I do whatever it takes to infuse maximum flavor into each of the components that make my hamburgers what they are – I use good sauces and toppings, cooking techniques, and seasoning. As far as technique goes, I love searing my burgers (which tightens up the meat), so make sure you rest the hamburger before assembling. This way, the juices redistribute through the burger, leaving you with a perfectly cooked juicy burger.
The only thing that can make a burger better at this point is what you serve it with. I’m talking about the side dishes, fries, and milkshakes. There are a million sides out there, so I won’t get into that right now. At Good Stuff Eatery, we are as equally proud of our shakes and fries as we are of our burgers. We make fresh custard every day, and that is what we make our shakes with. Throw some creative flavorings and toppings in the mix, and you have the best shakes in the world.
Editor’s Note: Indulge in your comfort-food fantasies with these three unbelievably good recipes from Top Chef’s Spike Mendelsohn – he’ll take you from a starter, to the main course, and to dessert heaven.
I’ve never met a foodie who didn’t have a Caesar salad fetish. They’re simple yet snobby, easy yet impressive, healthy yet: not. Personally I could call Caesar salad a meal, but sometimes it’s also a sensational starter.
The 2008 presidential election happened the year I moved to D.C. Because I had a restaurant on Capitol Hill, how could I not do a McCain vs. Obama Burger! What I didn’t realize is how seriously people would take this “Countdown to Election” burger challenge. I think bipartisan couples were getting divorced in front of my cashiers, first-time dates were finding out way too much information, and there were a few wacky but lovable Democrats coming in to order the Obama burger (so it would count toward the vote) but who wanted all the McCain ingredients. Here’s what I thought a cool Chicago guy would like on his burger – hopefully I’m right.
This shake is undeniably delicious, but I had no idea it would become, in fact, legendary. We thought of the idea because we’re huge marshmallow freaks in my family. Not only is the flavor like a campfire in your mouth, but it evokes those same childhood memories of indulgence and misbehavior! We get mad love for this shake.
Reprinted with permission from The Good Stuff Cookbook: burgers, fries, shakes, wedges, and more by Spike Mendelsohn with Micheline Mendelsohn, copyright © 2010. Published by John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Photography by Joe Shymanski