Wednesday, May 25, 2011

When is a burger not a burger? Pt. 2 (Bridget Foy's)

Head house market burger

What up peeps? This week's installment on "My Inner Fatty" comes to you courtesy of my post over on AHT about a charming little eatery in East Philly called Bridget Foy's. Long story short, it's a brunch slash bar type thing that blah blah blah, whatever. If you want to read about the cheeseburger you can do so on Serious Eats... because I'm not going to talk about that here. Instead... spurned on by some of the responses to the initial post... I'm going to rehash the question of "what constitutes a burger," I'm going to discuss the ridiculousness of (some) commenters, and I'm also going to explain why broad sweeping generalizations aren't good! Basically, I'm going to write everything I'm not allowed to say on AHT here, using inappropriate analogies and colorful language. Fun times!

Now... the last time I brought up the idea of a "burger not actually being a burger," it was about the Monte Cristo burger - one consisting of a beef patty, smoked turkey, barbecued ham, and French toast - found at RUB Barbeque. In that post, I said that their creation was a sandwich, not a burger. Sure, Wiki's definition of a ground meat patty between bread would classify such a thing as a burger, but in this case Wiki's definition is looser than a cheap hooker. By what the "common braintrust" is suggesting, if you took meatloaf and put it between Wonderbread it'd also be a burger. That would be straight stupid... to me, RUB's creation... is no burger. Is it delicious? Yes. A burger? No.

Burger menu

I get it. In a lot of cases there's ambiguity on where to draw the line between calling something a burger vs. just a monstrosity of food. This isn't one of this cases. Bridget Foy's "Head House Market" burger definitely falls into the former category. Everything about it screams burger. It has a standard bun (yeah it's a brioche... but it's an uber sensual brioche), it has a patty comprised of an 8-ounce matrix of luscious beef, it's topped with a pretty standard cheese (gruyere), and it uses a fairly standard topping in grilled mushrooms. So where's the problem?


An egg? Are you freaking joking? Someone suggested I stop reviewing egg topped burgers because they weren't hamburgers, but were "breakfast burgers." Someone else suggested I stop reviewing egg topped burgers because they're "old news." Guess what bro-skis, no can do. First off... in case you didn't realize it when you were typing... the phrase "breakfast burger" has the word burger in it. I might not be the brightest guy on the block, but that suggests to me that an egg topped burger fits in perfectly at home on a site called "A Hamburger Today." So if it's alright by you, I'm going to kindly ignore your suggestion. As for commenter number dos who thinks egg burgers are boring and overplayed? So's apple pie. That shit's been around since well before your grandfather was spitting mad game at your grandma. That doesn't make it any less delicious (apple pies, not your grandmother). I realize that fried eggs on burgers probably isn't anything innovative, but a yolk soaked sweet brioche bun paired with the sharp contrast of gruyere and the subtle flavor of beef? It's a sexy party in your mouth. An instant tongue boner. It's like a Kevin Durant 3-point shot from the top of the arc. It's just... right.

My brain is full of fuck

Regarding how burgers should be cooked? That's personal man. Too personal. You can't just come all up in my post and tell me how I should like my meat. I like it soft and pink, is that such a crime? In all seriousness, this is the danger of sweeping generalizations. If you want your burgers charred and blackened, that's fine. I respect that. Do your thing. But if I specifically request that my burger be cooked medium-rare, I feel like the restaurant (and the reader) should respect and deliver on that premise. The moment you start making decisions and speaking for other people... well, then you just sound like silly. Sorry.


Chris H said...

At risk of open dissent as a SE contributor, I actually wrote a long as response supporting your decision of medium rare and the fact that *anything* with a fucking egg on top is better than something without an egg on top, and that most SE commenters are Midwestern housewives who think that tuna casseroles with a panko crust instead of ritz cracker crust is toatally cutting edge, and borderline "molecular gastronomy", as terrible as that may be. But I deleted it, so i'll voice my support here instead.

nevena said...

It is crazy silly that people commented on the egg and the doneness preference. Eggs make complete sense on burgers.

I get side eyed for one of my favourite burgers, but that's cause i occasionally like to rock the peanut butter, onion, cheddar, tomato and ketchup combination.

Anonymous said...


Some people have never heard the internet meme:

"Arguing on the internet is like running at the Special Olympics. Even if you win, you're still retarded."

Haters gonna hate.

Keep posting the good stuff.

Nicholas said...

Chris H - I actually don't have a problem with someone getting their burger well done. They're the ones putting it in their mouth after all, but to be annoyed at my perfectly valid complaint? Well that makes no sense.

As for the egg, I don't see how it's any different than putting bacon on a burger (that's a common breakfast item as well!). If you're going to make a criticism like that, then you better complain about any topping that's not lettuce, onion, or tomato.

nevena - that combo sounds awesome. I like the nuttiness of PB, although I'm not sure how it plays with the ketchup. Tart and sweet might work, but it's something I've never done.

Anonymous - at least the kids at the Special Olympics get medals. YOU GET NOTHING FOR WINNING ARGUMENTS ON THE INTERNET (it's ironic I'm saying this, as this post is basically a perpetuation of said argument).

Ms Fatty said...

"It's a sexy party in your mouth. An instant tongue boner." So quotable!!

I almost always get an egg (must be runny) on my burger.. who doesn't love gooey yumminess running down their chin with a fat hunk of meat in thier mouth!?

Nicholas said...

Ms Fatty - haha, inappropriate response of the year.

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