Posts Tagged ‘burgers’

If I Ever Married a Burger…

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

I have good news and bad news, friends. The good news is that Janet and R2 have safely found their way back stateside! The bad news is that eating their way across Japan for two weeks means they have two weeks worth of stuff to catch up on. Wizzomp womp! Never fear, I’m here to tide you over until Janet can regale us with whimsical tales of her motherland.

I also have a confession! I told Janet I was going to post this while she was actually in Japan, but instead I’ve been working on a secret for MTFB, a secret that not even Janet herself knows! Anyway, I’m glad I got that off my chest.

Let’s get to the topic at hand: The burger I would marry, if ever it was legal. Feast your eyes above on the Behemoth, courtesy of the Grill ’em All Truck, winner of The Great Food Truck Race: a 7oz. burger fixed with cheddar, bacon, beer battered onions (!), pickles , Grandma’s Mosh Pit BBQ sauce, and…. wait for it… grilled cheese buns. Just in case you didn’t catch that last part, this burger uses grilled cheese sandwiches in place of buns. In. Place. Of. BUNS. Lemme hit you with a close up.

Nommy McNom NOM, loyal readers! I was the first to admit that this was one of those things that I could die from (I told my coworker she could have my stapler in the event of my death), that perhaps I should even consult my doctor prior to tackling this monster… but first and foremost I am here for the sake of hard-hitting journalism, so I threw caution to the wind and bit in.

What GLORY! JOY! EUPHORIA! I was instantly in a state of bliss, wildly giddy and ready to shout from the rooftops that I would make this burger my wife. It’s like, you know when you have the PERFECT grilled cheese sandwich? Delightfully crispy on the outside, with ooey, gooey cheese on the inside? Now think of two of those. Almost like your dreams have come true and you’ve met twins that you love equally. But WAIT! Put a burger between them (the grilled cheeses, not the twins), dressed up in its finest bacon and bbq sauce. BAM! It’s a mind-blowingly perfect combination of all the tastiest bad things in life. I thought the Krispy Kreme chicken sandwich was good, but holy moly!

Honestly, I was ready to declare my quest for the perfect burger had finally ended. I had searched high and low for years and at last, found it on a food truck. And then I realized I could never marry this burger, if only because I had already eaten most of it. I made the most of the situation by eating the rest of it, despite the fact that I felt like maybe I actually was going to die. It might’ve been worth it!

Anyway, if you’re feeling daring enough to try this finely crafted tower of deliciousness, hunt down the Grill ’em All truck via their twitter or if you’re in West LA, keep an eye on the Westside Food Truck Central lot in Culver City, as that’s where I first met the Behemoth.

Grill ’em All Truck
At a parking spot near you

Squeeze Inn

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Go ahead, look under the skirt.

HELLOOOOO Loyal Readers! It’s been a while and for that I apologize. I’ve been neglecting MTFB; Janet is seriously the busiest person I know and I’ve dropped the ball on filling in for her… even though I am probably less than half as busy. Oops. Onward!

So, what do we have here?! That gorgeous, tantalizing THING pictured front and center is none other than the Squeeze Burger with Cheese from Squeeze Inn in Roseville, California. On the menu, the burger basically reads like your standard burger: “Our famous 1/3 lb. 100% Beef Burger with all the fixins. Mayo, Mustard, Tomato, Lettuce, Pickles, Onions on a Sesame Seed Bun.” You might be thinking, “MEH! The cheese costs EXTRA! Why would I waste my time on this??” Well, if you could get a taste of heaven just by handing over an extra buck and change, would you do it? Because THAT is exactly what this is my friends. Heaven.

I’ll take just a moment to mention that the beef patty, bun, and “all the fixins” are delicious and the burger is big and juicy, but the cheese is what launches it into the stratosphere. Here’s how they describe what they do: “Our famous squeeze with cheese is made in a unique way. After cooking the patty on a flat top grill we cover it with a handful of cheese and the top of the bun before throwing a handful of ice chips on the grill and covering the whole thing is a hood. The skirt comes out perfectly.”

