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Or "Salad (with meat) on a Bun"? How can they call it a hamburger? They pile on all sorts of garbage to disguise the fact that the "main ingredient", hamburger, is a small, dried out, tasteless piece of meat that is totally out of proportion to the rest of the sandwich.
When I get a hamburger I want to be able to taste the beefiness of the meat. I want the natural juices running down my wrists and chin. I will add only what enhances the flavor, not cover it up. If I want a salad, I'll order it separately.

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  1. then you need to go to Louis' Lunch. : )

    6 Replies
      1. re: mucho gordo

        New Haven, CT. I'm not trying to engender a true/false controversy, but it is reported to be the birthplace of the modern hamburger. I think credence is lent to this by the fact that, to this day, the burgers are served on toast, since at the time they started making burgers, buns were not commercially available, since hamburgers weren't remotely common. They are broiled in antique ovens, on vertical wire grills so that the grease drips away. The meat is ground there, daily. The burgers are served with (upon request ONLY), cheese, tomato or onion. The burgers are not served with condiments, on the theory that they just disguise the beefy juicey goodness of the meat. If you ask for ketchup, you will be informed (politely) that neither that nor other condiments are available, nor are they encouraged on a bring-yer-own level. Frankly, I think it would be wrecking the experience to go there and try to eat it any other way than how they want you to try it, after all, that's why you're there, right? At any rate: when I ate there, it was delicious. It was one DAMN. FINE. BURGER. It lacked absolutely nothing. good luck in your sojourn, but if you get the chance, go there.

        1. re: mamachef

          Been there; done that, mama. I'm from Hamden and had forgotten about the place after 50 years in SoCal

          1. re: mucho gordo

            I'm an old Hamdenite also. The original Louis Lunch we remember as the little brick building on George St. is no longer - it relocated to Crown St. They still grind their sirloin each morning.

            1. re: Veggo

              But unlike most restaurants that change locations, the Lassens took the building with them from George St to Crown Street.

              Same thing happened with Drescher's in Waterbury, building and business moved,

              1. re: bagelman01

                No small feat, and a nice commitment to preserving history and nostalgia. On another thread you have me craving Ashley's sweet cream ice cream from its original location near Louis' , which as I recall was named for Ashley, a frisbee-catching dog.

    1. I've always been able to order a hamburger without cheese or sauce.

      I am also able to remove all of those "salad" ingredients from the hamburger so I can taste the beefiness. I use my fingers to do the removal. My fingers are always with me.

      Sometimes, I do make those removed ingredients into a salad, sometimes I share those items with someone else and sometimes I throw those ingredients away.

      I just don't talk about it online.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Cathy

        At least, not until now. . . .

        1. re: Cathy

          Unfortunately most hamburgers have all the beefiness cooked out of them. It isn't easy to find a place that will do them right.

          1. re: mucho gordo

            Well. That has nothing to do with the added 'salad' and not calling it a hamburger. Iit never was a hamburger.

            1. re: Cathy

              Yep. Totally different issues. I find at other than fast food places, the toppings are to the side and the burger can be dressed or not as one pleases. Generally I'll put some of the "salad"on the burger (as I would lettuce and tomato on bacon) and leave some on the side.

        2. I stopped by a place (Father & Son in Linden) that features hot dogs and hamburgers. The hamburgers were those frozen patties from Restaurant Depot.

          Yes, It had plenty of salad.

          1. Eat, and let eat.

            Different strokes for different folks I suppose.

            For those that prefer "all sorts of garbage" on their burgers, they might consider your approach to burgers too minimalistic -- and might say that you might as well stick a steak between a bun and have at it if all you want is "to taste the beefiness of the meat."

            I'm ok with both approaches, as long as the patty is well formed and not a "dried out, tasteless piece of meat".

            If it is a quality burger patty (e.g. good premium chuck with good fat ratio), there's nothing wrong with some caramlized onions, relish or chutney, etc.

