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What about ordering a hamburger?

foodseek Mar 11, 2008 03:25 PM

There are times when my family and I go out for dinner at a nicer restaurant which has a hamburger on the menu. Since I love hamburgers I enjoy trying ones from these nicer establishments-some have additions one wouldn't find at a diners-be it truffle oil or bleu cheese. But, ,my husband seems somewhat embarrased when I order it and I am sure he would prefer my ordering something a bit more sophisticated. I assume if they didn't want someone ordering a hamburger or take offense to it they shouldn't have it on their menu.
Any thoughts -honestly I am not ordering it because it is less expensive I really love a juicy hamburger. Thanks.

  1. s
    smartie Mar 11, 2008 03:35 PM

    I feel the same way! I wonder if they put them on the menu for the sake of kids or fussy eaters or because they use the same menu for lunch and dinner. But what the heck! Order what you want.

    1. Miss Needle Mar 11, 2008 03:55 PM

      Do you share food with your husband? Perhaps he just doesn't like burgers. Outside of that, you should order what you want.

      1. Passadumkeg Mar 11, 2008 03:56 PM

        Tell him that it is a Salisbury Steak au Pain, smile and enjoy! Lobster is a bottom feeder and ham is a pig's butt!

        1. rednyellow Mar 11, 2008 05:29 PM

          I'd get a new husband.

          3 Replies
          1. re: rednyellow
            diablo Mar 11, 2008 05:38 PM

            LOL rednyellow! Foodseek, I LOVE hamburgers and was actually just stating to a coworker today that I crave them daily. I'm with all of the above--order what you like and enjoy. That's what restaurants are for.

            1. re: diablo
              foodseek Mar 11, 2008 07:03 PM

              Wow this is great news I can order what I want and hold my head up at the same time. I shared responses with husband of 34 years so we shall wait and see the next time my order goes in for a medium rare burger.

              1. re: diablo
                bubbles4me Mar 12, 2008 07:40 AM

                I'm with diablo in that I crave a great burger at least once a day! A great burger can be the slop monster from the corner walk up window joint or the high end kobe style with fancy toppings, when done properly in my eyes it is one of the worlds perfect foods so have at it!!! My last day in Paris after a 2 week work trip all over France, (wine buying trip so lots of great food) I sat in a bistro and had....a burger, fries and a glass of Champagne and I was soooo happy!

            2. Sam Fujisaka Mar 11, 2008 07:07 PM

              I'm with you 100%. Order those burgers and enjoy--but post your rating system for good burgers!

              3 Replies
              1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                foodseek Mar 12, 2008 11:12 AM

                My rating system includes a juicy patty grilled or charbroiled with a "crusty" exterior prepared medium rare. Extra points for sides of crisp lettuce,ripe,red tomato, and slice of raw red or yellow onion. If not added while cooking, I will add black pepper.Grilled onions and "gourmet" toppings are now being explored and I do enjoy a bit of bleu cheese on occasion. Although I prefer a soft bun, I have enjoyed everything from a baguette to an English muffin. Not a fan of special sauces-ketchup is ok at times. Good fries are a plus but not a deal breaker. My favorite burgers over the years include in no particular order: Zuni Cafe,Balboa Cafe,Maxs Diner, Mamas, Big Four,Bills/Clement St.,Eureka, Bistro Burger-San Francisco.Moonshadow (lovely view area)
                Malibu,FathersOffice,Boa,FatBurger, Cassell's Los Angeles/Santa Monica. I also like In/Out burgers but a burger for me can be enjoyed at a sit down restaurant on fine china or a walkup spot equally as well.

                1. re: foodseek
                  tatertotsrock Mar 15, 2008 07:18 PM

                  Then you've gotta try the burger at GRACE.
                  Classy place, beautiful burger...and a wine list that will make your burger so happy!
                  Oh my goodness, perfect bun, soft packed juicey and flavorful meat...mmm...bring your own ketchup cuz theirs is icky.
                  We've done Burger Night there with 6 people, ordered 2 amazing bottles of wine...all was great in our world.

