My Mother vs. Ground Beef

July 21, 2010 | By | COMMENTS

My Mother vs. Ground Beef 1
There’s a “throw down” in the kitchen, and it doesn’t involve Bobby Flay. What it does involve though, is my mother, a grill, and an unlimited source of ground beef. I don’t think there’s a person in this world who loves burgers more than my mother. She’d eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner … everyday.


In my honest opinion, burgers are very “in” in the food world. It’s like what cupcakes are to the fad baking world. Vomit. Move on, on both accounts. Overdone, overemphasized, and reaching its fad peak super fast. If Rachael Ray makes one more burger book or another artisanal burger joint opens up on 7th Ave, I’m going to scream. What’s so great about a piece of ground beef?
The thing is, and I believe it to be true about 99% of the time, a burger is just a piece of ground beef … unless its fabulous. And there’s one burger I find to be exceptionally fabulous as I’ve toured the city and dabbled in my mother’s interest. And let me preface this, I do NOT like eating burgers, getting burgers at restaurants, or even making them. It’s not my thing …
But damn girl, April Bloomfield’s got it going on. And so does her gastro-pug burger at The Spotted Pig. And yes, its so trendy it makes me nauseous, but its legit.
I’ve heard it so many times its almost deafening, “The Spotted Pig has the best burger in New York City,” It almost raised the bar too high. It’s like the hype of New Years Eve, all the talk, the planning, and then a sub-par night. Was this going to be a sub-par burger, like all the others I’d tasted in the city?
Absolutely not. In fact, I had to test it three times to make sure it wasn’t bad … Or that’s the excuse I used.
My Mother vs. Ground Beef 3
The sensation of eating is this: burger arrives, the rosemary and garlic infused fries overwhelm the plate, you sample one, amazing, just enough salt. Slice the burger in half, the juices flow, but not too much, no soggy bun here. In fact the bun is beautifully round and egg-washed, toasted lightly and not too bready. The burger itself entrances you to nirvana. It’s so warm and fresh you can’t help but eat incredibly fast to preserve the intensity of that first bite. Simply blissful. And the blue cheese – the perfect soul mate to red meat (medium rare, ideally), adds the kick. The pow. The cheese’s tang remains while the juiciness of the meat slides away.
Since that experience … tripled … I have tried burgers elsewhere in attempt to prove the hype wrong. I can’t. And quite honestly I’m done trying. There is no worse feeling than going to a hyped-burger place (high or low end) and realizing that you just spent $18 (and probably 600 or so calories) on a burger that doesn’t hold a flame to The Spotted Pig.
So there it is in a nut shell. After this profound discovery I took my mother, the lover all of things ground beef understood. It won’t stop her from eating or making other burgers, but it is a memory of hers that I hope stays with her. That I hope sets a new standard for what constitutes the best burger, not only of the city, but for the moment.

Categories: Restaurant Reviews

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