Somehow, someone knew I would be right for the job. No matter how many people profiled, books and concerts reviewed, health issues probed, travels observed, or personal essays written, it was all leading up to a Men's Journal story on the top high-end, foodie burgers in America (not the best burger, or best traditional burger, proper, mind you). It began as a longer, through-written piece with lots of criticism and description but due to page counts in the mag business, it turned into something more like a short guide to a few favorites. But check it out all the same (click on the image once, and once again, to read the text in larger font). And please e-mail me your comments (but note that we went to great pains not to include in our favorites the already over-covered, famous burgers, like DB Bistro's, even if we did sneak in the giant mess of a burger at the Old Homestead for those who need celebrity meats in their lives). Frankly, if I had had complete control over the story, I would have added in Boa Steakhouse for the LA section (not Father's Office, the Counter, or Cut's new Kobe sliders in 90210), and I certainly would have given runner up to the following entry:
An eight-ounce grind of American Kobe (also called Wagyu) from Snake River farms, which makes the most consistently textured grind of that beer-fed, massaged, butter-tasting meat. It’s only served medium rare (without lettuce and tomatoes), and wet with a thin, house-made French-style dressing before receiving a topping of nutty gruyere and Napa Valley-white-port-stewed onions on a charred semolina bun with serious bite and chewing requirements. It’s just mildly seasoned (no spice), and the 30% fat content renders it luxuriantly textured though without palpable blubber. “Even when there’s no color left in it, it never gets dry,” says chef/owner Todd Humpries. Call it the perfect accompaniment to a long, arduous day of Sideways-style wine guzzling but don’t combine with any f’ing Merlot.