The Stomach that Never Sleeps, part 2: “Concrete Jungle, Wet Dream, Tomato.”

I spent December 20 – 27, 2015 in New York City and ate a silly amount of burgers. Every day this week, I’ll document every fucking burger from my trip in a 5-part series of stories from what might be one of the most diverse burger cities in the damn world. Read part onepart threepart four and part five.

No. 5: Sebastian’s Steakhouse Burger at Brindle Room

Brindle Room Burger

Next I walked less than a block down 10th Street to the highly regarded Brindle Room.

Thy use a cast iron skillet which achieves a majestic fucking sear that makes any puny smashed patty look like a slider (I can say these things now! I know these things!) A healthy sprinkling of salt and pepper helps make that crust; seasoning isn’t just about flavor enhancement, kids. And this is a nice thick juicy delicious patty. It’s made from trimmings from dry-aged prime rib, and the result has that characteristic funk and fattiness and tenderness and amazing flavor of dry aged prime rib. Topped with a goddamn slab of American and caramelized onions on a nicely squishy toasted roll. I put the pickles on it and ketchup for dipping, and this damn near approaches perfection in a way I kind of hate admitting.

But look at this picture! You can see the fucking sear! UGH.Brindle Room SEAR

No. 5.5: Stewed Pork Burger at Xi’an Famous Foods

In desperate need of rest for my pig-in-shit tummy, I stopped at the amazing Box Kite Coffee and had a Heart Roasters espresso for the second time in my life, and it was delicious, but they didn’t have outlets and I was really looking for a place to charge my phone, so I found a Starbucks a few blocks away. I don’t live here, so I make do. You can charge your phone at Starbucks. It’s a thing. McDonald’s, too. Now you know.

Xi'an Famous Foods Pork BurgerOn my way between coffee shops, I came across Xi’an Famous Foods, which had been recommended to me the day prior, and fuck a rest, let’s get another “burger”. “Burger” of course being reinterpreted once again, as it contained no patty and bread questionably classified as a bun, but had “burger” in the name, so I got one. It could have used a bit of mayo to balance some dryness in both the meat and bun. While definitely not a steam bun, it was similar in flavor and slightly toasted, but a bit too chewy with a crusty exterior. But the flavor was on point. Straight porkiness, a little sweet, a little salty. I kinda loved it.*

Belly fuller than full, I settled in at the Starbucks to charge my phone and read a book and just digest a bit. I had an hour until Whitmans opened for dinner service.

No. 6: The “Juicy Lucy” at Whitmans

Whitman's Juicy Lucy cross sectionI’d lose my Minneapolis burger cred if I didn’t try New York’s foremost Juicy Lucy offering at Whitmans.

They stuff a short rib patty with pimento cheese, a blend of cheese, mayo and–no shit–pimentos, on a sesame seed bun with caramelized onion, tomato, lettuce, and secret sauce. They asked how I wanted it cooked, which I’ve never been asked before in the context of a stuffed burger because that doesn’t fully make sense, but I went medium rare, and it came out medium rare! Though I suppose going with a cheese spread stuffing results in an unaffected goopiness in the face of a less-than-medium cooked patty. The sear was wonderful, the seasoning on point, but the pimento cheese really brings it home. It’s creamy but with a zippiness that the caramelized onions mellow out. This burger’s awesomely balanced, letting all the flavors shine.

No. 7: Superiority Burger

Right after I finished at Whitman’s, I went right on down the block to Superiority Burger, Brooks Headley’s reason for ditching his gig as one of the top pastry chefs in the country. When I arrived a half hour before they opened, there wasn’t a line, so I walked past, paused to think of what to do next, turned around and there were two people standing there, so I got in line behind them. By the time they opened, the line was at least twelve deep.

I went in and ordered the Superiority Burger, drank some Superiority Water ($FREE), they called my name first and I got the fuck out of there. There’s literally six places to sit and probably a dozen people standing in a room meant for four. I sat by a tree outside to eat it, thanking El Niño for the favorable late December weather.

