I'm on a quest for the "perfect" hamburger-my next challenge for Tasting & Testing. With the glut of burger joints popping up all over the place (a NYC Web search yielded six pages!!! Oooh, and one is called Burgers & Cupcakes-how cool is that?), I was really, truly hoping to learn something new. "OK, Mr. Highbrow-Gone-Lowbrow, knock my socks off with your bifteck haché!"
With visits to a number of places from my Web search, honestly, nothing's exceeded my expectations, and maybe that's the point. Do I really need to pay $65 for a ground beef patty? A burger is inherently "perfect" precisely because it's so easy to make really well at home. Good meat, good bread, good fire and the right amount of restraint when it comes to toppings. (And no restraint when it comes to seasoning.)
Which leads me to my question: Is there anything new to learn about hamburgers? I've got some tips and ideas, but what I'd really like is to hear what you do. Do you season the meat? What kind of meat? How much fat? All beef? Do you grind your own? What kind of bun? Toasted, un-toasted? Mayo, mustard or ketchup? All of the above? Relish? I'm not kidding. Help!
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