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Jul 16, 2008 07:53 AM

Those crazy French! How do YOU eat your burger?

This morning';s NY Times has an interessting article about how hamburgers (of all things) are "taking Paris by storm." Yet when they go on to talk about the French burgers, seems they are rarely served with fries, a milk shake, if ordered, is "dessert," and they talk about bread and butter pickles and chiffonade of lettuce being American "standards" that many restaurants are adapting.

You can read for yourself here: If they request that you sign up, hey, you get the NY Times electronically every morning,, and it's FREE! '-


Anyway, for me the bread and butter pickles just didn't ring any bells! And I consider chiffonade of lettuce fast food fare, and a whole lettuce leaf as standard in a sit down restaurant. Oh, and most Frenchmen (according to the article) eat their burgers with a knife and fork. So who needs bread if you eat it that way? (Now, now, let's don't all laugh and point at the same time!)

All of this made me extremely curious how the majority of CH's like their burger? For me, yeah, a sesame seed bun is nice, but I won't refuse to eat a burger without them. But I do insist on medium rare, and DO NOT PRESS DOWN ON THE PATTY WHILE COOKING!

Then I prefer:
The bun toasted on the flat top next to the burger, put the top of the bun on the burger when you flip it, place bun bottom on serving plate and

1. spread with mayyonaise
2. dot with a little yellow mustard
3. 3 large slices of dill pickle
4. a leaf of iceberg lettuce
5. a slice of beefsteak tomato, preferably an heirloom the size of the bun.

Top with the burger and bun top, set a small piece of lettuce on the plate and top with one very thin onion slice. I will taste the onion to see whether it is a sweet onion and/or was cut with the right kind of knife. (Amazing how many places slice onions with a carbon steel blade and create an onion nightmare!) Serve with fries and a bottle of ketchup, along with whatever drink suits my fancy. Oh, and the ketchup goes between the bun top and the burger patty, not on the fries!

So, as a reality check on whether I'm weird, you're weird, or the French are weird, how do you like your burger?

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  1. If I'm grilling, plain ground round and chuck (at the most 70% lean, fattier if possible), grated onion, worcestershire, grilled medium rare, salt and pepper ON TOP and never mixed in with the meat, on toasted Wonder Bread. The bread is a delivery vector for the meat.

    5 Replies
    1. re: monkeyrotica

      freshly ground chuck(mixed with salt,black pepper, and teryaki sauce) from my local butcher, patty cooked medium rare on bun, or kaiser roll.

      Topped with:
      Merkts cheddar
      red onion sliced
      1 slice of tomato
      romaine lettuce
      hellmans mayo

      1. re: monkeyrotica

        oh boy, monkey, you just gave me such a childhood flashback. my mother used to make us burgers on toasted wonder bread. i always had an issue with it because of the shape incongruity, and she'd get nuts when i started performing surgery on the bread, trimming it so that it fit the burger properly.

        eddie murphy didn't like it when his mother did it either. the segment in 'raw' about the "welfare burgers" is one of my all-time favorites...

        "you gonna put it on SQUARE wonder bread?!"

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          When I complained about round burgers on square bread (I was maybe 9?), my mother just made square patties. I think Wendy's copied her. But I was rarely happy with my mom's solutions. I used to ask here where they raised the square cows? My poor mother.

          1. re: Caroline1

            caroline - i told my mother about your "square cow" remark, and she said it sounded like something that would have come out of *my* mouth :)

            ok, to stay OT because the mods removed my last comment...

            i'm a purist when it comes to my burgers - i want to taste the meat. no worcestershire, no onions inside [it's not meatloaf, it's a burger!] just S&P.

            cooked with a perfect char on the outside and rare-plus to barely med-rare inside.

            toppings/condiments vary with mood, but *never* yellow mustard [save it for the hot dogs], and if there's ketchup, it has to be chilled so you have the temperature contrast with the hot burger. you can't go wrong with a slice of perfectly ripe tomato [preferably beefsteak or brandywine] and some red or sweet onion.

            unfortunately these days it's knife & fork for me...gluten-free buns are horrid.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              I agree about gluten free buns. For a while I appeared to be reactive to flour, celiac disease was considered, but after a few months on gluten free bread I tried the real thing again, and have been fine since, so it was likely a transient allergy. Lucky me! Or maybe it was the cost that cured me. Some of the gluten free breads I bought were six to eight dollars a loaf! SMALL loaf!!! And ALL of it tasted like the bread my 9th grade social science teacher described having to eat as a German prisoner of war during WWII. Sawdust!

              I did find some recipes on line that SAID they produced the texture of French bread, but the recipes called for so many esoteric "flours" I never did get them all rounded up to give them a try.

              A knife and fork sound like the best solution! '-)

      2. ground turkey grilled medium rare. some turkey bacon. a sugar free toasted wheat bun. a nice sized piece of romaine~enough to cover the burger. diced tomatoes~really makes the difference. a big hunk of tomato is ick on a burger. freshly ground pepper and sea salt. a slice or 2 of avocado. and a nice dollop of colman's mustard. heaven, i tell ya! absolute heaven.

        2 Replies
        1. re: texanness

          Did I miss a memo? Sorry if this is a stupid question... but since when can we eat ground turkey medium rare? And do you also eat Chicken Breasts medium rare?

          I am not being sarcastic...I am fascinated...truly curious!

          1. re: tapas gal

            i actually do cook my turkey burgers rareish. if that is a word...if not i just made it up. ha! not chicken, tho. do people eat chicken rare or medium rare? hmm...never thought about it. altho, i don't really think it is considered safe to eat any meat rare, is it? i know a lot of restaurants won't offer meat cooked anything other than medium or well done.

        2. Toasted bun, burger done rare to medium rare, topped with swiss cheese, raw red onion. A bit of mayo ( hellmans), ketchup, S/P and I am happy.

          1. ground chuck with Fairway's "Espresso seasoning" (salt, pepper, garlic, onion, and dried espresso), grilled medium. Lightly toasted bun, mayo, horseradish, a dab of ketchup. Cheddar or blue cheese if I'm in the mood. Sometimes lettuce, sometimes tomato.

            Mustard does not belong near my burger.

            1 Reply
            1. re: irishnyc

              Oh my goodness. I have never heard of that Espresso seasoning until now... but I MUST try it! Thanks! We don't have Fairway here, but I guess I could try making it...

              I have grass-finished beef from a local farmer, which my husband (the grillmaster) dunks in cheapie Balsamic vinegar before grilling medium rare. Occaisionally he sticks slivers of garlic into the patty. (That's how he enticed me to start eating ground beef again, btw.) Whatever cheese is handy gets melted on top of the burger after it's been flipped. Sprouted grain bun with a thin spread of mayo & dijon. Lettuce, tomato, good to go!

              Oh, and I'm not into ketchup, by my husband & son just fell in love with the homemade ketchup from the Amish family at our farmer's market. So I think I'll have to learn how to make that for them...

            2. Most often it's a salmon burger on a whole wheat bun (with sesame seeds), mayo, tarragon mustard, a little red onion. Lettuce makes it too slippery.