Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Great American Burger Book Update

My newest book, The Great American Burger Book - How To Make Regional Hamburgers At Home has a new release date! Look for it on shelves and ready to ship from booksellers on or just before April 12th, 2016.

Making a cook book was one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do. All of the recipes were tested over and over until we got it right. Many thanks goes to my trusty kitchen companion Sydney Rey who was there for every single recipe test. Also, this time around I did not do much shooting - I stayed focused on the writing and testing. Many, many thanks to the talented food photogs Kris Brearton and Doug Young for the thousands of images they shot over 7 months. You really are not going to believe how freaking beautiful this book is..

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Watch Me on Inside Edition Tomorrow

Inside Edition came to my house to film me smashing a few burgers. The segment should air tomorrow (7/16) nationally. Times vary all over America, but in NYC the show airs on FOX5 at 2:30pm..set those DVRs and watch as I smash burgers with host April Woodard..

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Great Piece in Times!

Sam Sifton interviewed me and others on making a burger at home. Looks like all the experts agree - cook it on a flattop or skillet. It's the best way to go: [click]
photo: Ben Norman

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Burger Land Moves To New Time

After 2 weeks at 10pm (EST) Burger Land on Travel Channel is moving to a new time slot, taking over Bizzare Foods America's 9pm Monday slot. Burger Land will stay at 9pm thru the season, which runs for 11 new episodes to the end of June. The show is ALSO re-airing at midnight as well.

This week, we are in New Orleans! Such a great city and we managed to hit Mardi Gras just right...featured on this week's episode are Ted's Frostop, Camillia Grill, Bozo's and Port of Call. 4 great burger destinations.
I'll be live tweeting the new episode, which is followed by a repeat of the Los Angeles episode.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Season One Filming Begins!

I've been a bad blogger recently (like the past year). I have been a pretty good Tweeter though! And as Season One filming begins I'll be Tweeting TONS from the road. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter using @MotzBurger. There will be many burgers consumed over the next few months.

Season One will produce 11 episodes of Burger Land for Travel Channel covering mostly warmer regions. Ohio, Oklahoma, and other frigid states will have to wait to see if a second season happens. First stop this weekend will be sunny Los Angeles. Stay tuned for more..

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Top Notch With The Gang

Had to post this pic since it now lives on the wall at Top Notch Beefburger. I was in Chicago for the 3rd Annual Chicago Food Film Festival a few weeks ago and stopped into Top Notch for a King Size with cheese and onions with a few good friends. With me was editor Mike Fox, long-time Food Film Fest volunteer Fletcher Chen, Food Film Fest Beer Sommalier The Rev, and my son Mac. With the exception of Mac and myself, the other 3 had never been before. Glad I got them down there!

The burgers at Top Notch are unquestionably some of the most consistently great burgers in America. It always amazes and delights me to know that burgers like this exist out there, burgers that will always be there for you. Not the same can be said of the original owner Diran J. Soulian who Grub Street Chicago reported unfortunately passed away last month after running Top Notch for over 60 years. It seems like the place is in good hands however, and if it's any indication, the King Size I ate tasted the same as the first one I consumed way back in 2005.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Finally, I Have A TV Show!

That's right! After years of planning, testing, shooting, negotiating, more shooting, and waiting the TV show of my dreams has actually become a reality. The Travel Channel will be airing a one-hour special of "Burger Land", a show based on my book. The 2 half-hour episodes air as part of "Destination Summer" over Labor Day weekend on Sunday, Sept. 2nd at 7pm and 7:30pm ET/PT.

Burger Land is a regional show. One episode explores what I like to call the Wisconsin Burger Belt, or the latitudinal route between Milwaukee and Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin. In the show I get to revisit my hamburger heroes at Wedl's, Pete's, and of course Solly's in Glendale. The episode ends with a visit to a place in the region that I have not been to before, in this case it's Village Bar in Madison. A second episode visits New Jersey with stops at White Manna, Rossi's and one of my personal favorites White Rose System in Linden. The show ends with a visit to a new joint in Newark called Hamburgao that serves a crazy Brazilian take on the burger.

Please tune in on Sept 2nd and see what we've been working on. I'm very proud of this show and hope you like it too. It has truly been a labor of love for all involved and I think is shows.

DP Guy Jackson gets up close with 2 beauties at White Rose System

I watch the glorious butter drip off my butter burger at Solly's

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

National Burger Month in LA

I spent the first 3 days of this holiest of burger months gorging myself on 4 old favorites in Los Angeles last week. Right off the airplane, I headed straight to the Apple Pan, took my customary stool (the one by the pie window), and inhaled a Hickory Burger. It was still the same damn burger I ate there 20 years ago, one of the crazy constants in this world.

