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Burger-loving kindred spirits

A burger topped with a fried egg is not as screwy as it might seem. Photo by Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune/MCT



Holy cow, and we do mean "cow." People are passionate about their burgers, aren't they? No less than 10 recommendations surfaced from Thursday's best-burger-in-the-world request.


Most of them take us to Jackson County, though two blog-hoppers went all the way to Michigan, and both to the same joint, Miller's Bar in Dearborn. Roll on back down to Thursday and check them out.


Meanwhile, we started dredging memories for burgers and recall one to make you drive out of your way for a nosh. It was at the pool hall on Tegarden Road; worth a taste, though we've not been there since its Katrina renovation and name change.


Maybe for supper today.


And as long as we're dredging, we must include a burger from the distant past. Wanna know just how long ago? It was a fancy-ish special burger on the menu and cost -- hold your breath -- more than a buck! The little neighborhood bar/eatery no longer exists, we're told. The Maple Hill Restaurant, at the intersection of Maple and Hillary streets in what used to be called The University Section, just north of the Loyola/Tulane complexes off St. Charles Avenue in the crazy Crescent City. It's enough to make a grown woman cry.


This special burger can be easily duplicated, for it consisted of nothing but a buttered bun, a hand-shaped pattie, thinly sliced onion softened and browned beside the burger on the griddle and a fried egg (yolk broken or not, as the customer chose). For an extra nickel, you could have a slice of cheese -- yellow or white American -- slipped between the pattie and the onions.


These sandwiches, and they might have been called Junk Burgers on the menu, were addictive, so much so that we often recklessly walked the several blocks from our dorm to Maple Hill rather later in the evening that anyone should have been traipsing around The University Section, even 40 years ago.


The Junk Burger is quite easily replicated in the home kitchen, and trust us when we tell you that the fried egg is a crucial part of the equation.


More recently, we stumbled upon something similar in Gourmet magazine, the July edition.


This fabulous-looking stack of disparate ingredients is called an Aussie Burger, and the flavors it combines include grilled pineapple, Asian chili past stirred into mayo and pickled beets.


We will be trying this before Monday.


Note to commentors and lurkers alike: If you should have a favorite burger concoction like the Aussie Burger or even the Junk Burger eaten by long-ago Loyola and Tulane students -- if indeed that is what it was called -- send them to us. We're looking for combos that make you happy, even if they're as peculiar as the Aussie Burger. Leave them in the comments section or e-mail to jtprescott@sunherald.com.


Have a lovely weekend, even it it thunderstorms.





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