Search This Blog

Friday, October 22, 2010

FOODIE FRIDAYS: How to Mess Up a Perfectly Good Burger

When I was a kid, Mom would slap some hamburger meat onto a hot skillet and fry it up, toss it on a bun with some condiments.  No one gave it a lot of thought - it was a hamburger, it was good, that's all there was to it!  Today, everyone is searching for the perfect hamburger.  But seriously, is that hard to make a good burger?

In N Out
Now I'm no food snob but I know what I like.  I like In-N-Out burgers a lot!  It's simple, it's savory, it's so good that I even eat that last bit of bun that has no meat in it.  Huge crunch from the iceberg lettuce, eye watering onion, thousand island sauce, it's simple and well executed.  And I'm not the only one who loves In-N-Out.  Thomas Keller of French Laundry fame claims it to be his favorite as well, so I'm in good company.


Notice the pickels?  Yes, I always add pickels to my In-N-Out burger.  I used to do Animal Style where they put grilled onions on it and burn the mustard on the patty, but lately I've gone purist.

Urban Solace burger
The other day I was at Urban Solace in Hillcrest area.  I have loved just about everything they make, actually comparing them to George's at the Cove (on a budget) for creating unique and creative food for the common guy.  Today I ordered a burger.  What's that?  Salad????  That's right, because they only have sweet potato fries, so they swapped it out.  The salad was good, but no substitute for good fries.  How could it be?

Sweet Potato Fries
As for those Sweet Potato Fries, my wife and daughter ordered them on the side.  OK, so they were not bad and actually better than I thought, but they were not "fries" by my definition, any more than a crabcake is a "cake", if you get what I mean.  Still confused?
In-N-Out fries
These are the In-N-Out fries.  These are real fries.  Salty, crispy, and lots of them. Now to be fair, my wife and daughter LOVED the sweet potato fries as did the table next to me, but I am a French Fry fanatic and when I want fries, I want fries!


Urban Solace burger was just too darn sweet for me.
As for the burger, it was pretty good but everything was a tad too sweet.  There was some sort of sweet sauce on it, this burger was screaming for some mustard and onions.  It was good, but it didn't hit the spot like a good burger does.  I wanted salty, savory, but got sweet instead.  It's like expecting bacon and getting a Honey Baked Ham, or a bagel and getting a donut.  They're both good, just different. I walked out with an urge for In-N-Out. 

Maybe a burger just needs to be a burger.  No messing with the formula, keep it simple and it'll turn out delicious.  I love Urban Solace, but the next time I want a burger, I'm going to In-N-Out.

Local Wally's Got Wine!  Go visit the new guide to Napa Valley at www.NapaTouristGuide.com.

1 comment:

beth said...

shoulda ordered that thing medium rare, it makes a big difference. i like more savory burgers too, but this one was pretty tasty.