Friday, June 8, 2012
Dropping beef altogether wasn't really the goal - just a major decline in how much red meat I was eating. I succumbed to the blood pressure medication a few years ago. I'm still trying to stay off any cholesterol meds. So far, so good.
This week I might have eaten my last burger on purpose. Not because it was great. Just the opposite, actually.
The Great Dane Pub has terrific food and even better beer. I can count on their menu items being fresh, creative, and flavorful. So, on this nice summer day, my buddy Rich and I decided to grab a brew and some lunch.
My friend Steve popped his head in my office earlier that day to say, "you know, it has been a long time since we have had a burger." Or something along those lines. I told him that the timing was serendipity, since we were on our way to the Great Dane! We also grabbed Chris, and some regular reviewers for the Taste Test Madison Blog were ready to eat!
I ordered a basic pub burger, which was a 1/3 pound ground chuck patty with sliced onion, tomato, lettuce, and pickle. I added some sharp cheddar and asked for it to be medium rare. (Click photo for a better view.)
The bun was dense and flavorful. I generally like a softer bun, but this was fine. I only really noticed for the first bite or two.
The meat was a bit leaner than I expected in a ground chuck, and it was cooked more on the medium side. That's understandable, but made for a slight disappointment. The flavor of the burger was fine, and all of the condiments could be distinguished when assembled. A lot of the taste came from the ketchup and mustard I added, however.
Now I digress to the most wonderful part of my meal . . . the fried plantains. Seriously, these are meaty chunks of plantain, fried so you get a slight crunch at the edges along with a little carmalization. The mild tropical flavor matches the heavy texture to create a truly delicious side. I recommend it wholly.
Steve and Rich also ordered burgers. Rich chose a different cheese, and Steve went without. Chris juked the crowd and ordered the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich instead.
Ratings for the Great Dane Burger:
Steve - 6 out of 10
Rich - 5 out of 10
John - 6 out of 10
As I sat back and relaxed after dining, I realized that this might be the last burger I eat for a long while. It just wasn't something that I would crave, and I'm starting to wonder how my palate might have changed because I have stayed away from beef for so long.
So, we'll crank back up with Payday Taco reviews moving forward. Plus, I have an interest in short blog posts about donuts in and around Madison. (I am part of a podcast that takes a few minutes to review donuts as it is).
But the next foundation for this blog will be Fried Chicken. Mmm. Gotta grab a Harold's menu now!
Thursday, September 29, 2011
The company I work for holds an annual auction, with proceeds to benefit a fund for employees going through hardship. It's a great cause, and it has already helped people in ways they did not expect.
For the Silent Auction, my friend Rich and I put ourselves up for bid: A lunch at the Oakcrest Tavern in Madison, Wisconsin, along with a blog post of our experience. Here we go:
The auction was won by Greg, who happens to also know Rich from a "previous life" when he was a line-cook at the Come Back In in Madison. Rich was a weekend AM bartender in those days. We reminisced about some good old days, but mainly about some really screwed up things that also made them some "borderline" old days.
Burgers were ordered: Greg and Rich ordered Bacon Cheeseburgers and I ordered a Cheeseburger with Cheddar. First impressions were generally favorable - a typical tavern burger, as expected.
The bun was a bit slight for the beef that it was holding. Because of the juices from the burger, the bun bottom was quickly soggy and messy to hold. Greg (being a baker by trade) cited the bun as his first suggestion for improvement.
The beef was of good quality, seemingly a ground chuck for good fat content. All the burgers were cooked exactly as ordered. The meat was excellent, although it was not seasoned at all. Condiments added any additional flavors.
Overall, I rated my burger a 7 1/2, Rich rated his burger an 8 (with high marks due to the quality of meat), and Greg gave it a score of 7 (with his lowered marks for the bun).
Aside - my daughter Leah had the grilled cheese, which she gave a score of 9 1/2!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
I made a nice shredded pork carnitas taco on a soft corn tortilla with rice, pinto beans, and handmade salsa. YES!
Friday, May 21, 2010
The menu is quite diverse, and tacos can come in several ways - American style with lettuce, cheese, and sour cream and Mexican style with chopped onion and salsa. There is a wide variety of tortilla, too: soft corn, fried corn, soft flour, and fried flour. I haven't seen a fried flour shelled taco since Taco Bell had its infamous "Taco Lights" in the mid-1980s. It piqued my interest enough to get one.