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Monday, November 28, 2011

Where's The Beef?

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?"

"A package."

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 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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MassMarvel said...

Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap! Well done BW, well done. Oh! That was my burger order please with organic onions, bison bacon, Texas tomatoes (grown only in eastern TX)loose leaf red and green and bronze lettuce but it has to go in order of darkest color to lightest and has to be on the bottom of the freshly baked non-gleuten bun that is no more than 2" thick, Goat cheese that is no more than 3 months old and I want a tofu topper from Whole Foods that has been sauteed in peanut oil. I also want freshly dug (from New England, prferably Maine) oven fried sweet potato fries. Hahahahaha geesh, I'd even kick my own tush and bitch slap me if I ever rendered an order like this. Still, I imagine you have dealt with orders far more ridiculous than this. LOVE your blog and adored seeing you on TV.

Maria said...

Sometimes I think people do that because they think it makes them look cool, so the answers do not change their order. I don't even think they know what answer they're looking for.

That said, if a menu doesn't specify farm-raised or wild salmon (or a hint, like "atlantic"), I usually assume it's farm raised. Occasionally, though, if the dish looks really good, I ask. But have a backup order ready.

California Girl said...

sending to all my restaurant clients...on second thought, if I do that, they'll recognize my photo, learn my moniker and start reading my blog. then they'll know how I really feel about things and...we can't have THAT.

Joanne said...

I like my Kobe burgers, but only if:

The pampered cows are massaged by Bitchy Waiter and given glacier water to drink

The fromage is derived from grass fed cows whose teats are drained by only Bitchy Waiter

This cheese must be hickory smoked from that special hickory tree in the center of the magic forest just south of Oz.

Andrea said...

Hell, I'm not picky. If I eat it and it doesn't give me the shits later, it was a good burger! I personally like my burger with everything. All the veg, mayo, ketchup, and if I look like a two year old (covered in food) while I eat it, then all the better!!

Jasmine said...

I eat grass fed beef because it tastes better. And I have to be careful there aren't any added hormones for health reasons... And because of this I grill my own burgers and do not eat them out. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

I like my burger done FAST and without mustard. Mustard is icky. Really really icky.

carmar76 said...

mmm. mayo & tomato & cheese. never lettuce. sometimes mushroom & swiss. and i hate being asked "how would you like that cooked?" with a burger. with a steak, yes. with a burger... i mean, if HARDEE's knows how i want my burger cooked w/o asking...

anywhoo! great posting!

Mary A. said...

I love hamburgers. They are especially delicious with fries. Steak fries if you got 'em.

That has NOTHING to do with the fact that despite over a year of exercising like Jillian Fucking Michaels, I am only down to a size 18.

Also, McDonalds? Love it. A number 2 with a chocolate shake please. yes I know it costs extra. Yum.

And Jillian Michaels can suck my thumb.

Sarah said...

I am a vegetarian so I don't eat burgers, and even before I was a vegetarian I didn't eat pork or beef, I only ate poultry.

But I did want to add that boca burgers are gross. (not just boca burgers, but any brand of veggie burgers, really). I know a lot of vegetarians love them, and I have tried many different kinds prepared many different ways, but it's just yuck! I never understood vegetarians eating all that mock meat, if I don't want to eat meat, why would I want to eat something that is supposed to look and taste like meat?

Anyways, loved this post. I hate when people ask a million different questions and order it anyways! If you were gonna order it regardless, then spare me all the time it takes to find out the answers to your ridiculous questions.

Or when someone asks a bunch of questions about bar drinks, and specials, and different beers you have, then orders a bud light. I mean come on!!! When someone asks me what beers we have, I say, what beer do you want and I will tell you if we have that, because I am not naming them all, and there is a beer menu right on the table next to you!!!

Sorry for the long comment/rant, but it had to be said!

Practical Parsimony said...

My burger? Cheese, Miracle Whip, lettuce, tomato. If onions are cooked, I will take those, too.

Or, just Miracle Whip.

Or, catsup and mustard.

I am really irritated if I get a pickle or get catsup and mustard on my tomato.

Gag. I am so glad I am not a food server. People would make me crazy.

sadi said...

Medium, Swiss cheese, sauteed onions & mushrooms. That makes my mouth sing!

Anonymous said...

You are my hero! I have people that come in and ask the absolute stupidest questions I have ever heard in my life or have heard 100 times that day and I have to smile and act like they are a genius in the hopes of a tip. One day when I grow up I hope to be like you and tell them exactly what I am thinking. Maybe one the last day of the job...

suzybel56 said...

I like my hamburger from a cow, any cow, with mayo, ketchup, dill pickles and cheese and a sesame seed bun. I also love McDonald's Quarter Pounders, & A & W Teen Burgers.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little behind on your posts and playing catch up. Great blog! Gotta share the guy who ordered a burger at the restaurant where I serve. I asked "would you like cheese on that sir?" He said yes. I asked "would you prefer cheddar, jack, Swiss or blue cheese". He looked at me like I'd just landed my space craft in the dining room. "You don't have 'Merican cheese?" Me, "no sir we don't", to which he replied "never mind then, I don want no cheese" lol