Some burger town.
I've probably had 20 or so since I got here, and I've noticed an alarming trend. Almost all of my burgers have arrived over-cooked. In fact of all the burgers I've had, only two or so (thanks, Grape and NHS) were cooked as ordered. The rest? Woefully over-done.
At first I thought it was bad luck. It's not like I'm talking prime aged rib-eye here. I don't think I've ever sent a burger back for bad temperature issues (not even this one). And while I'd readily push back on an expensive plate with an egregious error, it would feel out of place in a hole-in-the-wall grease pit.
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For context, I like my burgers cooked medium. I understand there are a lot of meat-heads out there who prefer things on the bloody side, but for me, a burger is defined by its juiciness. And maximum juiciness is achieved only after the fat in the meat has started to render but before the meat grays and shrinks into a hockey puck. Besides, rare usually means a warm but nearly raw center, qualities I don't find appealing in ground beef.
But medium is dreadfully close to medium well, the point at which a burger becomes worthless. A few weeks ago I sat next to a dude at the Angry Dog bar who ordered his burger medium-well-to-well-done. I felt sorry for the guy. It's like he thinks there's a chef in the back devoted only to his burger, rapid read thermometer at the ready counting degrees 163, 164, 165, pull!
I'm ready to give up and start requesting burgers rare at most places I go. If rare is over-cooked to medium, I should end up with a happy sandwich. But it's a shame most places can't get this right.