Monday, October 3, 2011

Best Burger Anywhere

One of our local bars advertises that they have the "BEST BURGERS ANYWHERE." A fact like that gives me a lot of pride, knowing that right here where I am, without having to leave town, I can eat the best burgers in existence.

I've actually had one of them, so I can attest, it was passable. I'm a generous critic. I recognized it right away as a burger, with the distinctive shape of the bun, a piece of meat in the middle, and some other things like mustard and ketchup. Then biting into it, knowing it was the best burger anywhere, I was totally psyched, believing I would really like what I tasted. OK, it was good.

I'm not doubting it's the best burger anywhere, by any measure. I can't make a determination like that, really, given that I don't have unlimited time and money (or inclination) to travel the entire world looking for one better. Still, the TV is occasionally on, and there's usually a marathon of food shows where the guy is in a different city every half hour, chatting it up with professional chefs, then digging into big baskets of tremendous looking food and experiencing on-camera climaxes. So, if I were given over to doubt, it might be an open question. Because when I ate my burger that time, there were no lights, no bells, no angelic visitations. It was all actually quite routine.

What would it take to have the best burger anywhere, if this place hasn't got it? Well, for starters, succulent ground beef done to perfection, not too dry, not too thick, not too thin. Notice I didn't say "not too wet," although of course if it gushed out blood that spilled down your neck like Niagara Falls, that would be much too wet. But really, I'd rather it was more on the wet, juicy side, than on the dry. I've had burgers on the grill that might rival this place for the best burger anywhere, but it's very tough to judge.

Presentation would be part of it, too. Not looking too fancy on the plate (or basket), and not looking too shabby. I don't like a plate that says they put more into the presentation than they did the cooking. And I'm equally turned off by one that shows there's no pride in the product because the presentation sucks. If they make it with a smile and present it to me with a proud waitress, cleavage optional, I'm happy.

And that goes for whether it's the best burger anywhere or not. I don't really need the best every time. Good enough, a nice mid-quality burger is usually good enough for me!

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