Everyone loves a hamburger. Well, almost everyone; vegetarians could probably do without them or satisfy themselves with a Boca Burger instead. I don't really know what a Boca Burger is. I imagine that there is a farm in the heartland somewhere with free-range Boca's wandering around eating soybeans and fillers waiting until they are invited to the Boca Plant to be turned into a non-meat option. I love hamburgers though; the cow kind. People are very particular about the way they want their burger.
When I was a kid, I always ordered mine the same way whenever we went to a restaurant. I'd look at the waiter and say "I'd like a hamburger with mayonnaise, meat and cheese." That was it. In those days, we didn't have the option of white cheddar or brie or Monterrey jack- it was just plain old American. No one ever asked me how I wanted it cooked and if they tried to put a piece of lettuce on it, they better try again. "Mayonnaise, meat and cheese, please." Growing up, my family used Miracle Whip which is salad dressing and not mayonnaise but I never knew the difference. I was a happy kid who liked things simple. Nowadays, people ask what kind of beef it is and where it comes from and is it anti-biotic free and grass-fed and is the cheese made by virgins listening to harpsichord music on an organic dairy farm. Jeez, I long for the days of simple hamburgers.
Last week someone wanted to order a burger but asked me where the beef was sourced from. Lady, it's sourced from the walk-in. I hit the burger button on the computer, someone goes to get one of those patties from the fridge and they fry that bitch up, I dunno. And then she wanted to put bacon on it but needed to know where the bacon came from too. I went down to the "source" and read it off the package and told her it was from Minnesota or some other state I've never been to. "Oh okay, I guess Minnesota is good as long as it's not Oscar-Mayer or something." Like she knows that if it comes from Minnesota, it must have come from a pig who was happy to give its life in order to lay on her burger.
"What kind of cheese do you have?" she asked.
"American, cheddar, goat and blue."
"Do you have any smoked mozzarella?"
Yeah lady, I have smoked mozzarella, I just didn't wanna say it when I listed the other four cheeses because listing a fifth cheese would have been way too much effort. "No, ma'am. Just American, cheddar, goat or blue."
"Where do your buns come from?"
After she learned that our beef was not grass-fed, the bacon was from some mythical place called Minnesota, the buns were pre-made and we didn't have the cheese that she wanted, I figured she'd order something else, but you know what? She didn't. She ordered the burger because when you want a burger you get a burger and you're not gonna let something like corn-fed beef deter you.
When I worked at The Restaurant That Shall Not Be Named, we offered Kobe beef which is from Japan and supposedly the finest beef in all the world. I tried it once and it tasted a bit fatty to me and for the price, I'm just as happy with some cow that grew up in the United States of America. Maybe the Kobe cows are given massages and petted a lot but in the end they still wind up on a plate, right? Wagyu beef from finefoodspecialist.co.uk is another kind of fancy-schmancy beef that comes from Japan as well, but a different town. Sorta like the beef that comes from Texas or Oklahoma. Same ol' same ol' and they both taste good on a bun with pickles. Of course for a completely different kind of beef you can always go to Manhunt but I'm pretty sure that meat needs some anti-biotics.
And how do you like your burger?
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