Photo by Kevin J. Miyazaki
Saint Dinette’s double cheeseburger
We’ve been in a cheffy-burger era for a while now: When your town sells Vincent’s gouda-stuffed short-rib burger at the ballpark, you really can’t deny it. But there has been a surprising shift on the scene, one that played out loudly and proudly during the spate of this year’s restaurant openings. Moving away from the ethos of more-is-more, just-put-some-foie-on-it, chefs this year returned to their roots. The burger of the moment is a thin-pattied double cheeseburger. It is elemental and splendid when done perfectly. It can be elegant in its oozing adornment, which is humble cheese and maybe a pickle, or a thick slice of onion. It seems that this burger is what happens when chefs forego decoration and flex their creative muscle through technique to create a righteously crisp-edged burger patty, topped with the richest homemade version of American cheese, and in doing so, deliver to us a new standard. Amen.
The Parlour burger kicked off the obsession in town with its two patties decked with white American cheese and pickles. The burger debuted a few years ago, and has only gained in its rabid following.
Chef Joe Rolle is credited with inventing the Parlour burger, so at his new gig, as head of Il Foro, he debuted The Burger 2.0. This one is just as rich and beefy, but with the finest iteration of government cheese around. Look for this burger at lunch only.
The double burger at this diner can be had as a single, but why would you? It’s a juicy bomb with bits of caramelized onion underneath the patties, giving it a bit of White Castle nostalgia. The cheese situation that cascades down the sides is epic.
You have to ignore the fried chicken for half a second and get the burger. The double beauty here is slathered with mayo and dressed with house-sweetened pickles. The smarties get the bacon on top, which is gilding the lily, but these guys know pork.
There are rumors that this burger’s cheese has champagne in the mix to make it extra rich but subtly refined. Served with a side of pickles, this burger achieves that which is nearly impossible: thin patties that are perfectly pink inside, juicy, and oozing flavor from the top down.