Superiority BurgerThe recipe’s secret (“contains nuts” is the only clue), but Headley’s been developing it for years and it’s still evolving. I could taste some beans, some nuts, but at the end of the day I don’t give much of a shit. It’s tasty, and that’s what counts. The consistency’s great; it holds together and they made a surprisingly excellent sear and a good chew. Muenster cheese is a unique choice, but it paired nicely with the well-spiced patty. They make a glorious point of not using out-of-season fresh tomatoes, opting for a cooked-then-preserved tomato, which is one of those forehead-slapping why-doesn’t-anyone-else-do-this moments; what is it about fresh tomato that people are so damn devoted to? Non-shredded iceberg lettuce leaf for crunch, all on that ubiquitous Martin’s potato roll. It didn’t taste like a meat burger, but that isn’t the point. It’s supposed to be delicious, which it is.

Tomorrow’s entry is a special one-burger-only story about my ridiculous trip to New Haven, Connecticut.


*When I walked in, they were packed, and there was a really stressed-looking dude in a staff t-shirt on his cell phone. While I ordered, I noticed a guy checking the temperature of all the food they kept warm and thought, “Wow, I can’t believe they’re temping all the food during service like that,” when my cook brain realized they were getting health inspected at that moment and I quickly started hoping I my food arrived before they got shut down.

The Stomach that Never Sleeps, part 1: “If I can make it there…”

I spent December 20 – 27, 2015 in New York City and ate a silly amount of burgers. Every day this week, I’ll document every fucking burger from my trip in a 5-part series of stories from what might be one of the most diverse burger cities in the damn world. Read part two, part threepart four and part five.

No. 1: ShackBurger at Shake Shack

Shake Shack squareI landed at the wrong terminal. The whole point of flying Delta was to land at Terminal 4 where they have two Shake Shacks, so I had to take a dumb shuttle to make sure the first goddamn thing I did in New York was eat a fucking burger.

The increasingly ubiquitous burger chain fine-tuned their craft to mass-produce it without losing a smidge of quality. I went classic, obviously, and ordered the straight-up ShackBurger–no mods: beef patty ground in-house, God-bless-American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and ShackSauce on a potato roll. The star of this show is the smashed patty with a great sear, and everything else balances quite nicely. This is a great burger, better than the average fast food joint.

No. 2: Hamburger at Mother’s

Mother's squareAfter wiping my fingers, I took a cab from JFK to my sister Anna’s apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn where I dropped off my bags and we went to her local hang, Mother’s.

“They don’t ask you how you want it cooked,” she warned me, not realizing I hate it when they ask that. When prompted, I go medium rare, but prefer to leave it up to the chef or the cook or whomever gives the biggest fuck.

It’s $10 for a burger, cheese for a buck, bacon for two. The patty’s grilled medium, topped with American and a pile of curly-ass crispy-ass bacon, which was a textural playground for my tongue to frolic through. They serve it with a ramekin of spicy mayo I spread on the top bun and lettuce, tomato, and raw onion.

“Oh, they use Pat LaFrieda beef,” I noticed on the chalkboard menu behind the bar.

“Everyone around here does,” Anna informed me.

It was solid, not mind-blowing, a bit underseasoned, but a hefty patty. It’s definitely bacon-tastic. The curly pile of bacon beats the living shit out of any place laying a measly couple of slices on burger. It’s a good neighborhood option if you want a burger with your beer, but I wasn’t here for that.

No. 3 & 4: Hamburger and Cheeseburger at White Mana

White Mana ExteriorThe next morning, I took the L Train from Brooklyn to 6th Ave to take the PATH train to Jersey City to start the day’s burger journey at White Mana, a prefabricated UFO-shaped diner built in 1939 for the World’s Fair before the building was moved in its entirety to its current location in 1946.

Minneapolitans can take note that prefabricating burger joints used to be a common practice, which is how we got that White Castle at 33rd & Lyndale.

When I arrived, the place was deserted, which was fine because I wanted to sit at the counter to watch the magic. Plus I’d be taking weirdo pictures.

“Sliders” nowadays refer to any small burger or tiny sandwich on a bun, but originally it was a process created by White Castle and imitated by many places like White Mana to cook burgers efficiently. There aren’t many places left that make them this way, mostly in northern New Jersey and Detroit, MI.

White Mana processI ordered a hamburger and a cheeseburger and the guy smooshed two tiny lumps of beef on top of onions on the griddle and placed a bottom bun, then a top bun on top of each to steam the bread. When it’s all done, in a matter of a couple of minutes, the top buns were lifted off, the patty-and-bottom-buns were flipped onto a paper plate and the tops were replaced into the common burger assemblage. Throw some pickles on the side, and “here you go, buddy.”

