Hi, Virtual Cheeseburger Nation! I’m Taking A Break.

Well, hello there.

You may have already noticed, but I just wanted to let all of the followers of this blog know,
that the regular posts to Virtual CheeseBlogger are on hiatus. I’m taking a break to work on other things.
I may still drop in here on rare occasions to post rants from time to time,
but you’ll likely get more current abbreviated musings and interesting links from
the Virtual Cheeseburger Facebook page,
VCB Facebook Screen shot 2014-04-13

and on the Real Deep Dish Facebook page and Real Deep Dish website,
where I will be concentrating much of my efforts.
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Please also follow @Bacon4Pres on twitter, if you’re interested in Bacon, Humor, and Politics,
and don’t forget to VOTE EVERY DAY in…

The Most Important Poll EVER!!!


p.s. –
BUY SOME COOL T-SHIRTS & MERCHANDISE!

BaconThatIsAll.com has all of your Bacon Merchandise Dealie Type Needs!
(CafePress is adding and changing items all the time, so if you don’t see an item with the design you want, please let me know.)
BaconThatIsAll.com !!!

If Cheeseburgers are more your speed, I’ve got you covered.
Head on over to Virtual Cheeseburger: THE SHOP @ CafePress.com/vcheeseburger

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Burger PRIMEr – See what I did there?

Hi. How’s it goin’? Good? Cool. Let’s get back to the burger talk, shall we?
I am not an expert on burgers, but I do have preferences and strong opinions on what makes a burger great. You are certain to have your own opinions.
 
This post will hopefully help you burger aficionados at home have a little more background on the various styles and characteristics of burgers, along with some remarks on what I like and don’t like in a burger.
At some point in your life, someone you know will ask…
Who has the best burger?
This question may not have a simple answer.
What style of burger? Is one style better than the other?
Would it be fair to compare Kuma’s Corner to Paradise Pup or Five Guys?
It’s about as fair as comparing Burger King to a burger made from the best cuts of beef from a steakhouse. I’d normally use the “apples and oranges” analogy, but how often do you see either on a burger?
Now, we’re only talking about BEEF burgers here.
There is no room in this conversation for the burger’s mutant offspring, or the much maligned “veggie”. We can save that for another time. We’re also not going to talk about every burger style that exists on earth because, a) I don’t know them all, b) new burger joints keep popping up all the time, and 3) this article would never end.
I will give you examples of restaurants that make burgers in the styles listed below. I’m sure these are not the only examples of those styles, and some of these places you may not have heard of, as I am mostly familiar with national chains and the burger joints in the Chicago area. Some of these styles overlap, depending on where you’re getting your burger from, so I’ll try to do my best to place them in the proper categories.
First, I’d like to briefly mention Louis Lunch in New Haven, CT, because it’s where the hamburger sandwich was invented, and you’re going to have a hard time finding any other place that makes burgers in a vertical cast iron flame broiler and toasts white bread (not a bun) on a conveyor toaster contraption, so I won’t dare to categorize it below. It’s on my list of places to go if I ever pass through Connecticut. It should be on your list, too.
Second, I’d like to encourage you to look up the various styles on your own.
I’ll throw in a few descriptions here and there, but I’m not a freakin enyclopedia, ya know! 🙂
Fast-Food Burgers:
Fast-food burgers are typically thin burgers, sometimes fresh, but usually frozen, cooked well-done or beyond, and often sold through a drive-thru window.
Fast-food establishments, usually the national chains, often make up for variable quality of these thin brownish-grey meat slabs by offering double or triple patty burgers and covering them with American cheese slices and/or bacon, and hoping you’ll drown yours in condiments. To be fair, a fast-food burger can taste really good if done right (or after a few drinks). The main feature of the fast-food burger is that it’s fast and cheap.
This category has a few styles, and also a variety of novelty burgers.
  • Flame-broiled burger – Burger King
  • Griddled/Fried burger – McDonald’s
  • Steam/Onion-Griddled Slider
    White Castle, White Manna/Mana
    (New Jersey)
  • The Luther Burger – a bacon cheeseburger served between a split glazed Krispy Kreme donut, named for singer Luther Vandross, who may also have been it’s inventor. I could start a rant about how some restaurants make this one wrong, but I’ll save it for another post.
  • McDLMFAO/Bacon/Jalapeño/Mutant Ninja/Angus/BBQ/Chipotle/Movie-
    Promo Burger

    (I think you know what I mean)
Mid-Level Burgers:
Some burgers in this category are just a higher quality version of the fast-food burger, while others approach a happy medium between greasy spoon and gourmet. This level also has a number of novelty burgers. Some of these places even have secret menus (Five Guys, M-Burger).
Gourmet burgers:  
Often larger and thicker than a fast-food burger, gourmet burgers are custom ground fresh, locally or on-site, cooked to order and desired temperature. Some gourmet burgers, especially steakhouse burgers, are made with combinations of more expensive or more flavorful cuts of beef, like short ribs and brisket. Some burgers are served with the typical Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Pickle, etc. , while others are topped with any number of ingredients, from fried eggs to lobster. The burger buns vary as well. Instead of the plain white “wonder” bun, you can often find a glossy egg-washed fresh baked upgrade, or the increasingly popular pretzel bun. A few of the burgers in this category make use of Kobe Beef, which I argue is an incredible waste to grind up into a burger.
Now, some of you may be thinking, “he’s just making all these categories up!”, to which my response is:
Yep. Of course I am! Just have fun with it.
When you get your own blog, you can make up your own burger categories.
Now, shut up and go get a cheeseburger!
Stimulate the economy, one burger at a time! 🙂

Looking for more info on burgers?
My friend in meat, Craig “Meathead” Goldwyn, also has a page devoted to the “taxonomy” of burgers, in which he also talks about the different regional styles, such as the “green chile cheeseburger” from New Mexico.
You can check it out at  amazingribs.com/recipes/hamburgers
More recently, he’s compiled a pretty awesome hamburger cooking page as well, if you want to try cooking your own burger at home: Amazing Ribs: The Zen of Hamburgers
 
DON’T FORGET TO PUT BACON ON IT!




Monthly Special at Kuma's Corner – COFFINS

As some of you are aware, a popular Chicago burger joint called Kuma’s Corner has continued their “whenever the heck we feel like doing it” tradition of monthly burger specials named after heavy metal bands into 2012.

This month’s special is : COFFINS
A sample of Coffins music can be found here.
A Japanese death/doom metal band, they kinda sound like
someone dropped all the pots and pans from your kitchen
onto the floor of a chainsaw testing factory where you can hear the nearby trees screaming of the coming apocalypse. (If you are in the band, Coffins, please consider this to be the compliment that it is.)

The burger tastes nothing like that analogy.

This burger is topped with a messy combo of teriyaki shitake mushrooms, fresh jalapeños, sweet & sour pork and toasted sesame seeds, which makes it a bit of a savory, salty, heat bomb. If you’ve had other spicy burgers from Kuma’s, it doesn’t quite reach “Plaguebringer” heat, but will definitely get you sweating.

DANG TASTY!
This is what it looked like before I devoured it. This was a TWO NAPKIN burger.