Firstable, sorry for the lack of regular posting–last week was the pinnacle of personal and professional failure, so I was tied up with real life and trying to save it from disaster. Not sure yet if I succeeded.
Second, head on over to Lem’s place for her first post about her inaugural trip to the ATL. It’s nice to know that my well-documented feelings about the Vortex are not merely due to nostalgia and inebriation.
Being the huge burger-monger that I am, I can’t believe I neglected to fill you all in on a few notable ones I had in San Francisco. Most importantly, I finally got to visit In ‘N Out Burger and stack it up against East Coast fast food chains. As much as I make fun of the granola-heads out west, they do make a damn tasty burger. I ordered a double double (two patties, two cheese slices), “animal style” (which includes pickles, extra spread, grilled onions, and mustard fried onto each meat patty), and it was really really really good. The bun was soft, but it was sturdy enough to handle all of the toppings. The patties were flavorful on their own, and they stood up to the sauce (kind of like Thousand Island dressing), the onions, and the pickles. The fries were hot, but they weren’t anything mind-blowing. The verdict? While I enjoy Five Guys fries, I think the In ‘N Out beats just about ANY fast food burger I’ve had. I’d love to do a burger-off between In ‘N Out and Whataburger, as they are now, for me, the drive-through burger standard bearers.
The other California landmark I visited was Taylor’s Refresher. This drive-in style restaurant is a beacon of burgery goodness in the middle of wine country (it’s actually in St. Helena). Despite the fact that we had French Laundry reservations at 6:30 PM, we stopped at Taylor’s at about 2:30 PM to get some food in our tummies along with all of the wine. The line was long (which I took as a good sign), but I was pacified by the sweet smell of fried potatoes and grilled meat. As a “base layer” for Thomas Keller’s culinary masterpieces, I opted for a patty melt, some onion rings, and a half and half (chocolate and vanilla) milkshake. Yes, I ate all that and THEN finished a tasting menu at the French Laundry–what’s it to ya??? Ahem. The patty melt was really tasty, but I actually preferred Jason’s cheeseburger because you could taste all of the elements better. The onion rings were crispy and not too greasy, and the shake disappeared in a matter of moments. There’s a Taylor’s Refresher in the Ferry Building in San Francisco as well, but I really enjoyed the vibe of the Napa location.
That’s probably all the burgerrific-ness that you can stand for a while, so I promise now I’ll lay off the cow and post some recipes. Happy Monday!