Friday, March 27, 2009

Ode to the Pancetta Burger

How I Met Your Mother is one of my favorite television shows. I've watched it since day one. Early this season, they made an episode about the best burger in New York. Marshall, the innocent, sweet, slightly naive Minnesota boy was having a rough time in the big, bad city. As the gang was deciding where to eat dinner, he mentioned the best burger in New York. He had stumbled upon that burger joint 8 years ago, but been unable to find his way back to that hole-in-the-wall since. After listening to him describe this most perfect burger, the gang decided to help their friend feel better by finding that burger. Watching that episode made me want a burger more than I had ever wanted one before.

That episode aired again in January. Suddenly, I HAD to find the best burger here. It's like I had a contact burger high just from watching Marshall describe that perfect burger and watching all the rest of them bite into it when they finally found the right place. Sadly, SO and I had already eaten dinner, so we decided not to begin our quest that very night. But a few days later, we tried out a new, high-end fast food burger joint. It was a good burger for a fast food burger and I definitely enjoyed the fries, but I knew it wasn't going to win the prize.

On Valentine's Day, we went to the local bar with bocce ball, cheap beer, and lots of fried food options. The burger there was pretty darn good, but others have reported more disappointing experiences. So while I really enjoyed the burger, it seemed this place wouldn't be able to achieve the consistency necessary to be declared the best burger in town.

For the KU-Oklahoma game (go Jayhawks!), we went to Buffalo Wild Wings. I enjoyed the black cherry mojito more than the burger. The burger wasn't bad at all; it just wasn't special or memorable in any way.

Then, we learned that the local gourmet chef, who runs one of those impossible-to-get-into fixed menu restaurants out of his home, was opening a burger stand at an Irish pub. Our interest was piqued. The paper featured an interview with the chef and his partner at the burger stand. The two wanted to provide an upscale burger in an accessible atmosphere. They offer several burgers made of a combination of sirloin, ribeye, and some other beef cut. They also offer the top dog of burgers, the kobe burger. All for under $9.

Naturally, SO and I had to go. We went that very night, only to learn the place wasn't open on Mondays. After grumbling that they probably should have mentioned that in the article that was published on a Monday, we went somewhere else, resolving to return later in the week. We made plans with friends to return on Friday. But, it was during lent, so poor SO wouldn't have been able to try a burger. We didn't tell our friends, but went on our own on Thursday. We ordered one traditional cheeseburger and one kobe burger and split them both. The traditional was easily the juiciest, tastiest burger I'd ever had. The kobe was just glorious. The next night, I tried the chili burger. Also yummy. SO declared the kobe burger the winner. But, good as it was, I wasn't convinced.

And now I know why. Because the best burger in town is the pancetta burger. Last night, we went to the Irish pub burger stand. I was all set to try the mushroom and gruyere burger until I walked up to the counter and saw the latest offering: the Pancetta Burger. Pancetta, mozarella, fresh basil, and a fire-roasted tomato sauce. Oh, yeah. Pancetta good: it's basically just fancy Italian bacon and bacon makes everything better. Mozzarella good: a salty, stringy, melty glob of cheesy wonder. Basil good: I'd put basil on just about anything (except breakfast cereal). Fire-roasted tomato sauce good: no need for ketchup! And the combination of mozzarella, basil, and tomato is one of my go-to treats. Come to any party I host, and it's a good bet you'll find some variety of a caprese salad.

Put it all together on the best hamburger patty around and oh my god. You have suddenly created the best burger around. Fantastic, delectable, awe-inspiring, heavenly, orgasmic. I'm so over-the-top in love with this burger, I can't find the words to express my love. I'm still in the afterglow. I kinda wanted to burp in the hopes that some of that glorious taste would come back to my mouth. I briefly flirted with the idea of not brushing my teeth. (Hygiene won out.) I will never find another burger that will touch me the way the pancetta burger has. We are soul mates. It speaks my unspoken language. I will love the pancetta burger 'til the day I die.

But, if I ever found another burger that made me break my vow to the pancetta burger, how freaking good would that new burger be?


Heather said...

OMG. Now I want a burger!

S said...

Have you been? To the Burger Stand? Because if you haven't, you need to go there immediately. For lunch. And if you have, well you need to go again immediately. For lunch.

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