The following day I took a bunch of locals to a place that (amazingly) none had been to before - the one-and-only Irv's Burgers in West Hollywood. Sonia greeted us with open arms and would not let us pay. When I tried to sneak a 20 into the tip box Mama came running out of the kitchen and pinched me HARD in the side to scare me off. I love this burger, the place, and of course Sonia's family. What was even more rewarding this time however was watching the look that came over the newbie's faces upon first bite. I had clearly created a few new disciples.

On day three I headed over to Cassell's in Koreatown and just made it before they closed (at 4pm). Not a soul in the place and a stellar burger as usual. The grinder in the window once again reminds all that this is freshly ground for sure. And a bonus to getting this burger is the free dollop of Cassell's signature horseradish potato salad, easily one of the greatest things I've ever eaten. Unfortunately for most Los Angelinos a detour to Koreatown (though not really far from anything) is like a New Yorker hitting up a burger joint in, say, Battery Park City. Most just won't do it.

After Cassell's I had to head back to the airport to catch a redeye but couldn't resist the gravitational pull of In-N-Out on the way there. I used my handy Burger GPS and easily located one near the runway. No fries for me this time, just a Neapolitan shake and a dbl dbl Animal Style. With all that glorious beef and cheese I was set for an all-night flight..

Monday, April 30, 2012

National Burger Month Starts Tomorrow

I'm starting National Burger Month tomorrow by having a burger at the joint that started it all for me - the Apple Pan in LA. It was over 20 years ago that I first slipped into a spot at the worn Formica horseshoe counter to indulge in the burger that would slightly alter the course of my life. That Hickory Burger, and the place (and most of the people who work at the Pan) have remained unchanged and the burger I will eat tomorrow will be no different than my first.

I hope you have a great National Burger Month. A great way to kick start the month would be to drop into Bill's Bar & Burger for Chef Brett's latest concoction - the Meatloaf Burger. Now, I know you are thinking, wait, George doesn't eat meatloaf burgers. WTF? That's true, but in this case I'll make an exception. That's because this is not a silly burger stuffed with eggs and spices, it's actually a slice of tasty meatloaf on a bun topped with caramelized onions! And not just any meatloaf, Chef Brett's meatloaf. Why is it so good? Because Brett told me this afternoon, "I LOVE, Meatloaf..." and he trailed off. Ok, it's not really a burger, it's a meatloaf sandwich and it's only available for the month so enjoy. EBT Kris B.  sure did - he polished his off in just a few minutes. And this thing is huge.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Chris Madrid Has Passed Away

I guess I'm a little behind on the news but I just found out that one of my hamburger heroes, Chris Madrid, passed away March 11th. He was the king of burgers in San Antonio and made the refried bean-topped burger world famous. Chris didn't invent the thing, he but he most definitely expanded its fan base and made one of the best 'Beanburgers' around.

I met Chris for the first time in May 2010 while I was compiling burger data for the revised edition of my book. When I pulled up in front of the restaurant he was already outside, hand extended, welcoming me to his 35-year old burger institution, Chris Madrid's. The man talked a mile-a-minute and in no time I had a Shiner Bock in my hand and an order in the kitchen. He was a true host, always smiling and clearly loved everything about the world he had created from the people who worked for him down to the burger he made famous.

"The Macho Tostada Burger is a sight to behold. As you contemplate how to eat this enormous pile of heavenly goo, take a moment to appreciate what is in front of you. The bun, toasted on the grill, can barely contain the brown-and-yellow hues of its contents. The burger patty itself, a thin-pressed wonder made from fresh 75/25 beef, is hidden beneath layer of refried beans and cascading cheddar.

The burger is impossible to pick up. I found that cutting it in half made things slightly easier. My first bite of this legend sent me soaring. As I easily made my way through the macho I wondered why this burger was not replicated in every corner of America. The beans and chips worked so well with the beef and the cheddar tied it all together. Chris said it best when he told me; “It’s like a hamburger and an enchilada plate in one.” What an amazing invention. -Hamburger America 2011

Chris Madrid made a serious impact on the fabric of the American hamburger and will be sorely missed. Rest in peace Chris, and may your Macho Tostada live on.

The Macho Tostada - a sight to behold

Chris Madrid as he accidentally walked into a shot I was taking at the end of a long day at his San Antonio burger institution, May 2010