I have a feeling that burgers are going to be a little more difficult than pizza or wings. My plan of action is going to have to be slightly different as well. Unlike pizza and wings, I am not going to be trying the same burger at every location. Instead, I am going to order either the house special or if that isn’t an option, the local favorite (both will probably be accompanied by french fries). I also am going to be evaluating the burgers on a few levels:
Drippage Factor – What comes out of a burger really is what gives it life. Typically, the better the burger, the more “stuff” comes out.
Herd Size - A lot of the time, burgers are a quarter of a pound. It is pretty standard. However, some locations take liberties with size and weight; whether a small cow was needed or an entire herd.
Handling – Burgers are created in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes one hand is all that is needed and others require the assistance of a friend.
Financing - This will answer the simple question: How much am I going to have to fork over for this delicious burger?
Yesterday was the first leg of my local burger tour. The Sidewalk Cafe is one of Erie’s most popular home-cooking spots. The restaurant at 26 North Park Row is really known for their amazing breakfasts. Because they are only open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., they serve breakfast and lunch all day. Their lunch includes some great sandwiches as well as what I came for, the burgers.
I met up with some friends at the cafe, and we grabbed an empty booth. My friends had arrived a little before me, so they had some time to look at what they wanted. After a few minutes of looking over the menu, I was ready to order. My decision was between two burgers; the black and bleu burger and the spinach and feta burger. Our server recommended the spinach and feta, and so that is what I ordered. I had my choice of sides, but I went with the french fries. They appeared to only have one server on, so it took a little bit of time, but it just added to the hunger.
The menu said it was a 1/3 lb handmade burger mixed with spinach & feta cheese on a kaiser roll, but when it came to the table, it wasn’t mixed at all. The burger patty was just topped with some chopped spinach and then a layer of feta. The meat itself could have used more seasoning, but the spinach and feta on top were pretty good. The kaiser roll was perfectly toasted and really made for a great bun. The large handful of french fries were fantastic as well. Perfectly cooked inside and out.
Drippage Factor – A steady stream of juices came out after the initial bite and pick up. Drippings from the burger with some moisture from the spinach added to it.
Herd Size – I thought it was pretty average for a burger. Not too thick, not too thin.
Handling – This burger was pretty easy to handle with one hand. I didn’t have to put it down if I wanted to take drink or eat a french fry.
Financing – Only costing $6.99, this meal was pretty affordable.
I really would have liked to get more of a home-cooked taste from this burger. Without the spinach and feta, it was a pretty plain patty. A thicker burger would have been a little more to my taste, and having the toppings throughout the burger, not just on top, would have been better as well. If their burgers aren’t your thing, be sure to go back and try their breakfasts. I recommend getting sweet potato and banana pancakes.
Until next time,
Andrew – Beard vs. Food