Close your eyes and imagine! Your patty is just about cooked to perfection, and at just the right moment, a mountain of cheese is dumped on your burger and topped with your bun. Immediately after, they toss some ice in and cover it, creating this bizarre atmosphere where your cheese melts and forms a puddle/skirt around your burger, helped along by the steam while at the same time not quite burning it. NOM! I am salivating just thinking back to it. The cheese comes out sorta crispy, sorta burninated, and all kinds of delicious. This is no mini skirt either. It extends a good inch and a half past the edge of your bun.

Just look at it! The hard part is deciding how to eat it… does one tear off the skirt and eat it separately, like oh-so-delicate cheese chips? Or does one politely fold the skirt under the bun so that it can all be eaten at once? The choice is yours, but I guarantee that either way will open your eyes to a new way of burger consumption. The instant the cheese skirt touches your tongue, your taste buds will thank you and sing your praises as the BEST. WING(WO)MAN. EVAR. If you’re ever in the Roseville area (or near the Sacramento or Galt locations) feel free to do some skirt chasing, it’s a sure thing.

Squeeze Inn
106 N. Sunrise Ave.
Roseville, CA
(and 2 other locations)

Apple Pan

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Those in the know pshaw at McDonald’s.  They know that In-n-Out is the king of hamburgers.  They know to order their burgers AND their fries Animal Style there.  They know that purchasing the meals is not a better deal – In-n-Out just adds up the price of a burger, fries, and drink.  Duh.

Those REALLY in the know pshaw at In-n-Out.  They know that the real gem of a burger joint in California is the unassuming, swinging-screened-doored Apple Pan.

Quality Forever, folks.  Believe it.  Perhaps the only burger joint in all of California with nary a Latino in sight, this place is staffed by super old white men.  It’s set up like a U with the kitchen in the middle – all counter seating and no air conditioning, natch.  It’s always crowded, with a ring of people waiting around on the periphery and breathing all over your burger-nomming neck.  The aforementioned polite but gruff (just like grampy!) white men ring you up on an old-fashioned punchy-punchy cash register – cute and old-timey!

But what am I doing already talking about paying the bill when I haven’t even blogged the food?  The clear thing to get here is their cheeseburger.  Specifically, their Steakburger with (Tilamook) cheese – original since 1927, OMG.

This burger is perfect.  You aren’t annoyed while eating it unlike the strident Six-Dollar C-Jr burger.  You don’t feel weirdly icky because you might be supporting the bible-bangers like at In-n-Out.  You don’t feel morally horrible like you do when you eat at McDonald’s.  You didn’t get a crazy, foot-shooting weird burger like you always end up getting at The Counter.  It’s just a clean, simple, utterly satisfying burger that leaves you feeling happy, not gross.

Also strangely refreshing is their apple pie with buttermilk ice cream.  You’d think full fat full buttermilk would be cloying, but eating this ice cream made me realize that what garners the “bleh” reaction in ice cream for many is probably too much sugar.  Here, since the buttermilk is so good, they don’t need a shit-ton of sugar to make it taste delicious.  The crust on the apple pie is less like regular pie crust and more like…crumbly pita?  So that’s different, but still good.   One request I have for them is please stop serving this to me with a fork.  The ice cream melts FAST and as a result, the only way for me to eat the melted ice cream + apple goo drizzle is to tip the plate into my mouth – very rude.

Apple Pan

10801 W Pico Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90064-2105


The Best Burger in North America

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Hi! I just got back from a super fun week in Chicago that ended in fucktardedness when rain (yes, rain) canceled my flight (and a gazillion others’) and I was stuck in O’Hare for 9 hours, and didn’t get home until 2 am.

ANYWAY, for reasons that will become clear in nine paragraphs, a MUST EAT stop was Sweets & Savories.

Let’s get some boring stuff out of the way. Namely, our apps. Keller’s app was a beautiful gnocchi with escar–

–wait, let me backtrack more. First of all, their website is weird. It has an interface reminiscent of when you call that dude that helps you with maps and shit in Metal Gear. But it’s cool. When we actually got there, we thought we had the wrong place. I refused to get out of the cab until I called them:

Me: Ummmm…where are you located again?
Them: 1534 Fullerton.
Me: Yeah but like, what’s near you?
Them: Our cross street is Ashland.
Me: I mean, what is like, exactly next door to you?
Them: An empty lot.
Me: And then an…insurance? Company? On your other side?
Them: Yes.