            For example, at Morton's Steakhouse in Los Angeles (yes, the chain), they make a great burger that comes topped with fresh tomatoes, onions, sauteed mushrooms, cheddar, and bacon. The patty is 100% Prime Sirloin. And everything comes together just perfectly. Now, you might consider the tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, cheese and bacon a pretty good "salad" but -- you know what? -- that salad sure made the burger tasty.

            1. When in St. Louis, patronize O'Connell's Pub.

              1. We have a dumpy diner/lounge called Kelly's Sports Bar here in the ""Hills."

                The burgers are bar none the best I've ever had: thick, juicey and ridiculously large. I go there about once or twice month with my friend, and have been going there for about twelve years.

                This is rancher/biker country. They take their burgers very seriously, lol.

                1. Growing up, my late father always told me, that you only order hamburger in a place that serves a lot of steak. They were more likely to grind their own from trimmings.
                  Local exception is Louis Lunch who grinds their own meat.

                  I never order a burger that is not at least 6 oz, or I expect to be served a tasteless hockey puck.

                  If the restaurant won't serve it rare, I don't order. Places that use thin and or frozen patties are reluctant to take a 'rare' order as they will overcook the patty and get it back.

                  The only condiments I eat on a burger are salt, pepper or A-1 sauce. salad belongs on the side not on the burger.

                  Lastly, I tend to eat my burger with knife and fork, leaving the bun behind when I am finished (due to a white flour intolerance).

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: bagelman01

                    Hold the A-1 on mine, please. It's too vinegary for me and overpowers the taste of the meat.
                    There's only one place in this area I would recommend; Boulevard Burgers. They fix it exactly the way I want it:; damn near raw.

                    1. re: mucho gordo

                      It sounds like you're really particular about your burger. Do like we do and grind your own. We haven't eaten a burger in a restaurant in several years and have no plans to. Just returned from Rio yesterday and that was our first dinner at home. Did add a little grilled onions and a dab of gorgonzola. No salad :) S&P but I'd never desecrate it with any other seasonings.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        Yeah, grilled onions and cheese are the only way to go. You're right; I am particular about my burgers and all the food I eat. Basically, I don't use any condiments that overpower the main ingredient; anything with a tomato or vinegar base.

                      2. re: mucho gordo

                        MG, I posted salt, pepper OR A-1, only A-1 in desparation and sparingly if salt and pepper is not available. I don't eat ketchup in any form on or in anything, and am allergic to mustard.

                        At home I grind my own beef, lamb or veal for burgers.................

                        1. re: bagelman01

                          Lotsa pepper on mine, please. I wasn't aware that A-1 was an option at most burger places. I guess I just never paid any attention to that.

                          1. re: mucho gordo

                            Since, I don't eat burgers at most burger places, I wouldn't know about the availability of A-!. I started with my father's instruction to only order hamburger at a place that sells a lot of steak....
                            I would expect a steak place to have A-1 (or their own steak sauce).

                            1. re: bagelman01

                              Good advice, however, why would anyone want to order a burger at a steakhouse unless it's for the kids?

                              1. re: mucho gordo

                                #1 Lunch
                                #2 Dental Problems
                                #3 Time constraints: before or after theatre
                                #4 just feel like a burger/sandwich

                                1. re: bagelman01

                                  Good points, Bagelman. I can relate to #2. I wasn't thinking.

                    2. Recently made burgers with a disc of thyme butter in the center of each patty, a heavy dusting of a chile powder-based rub, and a heavy spread of homemade pimento cheese spread. Some of the best burgers I've ever eaten.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                        Knock it off with the food porn, Perilagu. Pimiento cheese spread, is like, the best thing in the world on a good burger, and I love the thyme butter. Bet the chili rub brought out the flavors of the cheese, too.

                        1. re: mamachef

                          I gotta say, I may never have heard about a pimento cheese burger without CH. Directly I read about it on this site, I had to whomp up a load and give it a whirl. The butter and chili rub are personal touches. Ground beef ecstacy on a bun, it is.