8.99, 83 rating. I also paired this with Venison stew with carrots, potatoes, scallions, butternut squash, zucchini, banana peppers, celery, and spices.
Peachy Canyon 2007 Incredible Red Paso Robles Zinfandel. This wine exhibited a red ruby color (I’ll get you my pretty! Sorry that was red ruby slippers. Different story altogether). Cherry, black cherry, and vanilla bean aromas leading to black cherry and clove on the palate. This had a simple but smooth finish. $7.49, 85 rating. I also paired this with grilled chicken, a baked potato, and sweet peas. Also sauteed onions and mushrooms to top off the chicken with. Love those indoor grills where you can pour red wine in the channel of the ring that goes on top of your gas stove. I tried this on an electric stove and it doesn’t work as well.
Paolo Scavino 2008 Rosso Vino Da Tavola. This wine is a blend of Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with a deep ruby color leading to floral, fennel, anise, mocha and smoke aromas – wow! Flavors included cherry, orange zest, and red berries (I couldn’t pinpoint which red berries so I just included them all). Nice tannins. $12.99, 90 rating. This is an Italian gem that I’ll buy more of and cellar for 5-10 years. Yes, I can wait this long as I have approximately 60 bottles in my wine cellar that I have not yet tried so I am very patient. I have a feeling this wine will be even better than it is today. But don’t take my word for it, go out and buy some and judge for yourself. I don’t think you’d be disappointed. And yes, this did go well with a burger!
Sorry, I couldn’t come up with a white wine that went well with burgers. Can anyone make a recommendation? Maybe I should write a post about dishes that go well with white wine. Nah, I couldn’t drink that much white wine in a week to give you three wines to choose from. Now, let’s see what sparks debate among the white wine lovers for that comment in this forum. Here’s your chance!
Here’s to good wine, good food, and good friends…