White Mana burgersMy only point of reference is obviously White Castle, and they definitely tasted similar. The onion really makes that flavor distinct to a slider. The top bun wasn’t far past room temperature and hadn’t softened at all. Its inclusion in the cooking process was pointless. Otherwise, they were simple and flavorful. I put the pickles on, squirted some ketchup on my plate to dip, and really enjoyed them. Getting out there is a pain; the Jersey City bus system is a headache. I liked it, and at $1.12 for a hamburger and 10 cents more for cheese, the novelty is more than worth it, but at the end of the day, whatever White Castle is doing now tastes pretty much the same without the top bun issue.

No. 4.5: Spicy Chicken Sandwich at Fuku

Fuku Spicy Chicken SandwichI took the PATH back to Manhattan and got on the L back to the East Village to hit up the Momofuku Noodle Bar for a bowl of their famous ramen. I magically showed up at a golden moment when there wasn’t a line, and got a seat at the bar, quickly ordered, ate, and squeezed out past the amassed masses outside to head a couple of doors down to Momofuku’s fried chicken sandwich joint, Fuku, in Noodle Bar’s original location.

The chicken sandwich is all thigh, brined with habañero peppers, breaded in a batter that stays impossibly crispy throughout its consumption on a Martin’s Potato Roll slathered in mayo with a few slices of pickled cucumber. It’s really really good, and I’m not surprised that New York’s been going nuts for them.

It’s only kind of a burger, though. It’s on a bun, but there’s no ground patty. But I ate one, and this is my blog and you can’t tell me what to do. Who cares? It’s good, go eat one.

To be continued tomorrow with my further burgventures in the East Village, here

The Vincent Burger at Vincent: “Adieu, Adieu to you and you and you”

Vincent Burger

2015 marks the “death of fine dining” in the Twin Cities, following the closing of two of its classic gems, La Belle Vie and Vincent. Culinary excellence has surpassed the elegance of white tablecloths and jacket-required dress codes. Our high-end dining options are just more accessible. I’m obviously a burger dude, but I love a fancy-schmancy meal, and when La Belle Vie closed, I got sad even though I’d never been there, but rather because now I never would. So when Vincent announced its imminent closure at the end of the year, I vowed to put its legendary burger on Burger Fetish in memoriam.

But first I had to eat one, so I got the crew together, and freaked them out when I told them where we were going. We eyed the dining room through the windows wondering how much we’d stand out, then walked in and got a booth in the still-classy-but-not-so-stuffy bar area. It was their late night happy hour and we ordered a few extremely reasonably priced drinks, shared an order of poutine, and got a round of Vincent Burgers.

Chef Vincent Francoual moved to Minnesota from New York–where he spent time at four-star fine dining French restaurants Le Bernadin and Lespinasse–in 1997, but hails originally from France where he began his culinary career at age 15. In 2001 he opened Vincent A Restaurant on Nicollet Mall in Downtown Minneapolis, which was well-received off the bat. But in 2009 he introduced a burger that paid homage to both Daniel Boulud’s uber-decadent db Burger and Minneapolis’ own Juicy Lucy.

Vincent Burger cross sectionAt first glance, you’ve got a fairly standard California-style: lettuce, tomato, and raw onion with a special sauce that a finger-swipe confirms is actually a pretty standard special sauce: ketchup, mayo, pickles. The burger is grilled–with a very elegant quarter-turn crosshatched grill marks–which as we all know dries out the meat a bit but delivers a really excellent flame-licked taste, served on an eggy squishy also-grilled bun. But the star of the show is hidden from view. It’s stuffed with smoked gouda and braised short ribs, and it’s delicious. The short ribs are barely-holding-together tender and full of amazing flavor, and the gouda is just delightful and rich and goes toe-to-toe with the short rib. The California toppings and special sauce give it an air of familiarity, but the stuffing really drives the point home that you’re eating something special.

Following Vincent’s closure, chef Francoual will be moving on to a position as Cara Irish Pubs‘ Culinary Director. Luckily for us, they’re bringing the Vincent Burger to all of the locations, but before it becomes an Irish pub staple, I’m just gonna insist you get one at its original home while you still can. You’ve got two weeks from my publication date until Vincent closes, folks. Go on happy hour when the burger’s only $8. Go bid farewell to Twin Cities fine dining by eating the lowest-brow thing on the menu. But go and fucking love it for being damn tasty.

