Monday, April 15, 2013

In Search of a Great Cheeseburger (Continued)

Sean Brock and I appear to share a common obsession with parsing the nuts and bolts of what makes for a great cheeseburger. Since opening Husk, he's been tweaking and updating his burger, and now Eater National has a rundown of his latest stab at creating the perfect burger.

Most of his elements fly in the face of the typical gourmet "serious burger", for he abjures fancy buns, expensive cheeses, and unusual toppings and focused instead on the interplay of the basic elements.

A Typical Gourmet Burger. Stick a Knife in It.
In particular, I applaud these choices:
  • A moist, soft but durable bun with maximum squish factor
  • Thin griddled patties of 100% chuck beef
  • American damn cheese
  • Simple toppings: just onions and pickles
That's more like it. Old-school burger at Bessingers, Savannah Highway, Charleston.
Not quite a Husk Burger, but in the same ballpark.

Amen, brother. I first weighed in myself on the subject way back in 2006, and reached the following conclusions:
You need enough of a patty to taste meaty, but not one that's so thick that you have to work to chew it. And the bun should be fairly thin, too, so that you don't have to gnaw through three inches of bread to get to substance. The cheese needs to be melted--very melted--so that it almost fuses with the bun and the patty into a single consistent whole.
More recently, I conned my editors at the Charleston City Paper to let me drive around town, eat a bunch of burgers, and then pontificate on the need for a burger reformation:
The next time you dine at the newest burger joint to hang out its shingle, abjure the sultry lure of fire-roasted peppers and portobello mushrooms and bacon jam. Order a plain burger, and skip right past the brie and fontina and insist on good old-fashioned American cheese. If the chef can't press it on the griddle for you before sending it out, make do with your own palm and give it a good solid squish. It'll do you and your burger a world of good.
It's good to know I'm not the only burger nut out there with such heretical opinions. I've not been in to Husk for a burger since Brock's latest round of improvements, but I predict a little late-afternoon snack at the bar very soon.

Update (4/18/2013): In addition to publishing an anatomy of Brock's burger, Eater National has now named the Husk Cheeseburger one of its 38 Essential Burgers Across the Country

No comments:

Popular Posts