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The Best Burger in the USA

The Best Burger in the USA

Renaud Ceccotti-Ricci - 2011-03-14

The Miami Wine and Food Festival, one of the United States’ biggest culinary events (now organised for the past five years) has just elected its new king. For the second year running the crown for America’s best hamburger has gone to the chef Michael Symon from Cleveland, Ohio.

It’s impossible to talk about American food without thinking of burgers, the famous beef patties in a bread bun with sauces, salad or cheese. The collective unconscious of this popular culinary offering probably conjures up images of Ronald McDonald and his inexpensive Big Macs. However at the Miami Beach Ritz-Carlton, where the event took place, the show was quite different from anything you might find in the restaurants of the famous American clown.
 
Chandeliers, live music and evening dress were compulsory for the Festival’s most popular event. Over 3000 gourmets from every part of the country had no hesitation in parting with $250 (approximately £150) in order to attend the evening gathering.
26 chefs (Michelin starred, TV stars and specialists of grilled food) fought for the title and the ensuing media circus that makes their restaurant the place to be seen for the next twelve months. It was therefore going to take more than a mere dash of ketchup and a gherkin to please the palates of the foodie guests who were to decide on the winner.
 
A chicken satay burger, a caramelized onion, a slice of Wisconsin mature cheddar, a slice of black tomato, a quail egg, rosemary herb bun or sweet potato fries – each chef sought to make the difference with his own special touch. The offering of the Ritz’s chef was to include leeks and a slice of foie gras and another with black truffle and brie. French chef Laurent Tourondel, who worked with Jacques Maximin and Claude Troisgros in France before launching several steakhouses in New York, Las Vegas and Miami, also had a French touch with his steak in pepper crust.
 
The guests, however, were queuing up for the burgers of last year’s winner. The offering from Michael Symon's Cleveland-based B Spot restaurant was the magnificent “Yo! Burger.” For him “the secret of a good burger is the meat on meat principle. People love it when you put a slice of bacon in with the beef,” he proclaims, all smiles. This time it had a slice of fried salami, a juicy hamburger steak, a slice of provolone and shasha hot sauce which were all rounded off with a wonderful little Hungarian pepper ... A true delight!
 
Whilst Symon carried away the People’s Choice award, the panel of food critics and chefs from the Food Network channel preferred the "Big Marc" by Marc Murphy, a former chef from Alain Ducasse’s famous Louis XV restaurant in Monte Carlo. Murphy is now a resident of New York, where he opened Landmarc. Even though his restaurant is French-Italian inspired, there is no doubt that his juicy burger in a homemade black pepper and cheddar bun served with delicious potato fries and Mexican jalapeno peppers will soon be on the menu.
 
 
USEFUL INFORMATION
 
Where to eat the best burgers:
Cleveland:
B Spot Burgers (Chef: Michael Symon)
28699 Chagrin Boulevard, Woodmere, OH 44122
Tel: 216-292-5567; http://www.bspotburgers.com/
 
New York:
BLT Burger (Chef: Laurent Tourondel)
470 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10011
Shake Shack (Chain of high quality burgers)
11 Madison Avenue, New York, 10010
Tel: 212-889-6600; http://www.shakeshack.com/
Landmarc (Chef: Marc Murphy)
179 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013
 
Boston :
Boston Burger Company (Chef: Paul Malvone)
37 Davis Square, Somerville, MA 02144
Tel: 617-440-7361; http://bostonburgerco.com/
 
Washington:
Good Stuff Eatery (Chef: Spike Mendelsohn)
303 Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast, Washington D.C., DC 20003
Tel: 202-543-8222; http://bostonburgerco.com/
 
Los Angeles:
Umami Burger (Chain of high quality burgers)
850 South La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tel: 323-931-3000; http://umamiburger.com/
 
Miami:
Shake Shack (Chain of high quality burgers)
1111 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Tel: 305-434-7787; http://www.shakeshack.com/
BLT Steak (Chef: Laurent Tourondel)
1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139-4108
 

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