I've been working on a magazine article about grilling and have been talking to experts about trends coming up and several mentioned that gourmet burgers are coming of age. This was a rather a surprise as I've not seen any at Food Lion. Then again, when I was growing up, I always said that we ran about 5 years behind on cool stuff they featured in Cosmo. The gap has closed a little with the Internet - thank goodness, but I don't think this town is going to make the cover of "Hot and Trendy" any time soon.
Ironically, I'd been talking fancy burgers with Frank on Twitter (@grilliantideas), and he sent out some of his gourmet burgers to get my spin on them. This is risky, because I'm pretty vocal about what I don't like but also give the thumbs up on good products.
Generally I hand pat my hamburgers, and I'm the default burger maker in the family after a family reunion with some pre-made patties which were rather dreadful. The Allison side of the family is not very big, so I can pump out enough homemade burgers for our crowd, but that would get kind of tricky with more than 15 or 20 people.
Frank's We Got Burgers are definately not the local boxed burgers.
For starters, these gourmet burgers are huge as you can see in the photo above. They are a half pound each and 5 inches across plus thick. There's not much shrinkage either. The guys can scarf down this much meat at once, but I can only eat half. I'd say about 1/3 pound would be as much as I could go on a burger, and Frank said he might think about smaller burgers.
Then, these burgers are souped up with flavors. Tonight we had the chili cheddar burgers. I'd saved them for when my college son was in for surgery on his ACL. These were right up his alley, but the younger son who likes his food pretty simple and never spicy (although I'd not call these really spicy even with chili sauce/spice) liked the bacon and cheese burgers Frank sent better. My top pick are the pineapple burgers with chunks of pineapple in with the meat. They are all yummy though.
Frank is out in California, and I'm in North Carolina, so that means shipping is high on gourmet burgers. They have to be packed well with dry ice packs and sent speedy. He nailed all that, and the burgers arrived in perfect condition and still frozen solid.
I've bought meat from a number of online companies, and I'm thinking that it might be good to have distribution centers in various states for the quality products. On the flip side, that might just get to be mass production with the same dull burgers and meats at the grocery store. So, I'll just be thankful that I do have options and can have smoked ham, grain fed beef, and We Got Burgers gourmet burgers in several great flavors.