Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pacific Nortwest Hamburger Trivia

I am currently reading the book "Hamburger America" by George Motz. (Here's his blog). Motz reviews "the best hamburgers in America" and Washington State placed twice. The first one is Dick's, an easy choice for history, though their are many Seattle institutions that could (and should) rate higher in quality (Red Mill comes to mind), and the second is Eagan's Big Tom, in my home town of Olympia. I talked in depth about Egans, Dicks, and others, in my previous post on hamburgers. What I found interesting by reading the book is that what I called "Dick Sauce," what Egan's has trademarked as "Goop" is an anomoly to the Pacific Northwest. Besides Egan's and Dick's, many other PNW hamburger places (including Kidd Valley) serve a similar sauce.

The book is an interesting read, though I wish there were more pictures of hamburgers, but it came with an accompanying DVD that was very interesting (though way too short). It featured eight diners across America. They were:

Solly's Grill, Milwaukee, WI (home of the Butterburger, a hamburger with what looks like a quarter cup of butter on it)

Ted's Restaraunt - Meridan, CT (home of the Steamed cheeseburger)

Dyer's Burgers - Memphis, TN (a deep-fried burger that has used the same grease for 90+ years)

Wheel In Drive Inn (CLOSED) - Sedalia, MO (home of the Guberburger, a hamburger with peanut butter)

Bobcat Bite - Santa Fe, NM (a Green Chili Burger)

Louis Lunch - New Haven, CT ("inventor" of the hamburger that has used the same broilers for 110 years)

Meer's Store & Restaurant, Meer's, OK (Home of the hubcap-sized hamburger. They use only fresh ground, grass fed, Texas Long Horn cattle)

Billy Goat Tavern & Grill, Chicago, IL (home of the Cubs Curse and inspiration for John Belushi's SNL sketch "Chezzboygi")

Of the eight Bobcat Bite's sounds the best to me. The idea of a deep-fried burger, a burger with a stick of butter on it, a burger with peanut butter, or one that is steamed doesn't sit well with my stomach (plus they disparage mayonaise, Meer's calls a burger with Mayo a "Sissyburger"). I'd still eat there, but I might sneak in a jar of Miracle Whip.

I haven't dived very far into the book (and I am still waiting for two more books on hamburgers and one on the history of pizza from Amazon).

Hamburger America has shot a pilot and hopefully a TV series isn't too far behind. Their must be a million places for hamburgers in America and at least 52 must have interesting stories


Mike said...

would you like the real recipe for Goop?

I've been making it now for forty-one years and have a little insight.


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