Ahem. Announcement time.

No post next week because I’m heading to New York City! I’m joining my family to celebrate Christmas, and I’m using it as an excuse to take a week off of work to eat as much as I can, but it somehow feels like it still won’t be enough. It would behoove you to follow me on the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr because I’ll be eating an unhealthy amount of burgers at as many damn places as I can, chronicling my travels on the various social medias. Of course, I’ll be giving a full round-up right here on the Burger Fetish main event, but that’ll be the next entry in about two weeks. ‘Til then, you can all drool over pictures from the road.

The Ten In the Pit at Memory Lanes: “Obviously, you’re not a golfer.”

Memory Lanes 10 in the Pit

“That burger’s such a pain in the ass,” Andy tells me. “I started frying the pickles and onions when I saw you walk in.”

Full disclosure: my buddy Andy cooks at Memory Lanes, told me about this hulking behemoth, and promised to make it with a lot of love if I came and ate it. I paid for it like I usually do, and he in no way attempted to sway my analysis of it.

Memory Lanes is a bowling alley in Minneapolis’ Seward neighborhood. It’s been around for ages, formerly known as Stardust Lanes, but they drum up attention with their annual Memorial Day block party, and weekly Monday night punk shows. Also, you can go there to bowl, which is awesome. But their food mostly goes unnoticed.

I brought the crew, enticing them with bowling, but for me the game and the very nature of my surroundings were afterthoughts, as evinced by my score (81 in one game, and I wasn’t paying attention in the other…but low). I was there for the “10 in the Pit.”

“10 in the Pit” refers to the bowling situation where collision physics work in your favor in a manner that not only knocks all the pins down, but pushes them all off the lane into the abyss behind. It’s a strike that’s better than a strike. It also refers to a burger with fried pickles, fried onions, bacon, barbecue sauce, and in lieu of a bun, two grilled cheese sandwiches.

“It’s like a 10-step process,” Andy says. “You have to fry the veggies while you grill the burger and make two grilled cheese sandwiches at the same time. It’s so fucking annoying.”

Memory Lanes 10 in the pit xcGotta say, grilling the patty dried it out. I ordered it medium rare and it ended up a dry medium. The four slices of bread didn’t help on the moisture either. Ciabatta is a weird choice for the bread; I would have preferred a simple soft Wonder-like bread. As it is, the grilled cheese buns had a density that I wouldn’t be mad about on their own, but didn’t end up squishy enough to function as a bun. In addition, the sandwiches didn’t end up getting very toasted and buttery at all. The cheese melted, but there wasn’t enough of it to contribute a smooth, creaminess to the overall experience, which I expected to be a lot gooier. The barbecue sauce did a lot of the heavy lifting flavor-wise and kept the whole thing moist, which was much appreciated. The fried pickles were–surprise!–pickled green tomatoes, which added an awesome unexpected crunch along with acidity, and while they and the onions couldn’t stay crisp in the face of the barbecue sauce, the mealy sauce-laden batter ended up texturally delightful. The bacon was well-cooked and crisp and smoky.

No one orders the 10 in the Pit expecting culinary genius. You do it for the decadence. I got it for the Instagrammability, but ended up really enjoying it. It’s well-conceived. The dryness of the grilled cheese carried the burger well, and the flavor mostly comes from barbecue sauce, which was great. It’s texturally interesting, the flavors are balanced. If anything, it doesn’t push the envelope far enough to be that ultimate hedonistic this-is-why-you’re-fat gluttonous foodporn.

“We all hate making it. I hope it comes off the menu,” Andy says. I wouldn’t hold my breath.

The Thai Superstar at Blackbird: Thai one on

Blackbird Thai Superstar

Being sick is the fucking worst.

My nose is stuffed up, my throat is sore, and I have a headache. I have a routine that involves zinc and pho and constant hydration and peeing all the time, followed by giving up and eating whatever I want because I can only care about my health for so long before the siren song of the burger is too alluring to resist.

Mmmmmmmmm.

