So what makes a burger a really good burger?
Here are my criteria:
- The meat has to be juicy. Ideally, some meat juice should drip from the burger onto your plate and hands. This happens far less often than it should.
- The meat has to have a taste of being cooked: Some burgers could have been microwaved for all the cooked-meat flavor they have. Really good ones have a charred touch of the grill, or the taste of meat that has met a really hot griddle.
- Ideally, it can be ordered to temperature. I like steak medium-rare but I order burgers at medium.
- The bun and the toppings should support the meat, not cover it up. For the very best burger, the bun should be worth eating on its own. Many of the burgers I've tried are a little less baroque. One or two toppings appropriate to a burger: cheese, mushrooms, maybe bacon.
That's it, mostly. However, burgers that meet these criteria often cost $13. So I also have some burgers in here that are a good value for less money: maybe a little less juicy, cooked a little past pink in the middle, but a good burger you can afford for lunch.