urgers and beer are a classic combination. The hoppy
acidity of the beer is a natural foil to the richness of
the meat. A glass of red wine isn’t a bad match, either.
Even a cocktail will do. Enjoy one of these combos in a seat at
the bar and you get what many consider a perfect after-work or
“People like to eat at the bar. They can interact with the
bartenders and other customers,” says Joanie Corneil, co-owner/
CEO/executive chef of Square 1 Burgers & Bar, with 10 locations
across West Central Florida. “We offer a lot of craft beers, and
they tend to get people chatting with each other.”
At Red Cow Restaurant & Bar’s three locations in Minneapolis
and St. Paul, Minnesota, an eclectic mix of customers have burgers
at the bar. Some come in after work for happy hour, others to
enjoy a quick lunch. “We also get single diners who like to eat
at the bar,” says Todd Macdonald, executive chef at one of the
Minneapolis units. At Red Cow, beer or wine are popular ways to
wash the burger down. Cocktails are third in popularity, according
Burgers have come a long way since German cooks made beef
patties in the city of Hamburg. Today, in addition to traditional
beef burgers, there are lamb burgers, turkey burgers, bean burgers
and even ahi tuna burgers. The usual toppings list—lettuce,
tomato, ketchup and mayo—has expanded, as well. Now, anything
goes when it comes to burgers. Ingredients, dressings and buns
are subject to a chef’s interpretation. Menus can include one
signature burger or a variety of versions to please every taste.
AT THE BAR
At Roast, a Detroit steakhouse that’s one of Michael Symon’s
numerous enterprises, burgers appear on the bar menu only. The
aptly named Roast Burger is made with a house-ground beef
blend that includes dry-aged steak and comes topped with bacon,
Black Diamond aged cheddar cheese, a fried egg and pickled
onions. It is served on an English muffin with a small order of
fries. During happy hour, the $12 burger is half price and fries
are ordered separately. “It’s a real crowd-pleaser,” says Joseph
Allerton, general manager.
There are three burgers on the menu at de Vere’s Irish Pub in
Davis and Sacramento, California, where Wes Nilssen is executive
chef. Extremely popular are the lamb sliders that appear on the
“shareables” section of the menu. These 2-ounce burgers are made
from lamb ground in-house with a bit of garlic powder to make a
tighter patty. The resulting texture is a cross between hamburger
and sausage. Priced at $14 for two, the lamb burger is served on a
potato bun and topped with arugula, fontina cheese, housemade
pasilla chili jam and mayonnaise.
BURGERS WIN THE DAY
FROM CREATIVE CHEFS.
BY SUZANNE HALL
oPPosi Te: square 1’s three-mushroom burger.