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Jun 13, 2011 06:06 PM

Deep-fried hamburgers

Yes, they exist. When I grew up on the north shore of Chicago, there was (still is) a local chain of restaurants called "Hackney's". Hackney's was/is a nice place. Dark rooms, tablecloths, a bit fancy. But their fry station....oh la la. They deep fried burgers in lard. Also onion strings (which I sorely miss from Olives...but that's another thread). Hackney's no longer fries their burgers. *sigh*

Watch City Brewing in Waltham now serves deep fried burgers. They batter dip theirs before frying (not quite right, in my book) and they're OK. Would be better in lard and without batter.

Anyone know where else one can find deep find burgers (with or without batter)?

PS. My mom claims that North Shore Congregation Israel (also near Chicago) used to have a cook who everyone loved because his burgers were soooooo good. Guess what his secret was? When they found out he was using lard (this might have been OK as the Congregation was Reform), the cook got the boot.

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  1. I think Tasty Burger has a deep fried burger called the "Blue Collar". I believe it's battered.

    Tasty Burger
    1301 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

    9 Replies
    1. re: FastTalkingHighTrousers

      The burger place in davis has one too, the name eludes me.

      I do it a lot at home. My ultimate creation is a real heart attack on a plate - chicken fried burger topped with white cream gravy, chicken friend bacon & fried pickles.

      1. re: jgg13

        Ah...Boston Burger Company does have a beer batter burger called the Artery Clogger. Mmmm....

        1. re: hondodog

          I've had it, and it's pretty excellent, actually. The burger is surprisingly tender and not overwhelmingly "fried"; I was afraid it'd taste like a state fair "burger on a stick", but it wasn't nearly as heavy and greasy as I expected.

          1. re: Boston_Otter

            i had it way back when, but back then i thought all their burgers were crap so my dislike of this one wasn't that big of a deal. I've heard that they've gotten a lot better over the years though, I should give htem another try.

            1. re: jgg13

              Well, given that they've only been open for two years, and the Artery Clogger was added to the menu a few months after they opened, the place hasn't exactly changed much in that time; the burgers, beans, and chips are exactly the same as they were two years ago, honestly. Which, personally, I'm just fine with. They're expanding to double the size of the restaurant, so we'll see how that affects service.

              1. re: Boston_Otter

                Was it really a few months? IIRC I went pretty much right after it opened and a couple of times soon after that.

                My experience was that they clearly had no idea how to properly cook a burger medium rare, which IMO is an almost forgiveable offense in a typical restaurant but not a burger restaurant.

      2. re: FastTalkingHighTrousers

        You da man. Yes, Tasty Burger does have a Blue Collar which is batter-fried.

        Tasty Burger
        1301 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

        1. re: hondodog

          I'd never tried it until today. I was inspired by your quest so I went in and tried it. It was tasty but I foolishly ordered a double. As I was ordering it I was thinking: "Don't order a double dumdum're gonna hurt yourself.".
          Indeed it did hurt. No one should consume more than one deep fried patty before noon. It was delicious but I'll be regret it right around 2pm coffee time. Learn from my mistake: stick with the single and good luck on your noble journey!

          1. re: FastTalkingHighTrousers

            Oh my gosh. A double deep-fried burger. It just never occurred to me that such a thing could exist. You must have a constitution of iron. Good luck with your afternoon!

            "It hurts so good."

      3. Surprised the cook got the boot in a reformed congregation for that...I've had meals at reformed Jewish functions where bacon and even shellfish figured fairly prominently. No doubt about it...Lard is great stuff, and not unhealthy used in moderation. Even healthier, I'm told, than some other options. Perhaps that particular congregation was more tradition leaning. Nothing wrong with that.

        But back to main topic...I don't know where you might find one prepared in that manner, but will confirm that one of the best burgers I ever had was a deep fried one. It wasn't wasn't even all beef (it had about 10% pork mixed in as well as some very subtle seasoning). While not battered, it _did_ have a dip and a press into some bread crumbs before going into the fryer.
        It was a tasty, juicy, succulent burger. That was in Spencer, Iowa in the early 1970's.
        I've made them myself on occasion a few times since first tasting them prepared that way. Delicious.

        14 Replies
        1. re: The Professor

          Iowa seems like a sensible place for such food. Even now parts around Cedar Rapids are famous for wildly large pork loins which which are hammered thin, breaded, deep-fried, then inserted between two normal pieces of bread (while the meat hangs out for inches in every direction). A place like that would probably view a deep fried hamburger as a kind of diet food.

          This is making me very hungry....

