THE HUMBLE BURGER

Alvin Pillay

 

Hamburger. Cheeseburger. Double bacon cheeseburger….the variations can keep going for days. The humble “burger” style sandwich can be manipulated anywhere from meat between two buns to black truffle studded wagyu patties topped with caviar & foie gras. And it seems that people can find a style from one end of the spectrum to the other that they would travel for. Ultimately the burger is a simple, unintimidating and extremely satisfying food choice.

Creating a burger or any menu item for that matter begins with inspiration, family, a restaurant you recently visited, mother nature, other cultures, the list goes on. The inspiration behind our burger program comes from two American burger companies that take great pride in their product. Which translates to delicious burgers. And why would we go anywhere else to look for burger inspiration?? American’s ordered and consumed approx. 9 billion burgers in 2014. So it’s safe to assume there would be some gems waiting to be tasted.

The first of our burger inspiration comes from a west coast based burger chain named In-N-Out Burger. They pride themselves on making burgers the original way. At In-N-Out you won’t be seeing frozen products, pre processed items or a menu board with 100 menu choices. Keep it simple, that’s what they do well. Menu items are cooked fresh to order. And the key in my books is that the burger patties are griddled not grilled. When you griddle cook meat you harness the power of maillard and all her reactions. What is the maillard reaction you ask?? Here’s the coles notes, protein + salt + fat + fire/heat = delicious. Some good examples of this are crispy chicken skin, the corner bit of a roast beef, fried cheese just to name a few. Layer that griddled patty between some squishy white bread and tangy sauce and you have a home run. In n Out has been rocking it since 1948 and is 300 locations in. And the next time you find yourself there, try something from the not so secret menu.

For our second American burger shrine, we head to the east coast and chow on burgers from Shake Shack. This burger company actually started out as a hot dog stand in madison square park. And in 2004 became a permanent resident of the park, evolving into burgers, frozen custards and much more. Shake shack sticks to fresh, simple & high quality versions of the classics. Shake is very well known for it’s addictive burger mayo known s “shack sauce”. It’s true you can’t have a memorable burger without an addictive sauce. Shack sauce is a combination of mayo, ketchup, mustards, vinegar & spices. We’ve tried to replicate this with the additions of chili, honey & pickles. We’ve gone mustard heavy with a couple different types to get a pop of mustard flavor. There are so many levels to this sauce as it adds flavor with every bite and moisture to help keep you salivating.

As with all of our menu items we strive to achieve a couple things. Firstly, truly delicious food executed consistently. Secondly, we want our menu items to have a story whether it’s ours or someone else’s. And finally to have our guests be surprised by the aforementioned items. So get down to one of our pubs and wrap your lips around a classic burger, close your eyes and enjoy the humble burger in all its glory.