Over the top: Don't settle for just ketchup and mustard on your burgersWhat I put on top of my burgers always has been important to me. I’m not one of those people who can eat a naked burger — one that’s all by its lonesome on a bun.
By: Jeff Tiedeman, Grand Forks Herald
What I put on top of my burgers always has been important to me. I’m not one of those people who can eat a naked burger — one that’s all by its lonesome on a bun.
Like just about everybody else, I grew up eating burgers with the usual accoutrements — ketchup and mustard. And not too long after I had my first burger, a dill pickle and a thick slice of raw onion were added to the mix. For a while, I even put potato chips on my burgers after seeing two of my cousins — Gordy and Dick Tiedeman — do just that when we were kids. And ever since then, just about everything you can think of has been fair game.
That’s one of the true beauties of a burger. You can put just about anything you want on them, and they’re still tasty.
For years, I was kind of hooked on burgers. It started when Dad and Mom used to take us kids to the A&W. I have fond memories of the Papa, Mama, Teen and Baby burgers. (And I’ll also never forget the root beer and onion rings.)
The allure of A&W carried over to my early college days in Bemidji, although I frequented the Quick Stop burger joint there more often, since as everyone knows students don’t have a lot of money. (And the burgers in the Moorhead State student union weren’t bad, either.)
After moving to Grand Forks after graduation, it wasn’t long before I knew where to get the best burgers in town. There were several places that had good burgers, but you couldn’t beat the ones at Whitey’s, which were made with freshly ground steak trimmings.
These days, about the only place I eat a burger is at home. That way, I can put on whatever kind of topping that might suit my fancy. I have been tempted to head out to Southgate, though. Word has it that the Montgomerys have a special one night a week where they serve up a mighty tasty burger at a pretty good price.
My homemade burgers usually are made with ground venison or buffalo and seasoned with a little garlic powder, salt, pepper, wild game spices and Adolph’s meat tenderizer.
And I’m always looking for new toppings for my burgers.
In my Web browsing, I’ve come across ones that are topped with pesto, sauerkraut, numerous kinds of cheeses, fried egg, guacamole, sour cream, chili and salsa, just to name a few. And many of them also include the usual suspects — lettuce, tomato, bacon, etc.
They come with names such as Rowdy Reuben Burger (grilled beef patty smothered with melted Swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing and zesty coleslaw, served on marble rye), Aphrodisiac Burger (grilled beef patty lovingly stuffed with oysters and dressed with steak sauce), Veg-Head Burger (lean ground beef piled with cucumber slices, tomatoes, sprouts, creamy dill dressing, served on sun-dried tomato bread), Dragon Burger (grilled ground beef patty, Limburger cheese and raw onion on an onion roll) and Crabby Burger (Shredded crab salad with Swiss cheese atop a beef patty served on a croissant).
While I haven’t tried any of above concotions, I did add another topping to my repertoire (you can’t have too many) — one for sauteed mushrooms and onions (see recipe at www.grandforksherald. com/ event/tag/ group/ Features/tag/food/), which we tried the other day, with an unanimous approval rating.
Not even the president can make that claim.
Tiedeman is food editor at the Herald. Reach him at 780-1136 or toll-free at (800) 477-6572, or e-mail at email@example.com.