          1. re: hondodog

            I always viewed the tenderloin sandwich as more of an indiana thing

            1. re: jgg13

              It's found in both Iowa and Indiana and not really anywhere else. And in both states it is one of the most delicious things in the universe.

              1. re: maillard

                I went to college in Bloomington, Indiana and never saw a pork sandwich like that there, either.....

                1. re: C. Hamster

                  That's a pity, because you were close to amazing sandwiches twice! Bloomington is fairly close to Indianapolis, which has tons of awesome BPTSs. And Cedar Rapids is pretty close to the one place I've had one in Iowa, Joensy's in Solon.

                  To bring this back on topic, when ASSBar first opened I had high hopes that they'd do a tenderloin sandwich, even just as an occasional special. As far as I know, they never have, though. It's a shame. We have giant pork tenderloins and tiny buns here. It's totally possible!

                  1. re: maillard

                    Are those fried tenderloin things on tiny buns? I thought they were on normal-sized buns, it was the fried meat that was monstrous...

                    1. re: hondodog

                      The ones I've seen in my travels are on those store-brand-style hamburger rolls that come 8 to a package. So the bun isn't slider-sized or anything, but it's around the size of, say, a McDonald's cheeseburger.

                    2. re: maillard

                      Lived in Indy and go back to Indy and Iowa once in awhile and honestly have never once seen one. Not one of those well-known regional delicacies like Chicago Italian beef or New Jersey rippers.

                      Intriguing, though.

                  2. re: maillard

                    Funny...Illinois is wedged in between Indiana and Iowa, and has plenty of hogs, but not this particular dish. 'Tis a shame.

                    But then, we Illini have deep fried catfish served on Wonder bread: nothing better while shooting a game of pool.

                    1. re: hondodog

                      I grew up in Illinois and we ate tenderloin sandwiches. Illinois is a pretty big state, though; I think a lot of regional cuisine depends on which part you're in. In our neck of the woods, we also ate our Italian beef shredded rather than sliced. :-)

                  3. re: hondodog

                    I grew up in Cedar Rapids and never saw such a sandwich there.

                    Maidrites, yes. But not such a pork thing.

                    You did see pork like that out in the hinterlands (Amana, etc) but not always as a sandwich. You could make it into one if you wanted as a plate of Wonderbread is a common alternative to a bread basket there.

                    My arteries are closing at the thought of a deep fried burger... But I'd love a bite of one.

                    1. re: C. Hamster

                      Go when I was in the kitchen my restaurant owner went to Indy and came back with this idea said every bar had them its like a pork cube steak out of the pork sirloin breaded in a clam fry we could not keep up with people love this fried item on butter grilled roll with spicy salsa verde lto friend of mine from indy came in to premeal to give the history of his local bar who was to have best is the state

                      1. re: C. Hamster

                        OMG maidrites. I had a friend from Quincy and the maidrites there are great!

                  4. The Sidebar near Downtown Crossing serves what they call the Triple B (beer battered, barbecue, bacon cheesburger). I've never tried it, but I've watched in horror as my coworkers have attempted it a few times.

                    1. Every modernist cook knows that the correct way to make hamburger is to cook the patty sous vide, drop it in liquid nitrogen, *then* deep fry it.


                      3 Replies
                      1. re: FoodDabbler

                        wow....I'll pass on that one.

                        I know that I'm probably in the minority here, but sous vide cooking has to be one of the worst things to happen to good food in recent years. I've had a few dishes cooked that way in various places (I gave it an honest chance...I WANTED to like it) but none were very good...I cant even imagine what it would do to the humble hamburger.
                        But hey...what do I know...

                        1. re: The Professor

                          I believe that the Haven in JP has a deep fried hamburger (and deep fried everything else) on Wednesday nights.

                          Professor, I have to disagree. I think sous vide is one of the best things to happen to good food recently. I've had a lot of fun playing with my Sous Vide Supreme at home, and have enjoyed many sous vide preps in restaurants. If you go to expensive restaurants in major cities, I suspect you have too, even if they weren't identified as such. From being able to access the unique textures of a slow-cooked egg, to making sure that a piece of meat is properly cooked all the way through, sous vide is just tool that enables a chef to control the cooking temperature precisely over time. It's not magic, but it just opens up more possibilities. I've never tried a hamburger made that way (not to my knowledge anyway) but I'll give it a try at home. J. Kenji Alt wrote a nice article about this:


                          1. re: lipoff

                            No problem, we can agree to disagree. I'll keep an open mind and maybe somewhere along the line I'll have a sous vide prepared dish that will blow me away.
                            It just hasn't happened yet.