In 2007, husband-wife team Chris Stevens and Gail Mollner opened the upscale casual Blackbird Cafe in the Southwest Minneapolis’ Lynnhurst neighborhood, only to lose it to a fire in February 2010. It only seemed a minor setback, though, as they were able to quickly reopen in November of the same year at 38th & Nicollet, and have been going strong since. They have a widely diverse menu with small plates, sandwiches, entrees, and snacks with modern American, Italian, and Asian influences throughout their scratch house-made comfort food. The dining room has just as varied of decor as the menu, with a hodgepodge of thrift store finds, a collection of antlers, and a spinning disco ball. It was one of the first chef-driven restaurants to open on South Nicollet, paving the way for places like last week’s Nighthawks and longtime favorite, Revival.

Blackbird postcardBut they seemed to have mysteriously omitted a burger from their menu, so they were off my radar until I caught word that they correct this egregious error on Tuesdays, serving fancy chef’d up burgers once a week. I hollered at Teresa and she picked my sick ass up.

If I hadn’t been sick, I’d take full advantage of their ridiculously-priced $12 pitchers of one of my favorite local everyday go-to brews, Surly Hell, as part of their Tuesday night Burgers & Beer special, but I had to refrain in the interest of I hate being sick.

They had three options: the Brian Wilson–avocado, grilled pickled red onion, romaine & special sauce, the Thai Superstar–braised oyster mushrooms, grilled tomato nam prik & Kewpie mayo, and the Pineapple Express–grilled tomatillo salsa, pineapple, cilantro, cucumber, jalapeño & smoked paprika aioli. Teresa failed to disclose that she’d already eaten dinner and only wanted dessert, but I convinced her to split an order of their chicken lemongrass potstickers in a ginger garlic broth. The broth alone was incredibly salty but balanced the succulent dumplings supremely, giving a full-bodied flavor that coated my mouth in a stocky richness. But it meant I only got to try one of the burgers. But I now pretty much have to go back for more. Which is a total win-win because it was delicious.

The Thai Superstar had me at “Kewpie mayo”. Or “Oyster Mushrooms”. Or “Roasted Tomato”. Ah, hell, it was the entire stack of Umami-laden toppings. Braising the mushrooms removes the chewiness you get from the usual cooking methods, creating tenderness that didn’t dominate the texture, and brings out a fantastic subdued earthy flavor. Nam prik is Thai for “hot sauce” in the same sense that any “hot sauce” isn’t easily defined, but in Blackbird’s iteration it’s a Thai-inflected pico de gallo with–I’m mostly guessing, here–roasted tomato, cilantro, lime, chilis and fish sauce. It fills a lot of roles in this burger: acid, mostly, but the cilantro pops freshness, and I wouldn’t call it spicy, but it spikes a mild heat every so often that doesn’t linger. It’s fucking delicious and I’d try it on anything. There isn’t a better mayo than Kewpie. It does the heavy lifting of American mayo–that whipped fatty creaminess–but it’s smoother and less eggy, and it’s got MSG! Blackbird really slathers it on, and it balances and completes this burger. The toasted house-made bun is squishy and buttery and crisp around the edges. Damn near everything I’m looking for in a bun.

Blackbird Thai Superstar - InteriorLest we forget the patty, which was a perfectly pink medium rare, but rather lacking in sear. Most places that aren’t necessarily burger-centric but put a lot of craft into their burgers have a flat-top griddle cranked the fuck up to sear the shit out of their beef on contact, and Blackbird isn’t one of those places. I’m not mad about it! Sure, I love a sear, but the patty was certainly well-cooked, well-seasoned, and a tasty burger that stands on its own. It’s complete and well-thought-out. There’s unique masterly-executed flavors here. And no cheese! I think it’s the first Burger Fetish entry with no cheese. And I’m still not mad about it!

And this is what Burger Fetish is all about. If I were eating similar permutations of the same damn burger over and over, we’d all be getting bored. Great burgers don’t need to adhere to some mythological standard. They just have to be great.

All three burgers are $10 each and come as-is. They seem to rotate the variations periodically without warning, but I doubt they’d sell a burger that didn’t meet their quality standards or match their unique compositions.

It didn’t cure my cold, though.

Double Cheeseburger at Nighthawks: “You Look Smashing, Darling.”

