No longer confined to fast food restaurants and backyard cookouts, the burger has gotten a serious upgrade in recent months. Not-so-typical additions like fried egg and pickled beets join seasoned regulars like bacon and cheese, elevating the American classic to new epicurean heights. It seems this novelty beef patty obsession is a powerful one, having incited week-long dedications and even the creation of entirely burger-centric sit-down restaurants.
While I credit my current love of food to a bite of a fried egg and pancetta-topped burger I had many years ago, I do think -- all biases aside -- that this trend has some serious staying potential. I'm loathe to find an American who isn't intrigued by the idea of a delicious burger (vegetarians and non-red meat eaters aside), especially if they're served with great fries. But is the gourmet burger overkill? Should the hamburger remain a pared-down food icon, topped only with cheese and bacon, tomato, lettuce and perhaps some sliced onion? Drop me a line in the comments.
Burger with fried egg and pickled vegetables.
[Photo: flickr4jazz / Flickr]