Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chicago Burgers

(I'll get the experimental stuff out of the way first)  Although it's a stated "rule" that any restaurant with a Drive-Thru will not be rated, I'm making this exception simply because... it's White Castle.  So many people in LA have only seen the freezer-section-of-their-grocery-store version of this burger, so I figured, "why not give it a Burger Eater's Rating?"

(standard) pickles & onions

Presentation: For a fast-food burger, the Slider is pretty cool.  It comes in a little box (pictured below).  The box also serves to keep the burger warm.

Taste: Boring. The pickles and onions are basically what your tasting.

Quality: Poor

Variation of ingredients: Even for a fast-food restaurant, the variation here is lacking. Granted, it's a slider not a burger, so this sandwich is really small.

The Burger Eater's Rating: 3  (on a scale of what I would rate other fast-food burgers)

The real rating here is for Fox & Obel's char-grilled cheeseburger, (www.fox-obel.com).  Fox & Obel is a high-end market in downtown Chicago.  They sell some of the best meats and cheeses I've seen in one place.  Think Dean & Deluca.  At the back of Fox & Obel is a cafe that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Every time I go to Chicago I will eat here.  The atmosphere and quality are great.


lettuce, tomato, red onion, white cheddar

Presentation: Pretty standard.  Served with fries on a white dinner plate.  The bun is the most attractive item on the place.

Taste: I'm not the biggest fan of iceberg lettuce on a burger.  It waters down too much of the flavor in the meat and sauces (there are no sauces on this burger).  I added some ketchup knowing the sandwich would be a little dry.   The white cheddar was subtle.

Quality: The quality of the meat was amazing.  It was well prepared (medium-rare) and was juicy and tender.  The bun was really fresh and warmed.  I can't speak much to the quality of the toppings since they didn't add much flavor.

Variation of ingredients: I would have liked some arugula or romaine instead of iceberg lettuce and a sauce of some kind.

The Burger Eater's Rating: 7

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


This December I had the privilege of reviewing some sandwiches in  Australia...

First off, let me say that Australians, as a rule, have a tendency to OVERCOOK all of their meat.  It's very difficult to enjoy a sandwich like this since the flavor in the patty is lost and the sandwich in general is more coarse. 

Nonetheless, when the burgers are made right, they are comparable to the best out there.


Hayman Island - Hotel burger - All beef patty, bacon, tomatoe, lettuce, caramelized onion sauce, on an onion bun.

This was a great burger to start off with.  The meat was tender and the flavors were great.

Presentation: This is how all hotel burgers should be served (don't get me wrong, some of my favorite burgers come from hotel kitchens).  This one really looks like it's come out of a commercial... but the picture above is an unphotoshopped imge of what was actually brought out. Big points here.

Taste: The bacon carried most of this sandwich's flavor.  The onion bun was a nice touch as well. Not a whole lot of kick from the patty since it was well-done (I ordered medium).

Quality: This burger was clearly a solid winner in terms of quality.  All of the ingredients had an organic, pure flavor and texture.

Variation of ingredients: Aside from the bun, the ingredients were pretty standard.  A little cheese never hurts... Especially when the meat is overcooked. I quickly learned that this was my American bias towards how meat should be cooked and served.

The Burger Eater's Rating: 8