So the immediate neighborhood seemed kind of sketch, and there was NO ONE in the restaurant (economy? Tuesday night?) but it was the cutest space. The menu was one of those where EVERYTHING looked so fucking fabulous. My heart, though, beat for only one item – the foie gras burger.

This will go down as the easiest post to write of all time, because it’s been written for me beautifully yet hilariously by Peter Sagal, most famous for being the host of NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me in the Best Food Writing 2008 (a gift from Christopher), writing (originally in Saveur) about Chicago’s foie gras ban.

“This is the silliest ordinance the City Council has ever passed,” said Mayor Richard M. Daley.”

“What about my hamburger?” said my wife, Beth, who just wanted her hamburger.

Specifically: the $17 hamburger at Sweets & Savories, on Fullerton Avenue, which the menu describes as “Strube Ranch American Kobe beef with foie gras pate and truffled mayonnaise and toasted brioche roll” and which, when served with a side of duck-fat fries, is the kind of meal God would cook for houseguests if God were a 12-year-old kid.

Seventeen dollars is a lot to pay for hamburger, especially one that does not come with a toy in the bag, but a couple things you should know are, first, that it is enormous, the size you remember your first Big Mac’s being when you finally convinced your parents that you were old enough to graduate from McNuggets, and, second, that the heat from the beef melts the pate, just a little bit, so it seems to absorb the truffle mayo above it and then ineluctably swirls into both the beef and the bread, infecting them with glory, the way Agent Smith converted everybody into himself in those awful Matrix sequels. The result inspires guttural grunts of pleasure as you realize you must put the burger down, because if you don’t, it will fall apart, but instead you take another bite mmmph mmmph mmmph.

So. Back to boring stuff like Keller’s gnocchi with escargot, market mushrooms, arugula, and pecorino. Um, that was sarcasm. I have re-read that bit a number of times and can’t tell if it comes across correctly sarcastic. The gnocchi was not boring. It was…garlicky, smooth, sticky, and the escargot sent a shiver down my spine, half because it was so rich and pleasingly chewy, half because I was like, “can I taste snail eyeball right now? I think I taste snail eyeball.”

My soup: roasted sweet potato bisque with crème fraiche mousseline and crispy sage. For a eight years of my life I spent summers with a foodie family, the dad of which would pick sage leaves from the garden out back, crispy-fry them in good olive oil, and then sprinkle them with kosher salt. We would eat these like potato chips. Glorious. So that was my favorite part of this soup. The soup was good, though something you might get easily at other restaurants aside from the sage.

To keep a finger food vibe, we got Croque Madame for our other entree (smoked ham, gruyere, béchamel, fried farm egg, and grain mustard). Whatever vitamin is in egg yolk (I think it’s called…cholesterol? Yeah.), I think I was craving it. I wanted yolk, and I got it, basically everywhere. Messatron Max.


“Mmmph” is exactly the noise that came out of me as I shoved it down my gullet. Our server came over, saw me, and said, “How is every — actually, I’ll just come back later.”

I don’t need to describe the burger, as it has already been done exquisitely by Sagal above. The only difference is that our fries were fried in beef tallow, not duck fat. Oh no! (Sarcasm again – I was just as excited.)

OH SHIT! I forgot to mention that we did the prix fixe menu – app, entree, and dessert for $36. I always worry about prix fixe because I never want dessert, so in the end it always never seems worth it. So I asked, at the beginning, for the dessert menu to confirm that there was anything I wanted.

Oh, there was something I wanted alright.

I wanted the Meyer lemon curd tart with blueberry compote and soft cream. Super tart.

Oh, and this –

Warm Belgium chocolate fondant cake with cocoa sorbet and chocolate ganache sauce. I was awfully tempted by other items with cool ice creams (white pepper ice cream, brown butter ice cream) but Keller is a chocolate fiend so…

So, the main star of the night was, clearly, the burger. I didn’t even wipe my hands on my napkin before pawing at my iPhone to tell everyone about the burger I just had.

…There should be a word for an obnoxious foodie. An obnoxfoo?

Sweets & Savories
1534 W Fullerton
Chicago, IL