burgers

My friend, J and I have determined that we must taste all the good hamburgers that our fair city has to offer, within a certain radius.

The first place we visited is owned by a very famous chef. This, decidedly theatrical, hole in the wall restaurant provided us with some very fine burgers. Nicely cooked, not too terribly huge, yet not mingy - with good fries, slightly crisp, which tasted like potato. (You'd be amazed how many fries taste nothing like potato.) Looking back, I'm a little disappointed that I didn't order the $11 shake, but, at the time, I couldn't imagine drinking it. There was groovy music playing and the waitstaff was helpful and fun and friendly and it was good. I'd give it a seven.

The second place we went to was a bit of a hike away from the office but was "the real thing." It was an old diner and we were the only women there - surrounded by construction workers. J had heard that the chef at this diner got his beef from a well known butcher and this, reportedly, made for fabulous burgers. They were good - as was the homemade pie. But the atmosphere was a little too down and dirty for me. I was distracted as it was, just slightly, possible, that there would be a fly in the soup, so to speak. They did, however, have amazing homemade lemonade. I gave them a six.

On Friday, J and I took a short train ride to a restaurant highly rated for their beef/lamb burger.
By the time we got there I was starving. It was a teeny place with ten or twelve tables squished next to each other with a vague Anthropologie decor. The waitstaff was friendly with just a smidge of city attitude and we were seated next to a recognizable actress and her daughter (who excused herself to throw up mid-meal) engaged in a very loud iPhone tutorial. Ah...but - in the end, none of this mattered. The burger? Sublime. Served on a toasted english muffin (what ARE they called in England?) with fresh herb butter dripping, it was perfectly cooked and topped with an excellent cheddar cheese. The fries were damn near perfect too. BUT WAIT: THERE'S MORE.
We decided to split a dessert. Cherries, steeped in brandy, deep fried in beer batter and then rolled in sugar and tiny specs of chocolate. Each of these ingredients was distinct. It was a wonderful dessert to order as it seemed to be incredibly labor intensive - the kind of dish one could not hope to make at home. Sweet and tangy and rich, the brandy was never over-powering but very much there, the chocolate was not cloying but definitely a flavor. I could go on and on. BUT, the thing is: because it took an extra ten minutes to GET our dessert, the chef sent another dessert as a gift...Citrus custard with creme fraiche. Now, under normal circumstances I might not bother to order citrus custard. BUT THIS citrus custard was creamy and wonderful and had the nicest flavor. Paired with the creme fraiche and served in a tiny pot with a lid, we dolloped it onto almost savory cookies. Sublime.

We ambled back to the office and I'll tell you, it's a good thing my boss was out of town as it took me a while to work off the effects of such a meal and focus on my afternoon tasks.

I'll give them a nine.

Comments

smalltownmom said…
Oh, my. I'm in burger ecstacy just reading this. !
Wow, that last place sound fabulous! I wish I could go there right now!
Public Artist said…
just muffins, the ones we would normally called muffins are also muffins, although they sometimes have 'american style' tacked to the front. English muffins aren't really as popular here, however.
ingrid said…
wonderful. it makes me want to follow in your footsteps.
be*mused jan said…
After all that about the heavenly desserts, you're not sharing the name of the place? That's just cruel.
Badger said…
I always thought English muffins = crumpets. Now I'm wondering what the hell a crumpet is.

I love custard and I DO order it. A good custard is hard to find. ASK ME HOW I KNOW.
MsCellania said…
But - does it beat that hole-in-the-wall burger joint in the cellar (I think?) of that chi-chi hotel? I think you, K and Middle went to that one, maybe Youngest, too...this was a while back.
eurolush said…
Why don't you live near me? We could do the SAME THING with Schnitzel and Pommes frites. And beer. And pastries.

PS-My pants got a little tighter just reading this.

PPS-They were already kinda tight.

PPPS-Okay, fine. They don't fit anymore. Are you happy? I'm enormous and whale-like.

PPPPS-By whale-like, I mean one of those cute Beluga whales. Not one of those weird Humpback whales.
kmkat said…
Sometimes your passion for anonymity is downright cruel. If you don't give us the name of the fabulous burger joint RIGHT NOW I am going to lie on the floor and kick and scream and then go outside and eat worms. See how you like that, Missy! (I love calling bloggers Missy. It's so delightfully snippy.)
Gill said…
Helping out here with what a crumpet is - have a look at my blog where I've posted a photo.

Some men have been known to refer to their wife/girlfriend as their "bit of crumpet" too....but they'd only say it once if I were around ;-)

I too would appreciate the identities of these burger places - I get to spend so little time on your side of the ocean, I can't afford time shilly-shallying around with anything less than great burgers - current fave being the Shake Shack (thanks Jordi)
Anonymous said…
What a yummy post.
Paola
Suzanne said…
Yum! I must go make myself a burger IMMEDIATELY!

The next time I'm in your neck of the woods, I hope you'll share the name of the third burger place. Perhpas we'll even lunch there together. Sounds divine!
Ree said…
Do you get plain hamburgers or cheeseburgers? Because I've found there's a difference.
Schmutzie said…
The description of that last meal put me over the edge. Some cookies must be made!