After a looong hiatus, this blog starts to pick up again. One deterrent has been my goal to stay "beef-free" in 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!