As a baby food critic (oh look how cute I am, thinking my opinion matters!) it pains me to admit it; but my favorite food of all time is the humble hamburger. I love the versatility of hamburgers, the universal appeal, the American-ness of what should be our national food. These are a few of my very favorites:
1. Grind Burger Truck's B & B Burger
I've written about it before, but I just can't get enough of my favorite food truck's famous B & B Burger. Grind's special grass fed, locally produced beef with no fillers is one of the best textured burgers in town (and I have grown picky about my burger!). This is the first time I've tried my favorite cheese, Brie, on a burger, with thick cut bacon and hot pepper jelly, also locally produced. The creamy brie, the salty kick of bacon, the meat blend, the twist of hot pepper jelly--it makes my heart bleed in the best way possible. Of course the food truck has no set location, but you can follow their twitter feed to see where you can snag your very own B & B Burger; prices vary depending on the beef market.
2. Bunz Burgerz's Red State Bunz
Bunz is the adorable little hole in the wall on Bardstown Road, right across from O'Shea's. They're often open very late to catch the Bardstown road nightlife, and my they are my new favorite burger joint. When I went in with my fiance, they were the first restaurant EVER to cheerily offer me lettuce instead of bread on my burger. The Red State Bunz burger has two patties, Habagardil pickles, pepper jack cheese, grilled jalapenos, grilled onions, hot sauce, mayo, and I added an over easy fried egg. For $6.99 (plus extra for the egg) it is a HUGE amount of food, and the spiciness alone is enough to heat up the chilly days. WHAT a burger.
3. Check's Cafe's Double Cheeseburger
Check's Cafe is old school. They're one of the oldest establishments in town, and the crowd that hangs out there is large and varied. It's kind of a family place type of bar, if that makes any sense at all, the place where everyone knows your name. The first time Teacup and I went in, the family at the next table struck up a conversation with us, and the bartender magically remembered not only our names, but our nicknames. Their cheeseburger, a double decker half pound monstrosity with your choice of pepperjack, cheddar and swiss, is simple and fantastic. Their beef is pretty fatty while still maintaining that texture I love. The menu on their website says this burger is $4.25, but I'm fairly sure that's an incorrect price; the actual burger is somewhere between $5 and $6, which is still a wicked good bargain.
Now before you get out the pitchforks, this list is by no means comprehensive or final. I will be writing more about my favorite hometown hamburgers and cheeseburgers in some follow up lists. Let me know what your favorites are in the comments!
photos: Elizabeth Orrick