Sunday, February 21, 2010

RUB Nails The Guberburger

"Is there mayo on a Guberburger?" Andrew Fischel from RUB BBQ called me last week to get some specs on the Midwestern peanut butter and beef treat served at the Wheel Inn Drive-In. "I think so, but you should just give them a call," I told him. And he did. Turns out mayo is served on the Guberburger 'only if requested'.

I did not request mayo on mine. I snuck into the kitchen at RUB last Monday and grabbed a Guberburger with hot, melted peanut butter only. RUB's Monday Night smashed burger, cooked on a flattop with a generous sprinkle of salt, and served on a toasted, buttered bun is phenomenal. The addition of peanut butter to this burger made me delirious. The beefy, salty, p-nutty flavor profile may have even been better than the original.

This Monday night's burger (tomorrow) will be RUB's nod to the Jucy Lucy of Minneapolis, a burger with a hot cheese surprise inside. Take a bite too soon and I can guarantee pain. I've tried to make the Jucy Lucy at home only to fail miserably. I'll be there tomorrow for sure and hope they are more successful than I've been.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Burger Bites, Episode 1 - Kate's First Burger

Here 'tis, a short film about Kate and her first burger. Two weeks ago a girl I work with asked me where to go to have her first burger EVER. Not a vegetarian, Kate had somehow flown under the burger radar enjoying steaks and other meatthings. When she asked me my opinion of where to go I was amazed and honored. I wanted to choose a place that would be sensitive to the challenge of feeding a first-timer and a place that would allow us to film this monumental occasion. That place became the ever-accommodating and very new Bill's Bar & Burger. The shoot was a success. Not only did Kate enjoy her first, the film became Episode 1 of a new series I'm putting together called Burger Bites. And the exceptional burgers (my favorite: a smashed patty with nothing but sauteed onion on top) were prepared by Chef Brett Reichler.

Kate told me that her friends said that her first burger had to be from McDonald's. McDonald's?? I'm sure glad she had the sense to get a second opinion.

The awesome opening sequence was created by good friend Mac Premo and brother Ted helped with the theme tune. Kris B (an E.B.T.) shot the film. Also, listen for music by Toss, the band I was in for a decade, in my life before hamburgers.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Fatbelly Burgers, VERY local beef

You'd think it would be easy to find great burger joints in beef country but sometimes in Colorado it ain't so easy. My all-time fave in Colorado is Bud's Bar, but outside of this tiny bar in a tiny town south of Denver I've never had much luck. That is until this past Saturday.

I spent a few days snowboarding in the Rockies last week and naturally had a craving for apres-ski burgers every day. The Red Onion of Aspen is closed (but soon to reopen, hopefully with better burgers) and Jimmy's is a decent standby. I haven't had a burger at Woody Creek Tavern in years (though they were unmemorable) and the closest Smashburger is in Grand Junction. But just last November a new spot called Fatbelly Burgers opened in Carbondale that definitely fits the bill. Owner and ex-New Yorker Shane Vetter is making classic thin patty wonders on white squishy buns with special sauce that taste fantastic. Shane rolls fresh balls of local grass-fed beef and uses the griddle-smash method to make his burgers. "That griddle is at 500 degrees," Shane told me after I had finished my usual volley of questions. After one bite of my 1/4 pound Standard burger I immediately placed an order for another. I could have eaten a 3rd.

When Shane told me the beef was local I imagined the lots at Greeley, CO which is certainly local. Then I learned that the beef comes from grass-fed cows from Carbondale. Now that's local! His cows may even be closer to the griddle than Joe Maranto's Texas longhorns, the grass-fed cows The Meers Store uses for their burgers.

Next time I'm out there I need to try another new burger concept - Larkburger. The good people behind this local chain have invited me to taste their burgers but it will have to wait until my next adventure.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hamburger America at Javits

If you find yourself at the Restaurant & Foodservice Show of NY at the Javits on Monday, March 1st I'll be there screening Hamburger America at 3PM. The screening is in association with the James Beard Foundation and tasty burgers will be served thanks to our friends at Burger Maker. And if you are at the Javits at 1:00, come by the Burger Maker booth (see above) where I'll be signing books before the screening.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Kate's First Burger

I just completed a short film about Kate, a girl who chooses ME to have her first burger with. Yes, her first burger EVER. In the screen grab above I'm attempting to coach her though she needed no coaching - Kate was ready. Bill's Bar & Burger supplied the background for the film and the burgers were exceptional, really. Her first coincidentally was perfect. Her next had better be as good.

The film will be posted here next week and a story about Kate's first is supposed to run in the NY Times....Stay tuned.