His/Her/Their Cheeseburger

More than a month ago, I was going out to a restaurant to watch the Super Bowl because I don’t have cable in my apartment. This place was recommended by a friend of mine and since I’ve discovered other great places through him, I thought I’d give this place a try.

So I sit down at a table, after the host asks if I want to sit at the bar, and I look at the menu. My friend had recommended I get a burger with feta cheese, so I order that. My burger comes to my table and I bite into it.

It’s dry. It’s not juicy. The flavor is coming from the feta cheese and what the hell did I just bite into?

There were cucumbers on my burger.

This is why you should read menus thoroughly.

I finished the burger and then ordered two rounds of fries before leaving early after having an allergic reaction to something. But the burger was incredibly disappointing.

Prior to December, I have had to abstain from consuming beef and pork because my body was having a hard time digesting it. Come Christmas, my mother makes rouladen, which has beef and pork and I have no problem digesting rouladen. As a result, I’m pretty sure I had beef or pork five days in a row while I was in Milwaukee on winter break.

While in Milwaukee, my family went to Major Goolsby’s, which is a well-known sports bar on the same block as the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel building. I look at the menu and decide to order the Major Cheeseburger. The Major Cheeseburger isn’t anything fancy, but it’s a good old-fashioned burger. The patty is thick and juicy, greasy even. The cheese is melting and, importantly, the burger is warm. So now, whenever I go to Major Goolsby’s, I order the Major Cheeseburger because it’s a good burger. (Also, if you ever want to watch a Packers game in Milwaukee, go to Goolsby’s. The energy in there during a game is amazing.)

I haven’t been to all of the burger places in Chicago, although my friends did give me some suggestions on Facebook a while ago. I don’t see anything wrong with a gourmet take on anything; I liked the grilled cheese at grahamwich. You just have to do it correctly. So, for starters, no cucumbers on cheeseburgers. Cucumbers have a cool, refreshing taste to them, which clashes against a warm, juicy burger.

Although I have yet to go to the location in Andersonville, I love the Meaty Mushroom Burger at Hamburger Mary’s, which I’ve only ever been to in Cedar Rapids. The burger is large enough that it’s easier to slice it in half to eat it. It has mushrooms, a patty, their special sauce, which always gets on my fingers; and cheese. It’s also a burger that works with both a beef patty and a veggie patty. I once took a friend there before going to a play at Theatre Cedar Rapids’ Lindale location* and she ordered the burger with a veggie patty. Being a vegetarian, she was in love with the sandwich and remarked to me at one point that “It actually tastes like food!” Seriously, if you can make a burger that tastes great even with a veggie patty, you win.

Cheeseburgers can have lots of dressings on them. But like with any food dish, you have to work on how the flavors go together. There’s a reason why a slice of cheddar cheese on a beef patty worked so well. It tasted good.

*The Hamburger Mary’s in Cedar Rapids is across the street from where Theatre Cedar Rapids’ Lindale location was. As a result, it was a great pre- or post-show meal.

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