Nighthawks CheeseburgerAfter a long-ass day cooking for other people, the last thing I want to do is cook for myself. A solid half of my shifts I don’t end up eating because I’m tired, I don’t want to cook anymore, and slapping together a crappy meal for myself feels like a waste of time when I mostly want to get the fuck out of there. But late night dining options in Minneapolis are often lacking. Yeah, there’s diners, taquerias, pizza shops, and typical bar food for post-10pm noshing, and I’m definitely not knocking the stupid-tasty late-night options, but sometimes more than a midnight sandwich, I want a damn good meal.

And sometimes you get the best of both worlds, and sometimes that’s a burger.

I got off work around 10 on Friday and headed straight to Madeleine’s for a beer before biking to Minneapolis’ poppingest restaurant corridor, South Nicollet. Home to Blackbird, Kyatchi, Hola Arepa, Ramen Kazama–its newest entry, and of course, Revival, Nicollet Avenue is leading the wave of chef-driven comfort food.

Chef-owner Landon Schoenefeld loves fucking with the traditional, cheffing things up at Haute Dish by twisting cuisine into chimeric concoctions that are simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar, like his take Tater Tot Hot Dish and General Tso Sweetbreads. He’s actually behind a bunch of burgers around town from stints at many, many restaurants over the years. I’ve already covered the Haute Dish burger, his outstanding take on a California style. At Nighthawks, opened spring of this year, Schoenefeld takes an approach perpendicular to that of Haute Dish, using advanced technique and months of research to craft excellent consistent versions of standard diner fare.

Madeleine got a single patty and I got a double ($10 and $15, respectively). It comes with potato salad or coleslaw, or you can upgrade to french fries for $2…which I did!

At my request, we got seats at the kitchen bar, overlooking their diner-style open kitchen because even after a long day of it, I still love cooking so much I have to watch other people do it, and I really wanted to see the magic technique behind this burger. Conventional wisdom dictates that smashing a patty is strictly verboten because it squeezes the fat out, losing that all-important juiciness. But smashing a patty maximizes contact with a griddle to attain an excellent fucking sear. BUT at Nighthawks, we watched the cook masterfully smash the patty within seconds of contact with the griddle, guaranteeing an imperial sear without moisture loss because the fat hasn’t had a chance to melt yet. After a couple of minutes, she flipped the patty, but absolutely did not smash again because at that point the now-liquid fat would squeeze out. I’ve heard about this method, but it was a pleasure to observe.

I don’t know if I enjoy actual burger geekery itself as much as I enjoy geeking out over burgers. And I don’t actually know if there’s a difference.

The patty didn’t have as ungodly of a sear as its older brother at Haute Dish, but it was as supremely seared as you get by conventional methods. It was well-seasoned, damn near verging on being oversalted, with a very strong black pepper flavor. Smashed burgers naturally end up on the more done side of medium-well, but what was missing in pink juiciness was more than made up for in retained fat and a fucked up amount of cheese. American cheese enveloped each patty in goopiness that rolled off onto the griddle for a touch of literal grilled cheesiness around the edges. Topped with freshly grilled red onions, giving it a sweet just-fried-enough outside with a still-firm crispy center. Pickles–acid, tasty, wonderful, and thankfully not too sweet paired with the onions. I’m never going to stop talking about how fantastic pickles are, and they make–and their absence breaks–a damn good burger. And a very tasty burger sauce, featuring all of the standard burger toppings blendered along with–according to my sources–a bit of bun and patty. It’s saucy, tangy, and what else would you want on a burger but more burger? The bun was a perfect squishy and it went by mostly unnoticed, just how I like.

You know when there’s, like, two overcooked fries in your McDonald’s fry sleeve, and they’re crispier and browner and have a deeper flavor? Nighthawks managed to capture that fry and figured out how to make a full order of them. They’re glorious and well-seasoned, and oh so crispy.

Double-patty American Cheese burgers are a hot trend, with David Chang claiming it’s the only way to do it, there’s enough of them in the Twin Cities to do a burger crawl (and they missed a few), and it’s reached the point where places are actually trying not to make them. It makes a great burger without too much fuss, though getting fussy with ’em pays off, like at Nighthawks. I’ll admit that overanalyzing burgers as I do leaves me wanting more variety and I seek out burgers that don’t just pile on the American, but it’s a treat to go back and eat damn good straight-up cheeseburger that’s trying really hard to be a damn good straight-up cheeseburger.