                  1. re: tatertotsrock
                    tatertotsrock Mar 17, 2008 10:37 PM

                    So...I went to GRACE on Sunday after a long day of too much physical exertion...craving a good glass of red wine and a burger.
                    Well, not as super as it used to be...however...sitting at the bar, the service was PERFECT, the Southern Rhone Red was amazing and went perfectly with the burger...I was so hungry that I forgot to pick up some ketchup on the way so I didn't eat my fries or half of my burger so I could enjoy at home with some good ol' Heinz57 (I really can't stand that horrible stuff that they want to pass off as ketchup).
                    The bun wasn't as good as I remembered it but the meat was AMAZING! This was the first time that I had ordered the burger without cheese...I was just really craving some meaty goodness...soo good! Just finished the re-warmed-up-in-the-toaster-over half from last night and it was till ooozzy with juices...mmm!
                    I really think I will continue to go for their burger because where else can you enjoy a beautiful glass of wine with your burger without a loud crowd of scenesters shoving you for a seat.
                    I also had to order a soup and a glass of Sylvaner to start becuase I just couldn't resist.
                    Grace never disappoints.
                    Service is always great and Sunday was no different...the bartenders are wonderful!

              2. Paul Weller Mar 11, 2008 07:34 PM

                I sometimes order them for lunch at "nicer restaurant". I do this because I can order them medium rare. Everywhere seems to burn them to a crisp because of ecoli and food bourne illness concerns.

                1. Caroline1 Mar 11, 2008 11:16 PM

                  Seperate tables is the only reasonable answer short of divorce! I LOVE good hamburgers. But my experience is they're very hard to find. I am now trying to screw up the courage to order a wagyu (American kobe) beef burger. My reluctance and fear is that it will be disappointing.

                  From another perspective, you know you're getting old when you can remember when all McDonald's hamburgers were dry aged beef.

                  1. QueenB Mar 12, 2008 06:19 AM

                    If you like it, order it and enjoy it. If they didn't want you to have a hamburger, they wouldn't put it on the menu.

                    1. scubadoo97 Mar 12, 2008 07:05 AM

                      Certainly, order what you want but I do understand as I have a running joke with my wife. She almost always orders the tuna in restaurant. I mean there is nothing wrong with rare tuna but it could be made almost anywhere and it would taste about the same as long as it was a good piece of tuna. Really raw tuna has very little flavor on it's own. The sauces are almost always Asian wasabi based. The same would be true if she ordered a NY strip all the time. It's not about sophistication or me being embarrased but I would love to see her be more daring and try other dishes but she orders what she wants.

                      1. j
                        Janet from Richmond Mar 12, 2008 07:39 AM

                        I do the exact same thing and while my husband isn't embarrassed, he doesn't understand it because he's not a burger hound the way I am. With better metabolism, I'd have a big medium rare cheeseburger every day. Order your burger and enjoy :-)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Janet from Richmond
                          Cheflambo Mar 12, 2008 07:52 AM

                          I'm with you all on this one. Significant Other and I had lunch at a local sushi place last month. He ordered a sushi plate and I had a kobe burger. He looked doubtful, but didn't ridicule my choice (wise man!). My burger was excellent, and I wound up having to cut him a bite or two to taste.

                          I agree with Janet from Richmond - if my aging metabolism weren't working against me, I'd enjoy a burger more often. When I make them at home, I use the best possible meat I can find, and mix it with tasty seasonings before grilling carefully. If I can only have it once in a while, I want it to be really special.

