Odes To Our Favorite Burgers: In Which City of Ate Reflects on the Best Meats
The best burger I've ever had came minutes after the worst flying experience I've ever had. I was flying to New York City to visit my brother, and bad weather suddenly diverted us -- 30 minutes before landing -- to Buffalo. After frantically landing in Buffalo, we sat on the runway, unable to deplane, for nearly three and a half hours. Hour seven passed of My Hell Day with American Airlines, and I'd eaten maybe three cashews and a shitty Natural Valley Granola Bar. Here's where my brother wins the award: The second I stepped out of the cab, he hustled me over to Shake Shack in the Upper East side. It was closing in minutes. I ordered a double Shack burger with fries, and ate it with a cold beer at my brother's place. Maybe it was not having any food inside me, or the cold beer, or the beautiful way the cheese melted, or the juicy crackle through the patty, but at that moment it was the best burger I've ever had.
Catherine Downes, editorial everything
Up until recently, the notion of consuming a patty of ground-up cow flesh sandwiched between a bun really grossed me out. I avoided burgers on menus, opted for turkey or veggie patties when necessary and turned down bites when offered. As far as I was concerned, hamburgers = gross. That all changed a few months ago. I was at Meddlesome Moth and a few Live Oak HefeWeizens in when dinner arrived. The dude sitting next to me offered me a bite of his "Meyer Natural Beef Burger." I accepted (probably because of the beer), and to my surprise, fell in love (with the burger, not the dude). There was something about the beef, Tillamook cheddar, homemade Thousand Island dressing, ripe tomato, lettuce and purple onion combo that melted my heart. I now regularly crave that burger.
Christian McPhate, intern
It gazes in the mirror
just to admire its seeds.
It once lay on a McGriddle
just to see how it felt.
Chefs often attempt to replicate it
because they find its taste irresistible.
Its buns never get soggy
unless you drown it in ketchup.
It tastes delicious
with or without mayo.
French fries mate with curly fries
just to be at its side.
Its calling card simply says,
It was named "#1 Burger for Lunch,"
by a clown named Ronald.
Five Guys rub their fingers across its meat
and it still pleases the opposite sex.
It tangos with lettuce and an onion
without spilling its grease.
It's the most interesting burger in the world.
"Stay hungry, my friends."
Scott Reitz, professional fat man
Boulevardier. The burger is sick. Start with at least a dozen oysters to prepare your palate, or maybe just because they taste so damn good. Eat them with cold beer because everything about this meal is relaxed and cool.
Order your burger medium, confidently, knowing it will arrive just as requested and when your burger arrives waste no time. Take a massive bite and admire the warm, rosy center of a patty that's tender but still has the texture of a burger that used to be steak once. With lettuce, onions and tomato lightly kissed with sherry vinaigrette, bacon with snap, and a breath of smoke from a wood-fired grill that permeates every bite, this isn't a just great burger just in terms of mechanics and execution -- it's a burger work of art.