Lunchbox Laboratory

I worship the bacon cheeseburger.  Medium-rare, of course.  Over the last year or so my take on this American icon has gone from love to obsession.  I’ll go much farther than I would’ve thought possible in search of my next fix, and I can’t eat it without taking pictures and grading the experience for whoever’s eating with me.

I’ll start with a few stakes in the ground (beef):

Bacon is magical.  If you’re reading this blog, I’m going to assume that I don’t have to explain this to you.  It should be crisp without being burnt.  Pepper adds a great touch.  Premium producers like Niman Ranch deliver superior pig.  Sadly, some restaurants manage to screw up bacon.  I’d like to make them all do penance at Red Mill to learn how it’s done.

Cheese!  For years I was a fan of sharp Tillamook cheddar, and I still am – but recently I’ve learned of the bliss on a burger that’s Beecher’s Flagship.  There’s also a type of burger that simply requires the Kraft single.

Sides matter.  Fries, rings, tots, mac-and-cheese, potato salad – I love them all.  If it’s lame, I’m going to be hard-pressed to bother coming back when Seattle has so many great burgers to offer.

You can’t have a great burger without great beef.  Freshness matters.  Grind matters.  Fat ratio matters.

There’s so much more – griddle vs. grill, the importance of good tomato, letttuce and onions, the art of the smashburger – but those’ll have to wait for another post.  For now I’ll simply leave you with eight key words to help guide you to burger bliss:

Red Mill.  Five Guys.  Lunchbox Laboratory.  Palace Kitchen.  They know the way of the burger.  Stick around and I’ll explain why.