                        2. Veggo Mar 12, 2008 08:35 AM

                          Let's not cast the hamburger as an inferior good. Some great examples, in ascending order of price:
                          1) Louis' lunch, New Haven. Basic burger is $4.50. The Lassen family has been grinding sirloin and grilling it on a clever vertical contraption for 113 years.
                          2) Basic unadorned Smith & Wollensky burger is $15, but very good.
                          3) The classic "21" Club burger, with the pat of tarragon butter in the center, is now $30, including some sides.
                          4) Old Homestead Steakhouse at the Boca Raton Resort & Club- $100 for the American-Kobe-Argentinian burger. $10 is donated to charity.

                          1. jfood Mar 12, 2008 08:47 AM

                            There are two restaurants that come to mind in jfood's neck of the woods that have "regular" entrees with a burger tucked into the menu, and one of the burgers is a $22 piece de resistance.

                            And at one of the restaurants on a saturday night if you look at other tables you will see that the burger occupies about 30% of the ordered dishes. So you are not alone.

                            Sometime a great burger for dinner is like a good warm hug.

                            Go for it.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: jfood
                              cleanyerplate Mar 12, 2008 09:36 AM

                              New husband. Nicer restaurants have hamburgers on the menu because they make them /well/. They are there to be ordered and enjoyed.

                              1. re: jfood
                                LindaWhit Mar 17, 2008 10:32 AM

                                "Sometime a great burger for dinner is like a good warm hug."

                                Brilliant. :-)

                              2. d
                                dolores Mar 12, 2008 09:51 AM

                                foodseek, your meal, your choice.

                                1. ipsedixit Mar 12, 2008 09:52 AM

                                  If we see a good hamburger on a menu, oftentimes we'll order it as an appetizer and split it.

                                  That way, we get to try the burger, and have full exposure to the other entree items.

                                  20 Replies
                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                    Caroline1 Mar 12, 2008 11:15 AM

                                    Did that the other day at lunch with a friend. The unnamed chain had "mini hamburgers" on the menu, four of them to an order. A strange experience for me because they smelled disgusting. Like old fashioned canned dog food smells on a German Shephard's breath! But they tasted really good! I have one in a ziplock bag in the freezer, and it still smells like dog food through the plastic after it's frozen! Curiouser and curiouser...

                                    1. re: Caroline1
                                      Catskillgirl Mar 14, 2008 03:24 PM

                                      LOL! That reminds me of going into a White Castle in Queens with DH - he loved their hamburgers - the smell made me nauseous. But he swore they were really delicious. From then on we did drive-through, and I would indulge in their fish sandwiches,which were very tasty. They were all very small, like your mini's.

                                      1. re: Caroline1
                                        danhole Mar 17, 2008 09:14 AM

                                        Were they sliders? Little burgers smothered in cooked onions? I think they smell like really bad BO, but they do taste good.

                                        1. re: danhole
                                          Catskillgirl Mar 17, 2008 12:18 PM

                                          Yes. What a stench. But I know that lots of people (well, millions of people!) love them. I once attended a formal lawn party in Westchester - a butler running the show, waiters complete with white gloves serving hors off of silver platters... and serving little White Castle burgers. I'm still giggling many, many years later! It was a birthday party for a teen-age girl, and that's what she wanted!

                                          1. re: Catskillgirl
                                            jfood Mar 17, 2008 12:26 PM


                                            WC makes the best hamburgers and those soggy buns are to die for.

                                            BUT, if you are going to call them slyders, please use the correct spelling with a "y" and not an "i".


                                            Love those guys and jfood remembers them back to $0.08 per.

                                            1. re: jfood
                                              Caroline1 Mar 17, 2008 12:35 PM

                                              They may be "slyders" at White Castle, but they're "sliders" every place else! You gotta get out more, Jay! '-)

                                              1. re: Caroline1
                                                jfood Mar 17, 2008 12:42 PM

                                                Thanks C,

                                                mrs jfood says he travels too much, and has the gold cards and mileage to prove it..

                                                The reason they are sliders everywhere else is that little "R in a circle" that follows slyders. Champs (a sports bar chain) had four sliders on a skewer. Jfood ordered them in boston once, not bad, but a slider is not a slyder.

