To celebrate the 4th July, we thought we’d bring you something classically United, er, Statesean – a top 10 list to find America’s best burger. What could be more American than the quintessential taste of the U.S.A. – the burger? (Alright, so I know at the end of the day, or rather the beginning, it’s a German invention – still, it’s seen as the stereotypical American cuisine in many eyes, and stomachs). Yet there is more to the humble burger than the ones knocked out by those more prolific fast-food establishments that grace our streets, retail parks and Olympic villages – we bring you the top 10 ‘gourmet’ burger experiences to sample on your travels to the U.S.
Try: Black Label Burger
The first entry in our best burger list comes from NYC. This juicy specimen uses a wonderful mixture of the finest beef – brisket, skirt steak, dry-aged rib eye and short rib. They obtain their meat from a quality supplier too, the renowned Pat LaFrieda. The buns are there to compliment the quality, which they more than achieve, these tasty baps are bought in fresh from the maestros at Balthazar Bakery.
The Spotted Pig
Try: Spotted Pig Burger
Opened in 2004 as a joint venture between a consortium who it’s safe to say were never going to be the most discreet of owners – they included Jay-Z and Mario Batali for starters – The Spotted Pig has proved that it’s more than capable of standing on its own two (four?) feet. Dishing up what in the UK would be labelled high-end pub-grub, the burgers are packed to bursting with rump, chuck and brisket, all smothered in a touch of class with the addition of a tasty Roquefort cheese. A proud entry in our America’s Best Burger list, no doubt.
Try: Bacon Cheeseburger
Much like the Minetta listed above, the Little Owl source their beef from the legendary Manhattan meat-merchant Pat LaFrieda. Each of these spectacular morsels comes wrapped in a delectable, perfectly weighted bun, baked in house for added freshness. The dish is served with a side of pickles to give it that authentic New York tang.
Way out west, you may be further than the meant-loving Germans who first brought the burger to these shores, however, you’ll soon discover that the U.S. love of this particular foodstuff extends from sea to shining sea.
Taking meat from the ranches to the southwest, and presented with a side of hand-cut chips (fries I should say), these grilled-to-order beauties will set the taste buds tingling and stomachs rumbling. For the real deal be sure to order extra sauce and chopped, grilled onions.
Try: House-ground hamburger
If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to eat a big, fat burger. These delicious hunks of meat give you the touch of class you’d expect from San Fran however, coming stuffed into a grilled rosemary focaccia with slice courgette slivers pickled in delectable cider vinegar, turmeric and mustard seeds.
Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink
Try: Black Angus Burger
As you’d expect from Miami, this burger is beautiful, a veritable superstar of the beef-patty world. Coming clad in a tasteful brioche bun, renowned chef Michael Schwartz offers you the change to top it off with a mouth-watering slab of home-smoked bacon.
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Green Street Grill
Try: Bacon Double Cheeseburger
Not one but two four-ounce chunks of beef, slathered in the gooiest American white cheese, dripping with smoked bacon and splattered in Russian dressing, all jammed into a plump white bun. Grab a side of kettlechips too, you might as well.
Try: Palena Cheeseburger
This stately beef and bun combo really is fit for a president. The Kobe-style beef is engulfed in the divine flavours of Sottocenere al Tartufo truffled cheese and an (un?)healthily large dollop of rich, garlic mayonnaise. It comes poised elegantly in a home-baked roll, surrounded with homemade pickles. The famous burgers of ex-White House ‘chef of staff’ Frank Ruta can be sampled in the lively front area of this classy joint.
Try: BLT Burger
Have it with the BLT burger sauce, this eye-popping red onion and bacon draped chunk of meat – sirloin on a cushion of lettuce, juicy tomato and tangy tarragon dressing – will truly offer you the gastronomic equivalent of Vegas itself. Brush with butter, caramelised in natural sugars and lick be dazzling tongues of flame, these burgers take some beating.
Try: The Office Burger
In terms of quality this is arguably the best burger you are likely to find anywhere in the States, chef Sang Yoon shot to fame with his beautiful dry-aged beef creations and his strictly enforced no ketchup policy. Smoothed over with a delectable helping of Gruyère cheese, blended with Maytag blue cheese, arugula and a divine applewood-bacon compote, these are burgers truly fit for the superstars of the Hollywood elite.
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Written by Kenneth Robinson