Saturday, July 26, 2014

Hold the ketchup, please, on these works of meat art

May 21. 2013 11:58PM

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There is something about a burger.

It cannot be a burger that is ordinary. It cannot be a burger that is boring. It cannot be a burger that came frozen, and it certainly cannot be a burger that, after 14 years in a jacket pocket, still looks as edible as the day it was purchased. There is something to be said about a burger that is made from a fresh hunk of ground beef, a fresh bun and minimal, if any, toppings.

The claims of invention come from a place I hope to visit very soon, called Louis Lunch, in New Haven, Conn., in 1900. To this day they use beef patty, white bread and a slice of tomato or onion. Ask for ketchup, and they will kindly ask you to leave. I couldn’t agree more. German immigrants from Hamburg named the unnamed sandwich after themselves, as their favorite lunch item in-between shifts at the factories. The rest is burger history.

A burger is one of the easiest meals to make taste amazing — and one of the easiest meals to completely mess up. And there are plenty of those out there. Here are some tips to a great burger:

1. Use fresh ground beef. It’s easy to turn into an 8-ounce patty and cook fresh.

2. Use a great bun. It does not have to be homemade; there are plenty of amazing bakeries in the area.

3. Season your meat. A little salt and pepper goes a long way.

4. It is OK to serve a burger medium rare. IT WILL NOT KILL YOU!!!

5. If you are going to attempt the top four steps, and decide to go further with toppings and sides, then make sure those items are of the same great quality of the burger as well.

6. And for the love of God, don’t cover it in ketchup! It is no mystery that burgers are incredibly popular. A number of well-known, fine-dining chefs have even opened their own burger joints. It is a versatile sandwich with endless potential, as long as it is done correctly. So take a risk, grind up some chuck and eat some pink burgers. If you find the right one, it may change your life. Speaking of burgers, you can check out Peculiar Culinary Company at The Battle of The Burgers and Brew Fest at Mount Airy Lodge from 2-6 p.m. Sunday. Then on May 30, I’ll host another Pop Up Restaurant event at the Hughestown Fire Co. Check out our website at or like our Facebook page for additional information. You also can call me at 570-212-0960 or email

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