                                                And BBQ up here ain't no Sonny Bryan's, either. Jfood used to export 30 pounds of ribs and beef back to NJ monthly for the family in the 60's. Man jfood misses those guys. Made lots of friends and enemies on AA flights from DFW to EWR. :-))

                                                So jfood tries to stick with the originals.

                                                1. re: jfood
                                                  Caroline1 Mar 17, 2008 01:10 PM

                                                  Well, Sonny Bryant's may not be what it used to be. The one closest to me only serves beef ribs on Mondays, when it's all you can eat. Well, all you can eat until other people beat you to them. When they're gone, they're gone. Mine were early in the day, so no excuse that they were end of the line orphans. If I couldn't barbecue beef ribs better than that, I'd take up cab driving! They were burnt around the edges, which reduced them to rock!

                                                  But that's okay. I've found one place that makes kobe burgers that are simply incredible. Who needs Sonny Bryant! '-)

                                                  1. re: Caroline1
                                                    jfood Mar 17, 2008 01:13 PM

                                                    what a shame, sonny's on inwood would smoke them overnight and the guy in need of a good dentist and always smoking a cigarette was a caricature and a wonderful guy.

                                                    Another memory that needs to stay put.

                                                    1. re: jfood
                                                      Caroline1 Mar 17, 2008 02:23 PM

                                                      Sometimes memories are the best places to dine. <sigh>

                                                      1. re: jfood
                                                        Scargod Mar 18, 2008 10:01 AM

                                                        OMG! Don't tell me you lived in Dallas? I remember cutting class (in high school) and getting a sandwich (and sometimes a beer, if we were lucky) at Sonny Bryant's on Inwood. That habit started about 1965. I ate Q there last year on a visit back home. It's as if it's in a time warp. Not a thing has changed.

                                                        1. re: Scargod
                                                          jfood Mar 18, 2008 10:20 AM

                                                          Never lived there but major client had HQ there and visited once a month. The Inwood location was right next to the Salvation Army (still might be for all jfood knows). Quite a site with 4 guys in 3-piece suits eating ribs on the hood of a rental car.

                                                          BTW - no "T" in Sonny Bryan's. There is a "T" for Arthur Bryant's KC stuff up the road.

                                                          1. re: jfood
                                                            Caroline1 Mar 18, 2008 12:22 PM

                                                            I did it. I added the "t". Sometimes I type too fast and don't proof read. Shame on me!

                                                            1. re: jfood
                                                              Scargod Mar 18, 2008 05:40 PM

                                                              Correct. I felt funny as I typed it, but that might have been me having flashbacks or was triggered by my Q depravation.

                                                      2. re: jfood
                                                        soupkitten Mar 17, 2008 01:17 PM

                                                        lol jfood-- if you're going to bring champps into it don't forget the 2nd "p"! ;-)

                                                        1. re: soupkitten
                                                          jfood Mar 17, 2008 01:22 PM


                                                          Does it really? Never even noticed the second "p". When jfood ate there it was usually out of desperation since it was the resto in the lobby of the Marriott in Boston and probably the only thing open when jfood arrived late at night. Just checked the Marriott web-site and it's actually "Champions Sports Bar" so must have gone a little upscale to charge more.

                                                          C'est la Vie

                                                    2. re: jfood
                                                      danhole Mar 17, 2008 12:45 PM

                                                      I had no idea even what they were until Brucesw talked about them on the Texas board, and he spelled it that way. Also we had a new place open up here and that's how they spell it, too. There are no White castles around these parts, except in the freezer section, and I don't remember it saying "slyders" on the box. But now I know!

                                                      1. re: danhole
                                                        jfood Mar 17, 2008 12:50 PM

                                                        jfood started eating them in 1960 and did not know they were a "Y" until 3 years ago. Not to worry, More important is to enjoy those four bites.

