West coast burgers — another try

I’ve recently been obsessing about West Coast burgers, which typically use thinner patties, more toppings and place a greater emphasis on proportion than those from around here. East Coast burgers can be as thick as baseballs, the emphasis is on grilling and quality of meat, and individuals put on their own condiments. My attempt to combine the two failed miserably, so this time I tried to go purist.

For meat I chose fatty ground chuck (grass-fed) from Ceriello’s at Grand Central. I formed 4 patties where I would usually make 2 (from slightly under two-thirds of a pound of beef), handling them as little as possible, and making them very thing. Burgers contract and puff up during cooking, so these had to be extremely thin.

I heated a well-seasoned cast iron griddle pan to very high, rubbed it with a little butter, and placed my patties in it. Simultaneously I put English muffins in the toaster. I would have preferred to use the kind of egg-flour (or is it potato-flour?) rolls that you get out West, but these are not the kind of things you can buy at Grand Central or my local deli, and I didn’t have time to hit the supermarket. Not that a NYC supermarket would be a slam-dunk for finding those either.

All my eating is really just trying to find an excuse to eat bread-and-butter pickles. But they really are a necessary condiment for West Coast hamburgers.

Other condiments included lettuce, ketchup, French’s yellow mustard (pictured) and thinly sliced sweet onion (not).

Result was beyond delicious. Though after second one I ran out of English muffins. Next time I need to apply American cheese (an obvious gaffe here), and that mysterious and wonderful substance SWEET RELISH.

9 thoughts on “West coast burgers — another try”

  1. Yes, but that would not be West Coast.

    If I wanted to do UK burgers like I used to get from a shack on the street in Cambridge in 1980, I’d boil the patties and put grilled onions and “tomato sauce” (not really ketchup) on them. It sounds disgusting but it was yummy.

  2. I’ve had burgers on the west coast that used cheddar instead of American. There’s really no reason you should put American cheese on anything. Ever. And perhaps I’m missing the point here, but Vlassic is to Ba-Tampte (www.batampte.com) as Miracle Whip is to Hellman’s.

    All of that aside, I always end up making myself a cheeseburger within two days of reading one of these posts. That picture looks delicious.

  3. There’s really no reason to put any kind of cheese on a burger. 9000 defiled a perfectly good burger at Lugers not only with cheese, but with bacon too!
    And a supermarket I visit regularly has introduced a line of roqeufort quarter pounders. Talk about destroying two wonderful things.

    As an aside, I’m blaming Patrick for the ridiculous amount of cream cheese and gherkins I’ve been snacking on over the last two weeks.

  4. ben: Yeah, I commented on the English muffin thing in the body of the post. thanks for the link.

    elijah: funny, I always think of cheddar burgers as an East coast thing. I’m not the biggest fan of Ba-Tampte – I prefer my pickles an iridescent green. Real kosher pickles don’t seem quite right in this instance. As for fake cheese, I’m a true believer when it comes to order cheesteaks in Philadelphia with Cheez-Whiz.

    fiona: spoken like a true Irishwoman… the best burgers in New York are at Irish pubs or restaurants, and always focus on the quality of the beef. Btw, I’ve never had the Luger’s burger but I’ve heard great things about it.

  5. the humanity! i put both bacon and cheese on my luger’s burger! what was i possibly thinking?

    proud american cheese eater,

  6. Thank god you are still blogging about food! I guess your previous threats to quit are typical interweb drama-queening… Anyway my wife (from LA) just bought some pre-made thin patties of local grass-fed beef. She insists that the pre-made patty is more CA… Looking forward to grilling them, but thanks for reminding me to get pickles, relish and Cali-style buns first.

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