Bay had a last-minute request for burgers so we defrosted some ground beef and I fired up the ol’ grill. We didn’t have any lettuce or tomato, so we compensated by topping the burgers with fried eggs and peppers from the garden. Chips and a spinach salad (with salmon leftover from the previous day’s breakfast) and everyone was happy.
こんばんは。This evening a friend came over for dinner and I think the one who was most excited to have a guest over was Lani. She always gets extra treats, so it’s understandable. 😊 It was funny that when Lani recognized who was at the door, she went nuts and did a few laps around the house in excitement. She’s so funny.
Tonight’s menu included burgers and sliders, homemade fries, and a couple of yummy and fancy salads. And Mariko baked some fresh buns for the burgers so it was extra-good!
Although this meal prep is probably typical of American households, I thought I’d write about how we do a hamburger dinner at our house. Who knows, someone might find this post 50 years from now, and it will be a fascinating read! 😄
For the hamburger patties, we’ll go for and 80-20 mix of ground chuck, and I’ll sometimes mix in some seasonings, for instance, tonight I put in some Japanese Worchestershire and Dijon mustard. Some burger purists would say you should just go with salt and pepper (which I usually do), but my family really likes the extra flavor so I went with the sauce and mustard.
These days I will make a total of six patties, at 1/3-lb. per patty. One burger each for Mariko and I, then two each for the kids. Since Mariko has the food scale handy for her baking, I can measure out exact amounts. I’ve come to rely more on measurement tools rather than eyeballing everything!
To cook, we’ll put them on the outside grill (I used the gas grill for convenience last night) seasoning each side with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and garlic powder. When the juices start to form on top of the patty (usually around the four-minute mark), I’ll flip them over and season the other side.
Instead of relying on time or firmness to indicate when the burgers are at our preferred medium-rare, I’ll use an instant-read food thermometer to make sure I pull the burgers off the grill at 145° F. It’s often dark outside at the time I grill and hard to tell visually if the burgers are done, so the thermometer is great.
We love our burgers with cheese but I don’t put the cheese onto the patty while it’s on the grill. Instead, I will put the patties straight from the grill into a warm casserole dish, then put the cheese on and cover the dish with foil to let the burgers rest and the cheese melt. This is great because the grill doesn’t get all cheesy and messy.
Speaking of cheese, the kids prefer American cheese, I would go for cheddar, and Mariko likes anything except American. On this evening, the kids and I all went for double American cheese and Mariko went with shredded Mozzarella. Yum!!!
For condiments, we like the basic lettuce (Iceberg or Romaine), tomato, onion, and pickles (I never liked pickles on my burgers until a couple of years ago). Not as common are jalapeños, but I will always add them if I have them on hand. And lastly, ketchup, mustard, mayo, and sometimes samourai sauce to round it all out.
All of this is assembled onto buns, which are frequently homemade since Mariko is an amazing baker. Just look!
For sides, we’ll at least have potato chips (plain salted is the best) but potato or macaroni salad would be a definite upgrade. Sometimes we’ll have oven fries, but that’s very rare.
Tonight my family and I tried a new burger restaurant that opened near our house. It’s called BurgerIM, and the special thing about this chain is twofold. First, their burgers are sliders, which means they are smaller than normal, perhaps half the size of a normal burger. Secondly, you can choose from several different types of meats and topping combinations. This is really what I found interesting at BurgerIM. For instance, there’s Wagyu beef, Marguez beef, dry-aged beef, lamb, etc. The website also lists fish, but I don’t think they have added it to the local menu just yet because this location is so new.
I got the Wagyu beef and the Marguez beef, and both were tasty, but the Wagyu was definitely better. I also tried the dry-aged which was yummy as well. Next time, I’ll go for the lamb and something else since there are so many choices to try!
Besides the patty, you can choose from several topping combinations, including a traditional American style, a “California” style with avocado, of course, a spicy style, etc. I thought the variety was pretty good and varied. We also tried the fries and onion rings. The fries were the coin-shaped style and yummy, while the onion rings were nothing special, but not disappointing.
While the food is good, the prices are a bit on the high side for burgers, but probably typical for gourmet burgers. It was $6.99 for the two slider option and $9.99 for three slider option. Add another $3 for fries and a drink (or $3 for a side of fries), and the bill adds up quickly. Also, for the Wagyu beef and a couple of the topping combos, an additional $0.79 is added. When the cashier rang it all up and I saw the total, I was honestly a little shocked. I suppose it was because the restaurant looks like a fast-food place so I was expecting fast-food prices.
Once I got past the sticker shock, I enjoyed the food (and they have beer on tap!) and spending time trying a new restaurant with the family. I also have to add that although these were sliders, two of them left me with a surprisingly full stomach.
We have plenty of burger options near our house, ranging from the higher-end Hopdoddy to the wallet-friendly In N Out, and BurgerIM fits in right below Hopdoddy. It’s nice to have another option rather than a third McDonalds or Wendy’s.