                                                  2. re: danhole
                                                    Caroline1 Mar 17, 2008 12:42 PM

                                                    Yup. But these didn't smell like really bad BO. They smelled like a dog with terminal halitosis from really cheap dog food. I gave serious thought to not touching them, then remembered they weren't free. Chile's really needs to serve them with an air purifier right on the plate!

                                                    1. re: Caroline1
                                                      Catskillgirl Mar 17, 2008 03:10 PM

                                                      "I gave serious thought to not touching them, then remembered they weren't free." LOL! I feel the same way - if I paid for it, I'd better at least try to eat it! LOLOL!

                                              2. Barbarella Mar 12, 2008 11:05 AM

                                                Go for the burger. Forget the husband, why should he care what tickels your fancy that evening??? Why be made to order something you don't feel like eating?

                                                1. thew Mar 13, 2008 07:55 PM

                                                  the hamburger is a perfect food, a worthy subject for zen like contemplation, or a passion to rival the Cassanova's. Hold your head up high. Anyone who would look down on ordering a burger is blind to the sublime, and insensitive to the small glories and perfections of the world. Ok... the cheeseburger

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: thew
                                                    Passadumkeg Mar 14, 2008 04:20 PM

                                                    Agreed! Don't forget the chile dog is up there too.

                                                  2. Caroline1 Mar 14, 2008 09:15 PM

                                                    Had my very first kobe burger the other day. I've heretofore avoided them feeling using wagyu/kobe-style beef for a burger is a travesty. I am now of the "If the steer doesn't give a damn, why should I?" school of thought. I ordered it rare, and for 12 bucks a pop I don't try to delude myself it was top grade wagyu by any stretch of the imagination. But.... It was the very best hamburger I have had in years and years and years! But keep in mind, I'm of a vintage that remembers when ALL McDonald's burgers were made with dry aged beef. These days good burgers are very hard to find.

                                                    8 Replies
                                                    1. re: Caroline1
                                                      Passadumkeg Mar 15, 2008 03:44 AM

                                                      Isn't that the truth. Our youngest son and I used go on "burger hunts" on Sat. nights when he was 16. All local joints, no chains. Maybe better restaurants are the way to go; the last refuge of a good berger. Interesting. Fries too.

                                                      1. re: Caroline1
                                                        thew Mar 15, 2008 04:51 AM

                                                        theres a brazillian place on the upper east side of manhattan that does a fab kobe burger.. it ain't cheap something like 20 or 25 bucks.. but SOOOOO good

                                                        1. re: thew
                                                          MMRuth Mar 15, 2008 05:21 AM

                                                          What's the name of the place? Thanks.

                                                          1. re: MMRuth
                                                            thew Mar 15, 2008 06:05 AM

                                                            buzina pop on 73rd and lex

                                                        2. re: Caroline1
                                                          jhopp217 Mar 15, 2008 11:40 PM

                                                          I have noticed many a menu recently changing the "angus" to "kobe" and I truly wonder if there is any governing body to try and keep up with this. Then again, I know people who have had the real deal and hvae told me the only difference in Japanese Kobe and American Kobe is the price. When asked about the taste difference that said, once it's grilled the taste difference is lost.

                                                          1. re: jhopp217
                                                            chazzerking Mar 18, 2008 09:12 AM

                                                            American Kobe is a registered trademark. It has to be cut from 100% Wagyu cattle and there are rules about culture(feed and grazing, etc.) Japanese Kobe must come from Wagyu cattle grown in the Kobe district, according to very strict methods of cultivation, including diet, massage, low stress environment, etc. They attempted to ban export of any live cattle or even any Wagyu sperm, but human ingenuity and greed being what it is, some got out and became the progenitors of American wagyu herds. It's good stuff, but, I believe that there may be some resto's that feel the need/priviledge to put "Wagyu" on the menu, when it's not really so, so that they can charge more. truthfully, it's kind of a waste to grind Wagyu or Kobe, as the real strenght of those is their tenderness, and rich taste, which can be achieved with the style and recipe of grinding with regular prime or even choice cuts. The real difference in these is most evident in cuts that have great flavor, but are ordinairily tough. A Kobe flank steak or a strip really work the best IMO. A filet is almost mushy, it's so soft and highly marbled.

