I was a very picky eater when I was a kid. I avoided anything green, and hated trying anything deviating from my own set menu. When my family went out, my parents would look for any restaurant that had the “Jackie Seal of Approval.” Chicken fingers and pasta was a safe bet. I wouldn’t eat a sandwich if I saw a peep of lettuce. And now I don’t think the younger me would believe her eyes if she saw me now trying eel, oxtail, or even a stalk of asparagus.
One of the many foods I hated then and love now are burgers. Juicy, warm patty, complemented by an array of condiments on a tasty bun. Today there are so many up and coming burger joints that invent amazing creations for me to try. Since I was already in the city to meet up with some friends, I decided to first hit up a favorite burger joint of mine, Bareburger. Located on the corner of 34th street and 31st ave., I always stop by when I’m in the area to try one of their unique, organic, gluten free combinations. I’ve had their Habanero Express with elk, Country Bacon with bison, even their Big Blue Bacon with ostrich. But this time I went for a more classic style, beef burger recommended by the server. The Supreme: loaded with bacon, fries, Colby jack, and onion rings on top. Now just to warn anybody who is completely gluten-free, the onion rings do have bread crumbs (the waiter warned me), but I just can’t refuse a perfectly delicious onion ring. And as always it was delicious, juicy, and every condiment made it that much better. This time, they extended their counter into a whole bar and served some fun new drinks, so I had a Johnny Appleseed to go with it. It’s a bourbon drink with ginger beer and apple honey. Sweet and simple. A great way to start off my night.
This place is amazingly delicious, and has easily eaten up my wallet, so of course I have skipped out on going out all the time for a burger and have made some crazy creations of my own at home. I recently had a big craving for a childhood favorite of mine, sloppy joe. And for all you vegans out there, I found a great vegan spicy sloppy joe from the food network’s website. Gotta love the internet. The main ingredient is cremini mushrooms blended in a food processor and then sautéed with other vegetables, some chili spice and paprika (I used my favorite smoked paprika), and a bottle of beer to simmer everything (for gluten-free, I used Redbridge, not my favorite to drink, but good for cooking). Once it’s all heated up, throw it on some Udi’s hamburger buns lightly buttered n toasted, and some red cabbage and pickled jalapenos. It tastes so much like the classic sloppy joe but with more flavor and a spicy kick which I always appreciate. I decided to bake some avocado fries last minute, slicing up the avocado into strips and coating with egg, my Domata flour, and some gluten-free breadcrumbs I found at the store. I didn’t take my time coating before putting them into the oven so they aren’t the prettiest, but still creamy and tasty. I highly recommended this meal to not only vegans but anyone who wants to cut out a little meat and still have a delicious, hearty meal.
Besides finding direct recipes, I’ll find some crazy photos or blogs with creations that inspire me to invent my own. PornBurger is a blog challenging the original design of a burger, replacing buns with fried mac ‘n cheese or rice patties, and adding amazing ingredients like lobster cakes, jerk-rubbed bacon, and port wine onion jam. And unshamefully these unbelievable creations are put on display with some amazing, detailed photography and puns that make the name PornBurger a perfect fit. Inspired by The Underburg-er, I made my own slider/ milkshake combo.
This bite-sized piece of perfection started with sliced potatoes fried in duck fat for the buns, juicy beef patties in the middle, and topped with some arugula, herbed brie, and onions sautéed in left over duck fat and a splash of red wine. Its companion is a Chai Cinnamon Vanilla Whiskey Shake, made with brewed tea cooled with almond milk, vanilla gelato, cinnamon, and Jack Daniels. I haven’t thought of a name for this sweet baby burger of mine, but I am open to suggestions from any burger fans out there.
So I hope this inspires you to come up with your own outrageous burgers or at least an outrageous name for mine! Or for you to check out some of the amazing joints out there that have reinvented classics in ways I might have never imagined.
And speaking of checking out what is out there, Rachel and I will be out on the road for the next couple of weeks. We’ll be hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains, eating the BBQ in Memphis, attending the Jazz Festival in New Orleans and having many more adventures between it all! We’ll be sure to fill you in when we get back with places to hike, cities to visit, and of course all the delicious cuisine.