I consider myself to be a Burger Connoisseur...or at least have turned into one since leaving the big city life to live in tiny town USA and eating burgers from the Small Town Saloon located in Elizabeth IL.
Living in a metropolis such as Chicago and its suburbs all my life, I have been fed burgers from mostly fast food establishments. Of course, there are the few and far between businesses that offer a real burger...so I cannot say all are burger creator imposters.
Today, I stopped at one place I used to go to in Oak Park IL. I ordered a 1/3 pound burger considering that is the largest they have...and I was hungry.
"What would you like on that?", I was asked by the counter help. I chose to do a little mustard and ketchup. I also said that I would like it cooked Medium Well and he just looked at me puzzled.
What I was presented with was what I will call a "City Burger". It is a flat 1/4"to 3/8" round disk with smooth edges. The top and bottom are smooth. The bun was a sesame seed type that flapped like a flag in the wind. The mustard and ketchup was actually all I tasted.
I should have just gotten a pack of each and sucked it out of those and rinsed it down with my sugary pina colada fruit punch.
Now....let's compare that to a "Small Town Burger". The meat is locally grown and harvested. It is free of all sorts of pesticides and chemicals. I can get close and personal with my future burgers while they are still mooing. (Ever hear the term "I want it so rare, I want to hear it mooing.")
In fact, next to where I live, the cattle walk right up to the fence so close I can actually touch them. WHAT? Touch a steer? Am I crazy? I can hear the lady yelling at her kid at the petting zoo after touching a lamb..."Hurry wash your hands you have germs."
Even more amazing, I was astonished to see cattle grazing on dark, luxurious foliage (grass) and lying under the shade of evergreens. Yes..evergreens.
The only wildlife I saw grazing in the city were large rats on garbage.
Now, in my little town when I order a burger..and I am asked "What would you like on that?" I say...nothing.
No...I don't ignore her....I say...I would like nothing on it. I want that burger to be as naked as a baby's bottom. All that is in it is a pinch of salt and pepper.
The appearance of the burger is the thickness is uneven and the shape is kind of round with jutting edges all over. Like it hasn't been sanded smooth with 150 grit sandpaper.
Oh...and the standard burger is 1/2 pound. Yeah, a 1/2 pound. Not like the 1/16th" hamburger from McDonurgerking.
The waitress and cook also know the difference between rare and medium well.
Then there is the bun...OMG...the bun. No seeds on it. It is a plain Jane kind of bun. BUT..it is freshly baked and FIRM and yet soft, as...well...I can't say...this is a clean website.
Put those two together and I am in ecstasy. Who needs drugs when you can savor the wonderful taste of a real burger to get a high.
I am so happy I didn't order two of those City Burgers.
Click HERE to read more From My Cranium by David Herman