                                                          2. re: Caroline1
                                                            luniz Mar 17, 2008 02:42 PM

                                                            $12 is a decent price these days...where was that?

                                                            1. re: luniz
                                                              Caroline1 Mar 17, 2008 06:35 PM

                                                              Humperdink's in Richardson. Scroll down to the bottom:


                                                          3. Walla2WineWoman Mar 15, 2008 06:27 PM

                                                            foodseek, I agree with you. If management didn't want someone to order a burger then it wouldn't be on the menu. I have had some "sophisticated" burgers that were priced just as much as some of the other items on the menu. And the beef was not the usual - always no-added hormones or antibiotics and 100% vegetarian diet. Even burgers from cows who dined on the pomace (grape must) of cabernet wine (cow-bernet) Yes, bleu cheese, frizzled shallots on a burger with a side of sweet potatoe fries are heaven.

                                                            1. danhole Mar 17, 2008 09:21 AM

                                                              I live for burgers! I think it is a throwback to the days when my parents managed bowling alleys. One had a diner with incredible fresh made burgers, and another had a good old grill and I could make myself a burger whenever I wanted. Now I find I really enjoy some of the odd/new flavor combinations they have come up with, and try them whenever I can. I also agree about the fact that you are getting a better quality of meat, and you can have it cooked medium rare! But I pass on the fries. They usually will offer a vegetable or side salad instead. That makes it "healthy" right?

                                                              1. Scargod Mar 17, 2008 09:58 AM

                                                                My partner is the real hamburger freak. She loves a really rare hamburger. I think she would like steak tartare on a bun, with fixin's, if she could get it. Ordering a rare hamburger is nothing for the faint-hearted. That is why she has only a couple of higher-end restaurants that she deems capable and acceptable. They have to grind their own hamburger meat. Sometimes I give her a very funny look when she orders one. "You have all this exquisite food on the menu to choose from", I say. But she'll say, "that's what I'm in the mood for!"
                                                                Otherwise, I grind sirloin (or better) and make them myself. I have been known to debone a porterhouse and use that. And, boy am I in the dog house if I overcook it!

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Scargod
                                                                  dolores Mar 17, 2008 10:46 AM

                                                                  Scargod, unless they're awful, I am not picky on hamburgers or the bun or the fixings. But I'm with your gf, it has to be rare, if not raw. To me, food nirvana is a rare hamburger and a crunchy hot dog.

                                                                  In the old days, there used to be a place locally in Westchester that had steak tartare. It was a sophisticated blue hair type of place and I remember the sophistication of the dish, with the onion and the capers. Yum. No more, sadly. I think the health dept. would !SWARM! on anyone who ordered it.

                                                                  Since I eat my london broil raw before I cook it for hubby, I so concur with the (savage?) goodness of rare almost raw hamburger.

                                                                2. manraysky Mar 17, 2008 04:02 PM

                                                                  I live across the street from a nice, fairly expensive restaurant. There's a burger on the menu. Last time I went, I kind of wanted to order it, but I felt a bit silly getting the burger. As I was eating my lovely non-burger entree, I couldn't help but notice quite a few burgers being brought out to other guests.

                                                                  So next time I'm going to get over myself and order the burger.

                                                                  1. PaulaT Mar 18, 2008 10:54 AM

                                                                    I would say that I would order a hamburger from a fancy place cause that is the only place I can get good beef cooked the way I like it! Try ordering 90-10 beef cooked rare from a Mickie D's! Yes I said rare - E. coli or no- If the restaurant is good, with great beef - they bought it that day from their supplier that didn't mass produce and freeze everything.

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