Hamburger dreams

With the remnants of the last snow storm still covering the backyard, another double digit dump of frozen precipitation on the way and the grill hunkered down under it’s cover in a corner of the patio, it’s not exactly the time to be thinking about grilling hamburgers.

Yet I am.

I can blame it, in part, on two recent trips to Checkers in downtown Trenton.  The South Warren Street eatery is a favorite lunch “date” for Ann and me when she can break away from the phone and computer.  The burgers are grilled to order and served either on a roll or stuffed into pita bread. 

But my burger jones was really fed by Mike Colameco’s show this past weekend.   If you are not familiar with this show, it’s a half hour, documentary style show the features an ingredient, restaurant or food group.  Most often shot in NYC, the show occasionally goes afield to locations in Europe.

Anyway, this past weekend, our local PBS station reran an episode about hamburgers.  It started at Pat LaFrieda Wholesale Meats, a meat provisioner that grinds blends to chef’s specifications for a variety of New York eateries.  From there, the show moved into the kitchens of a half dozen or so establishments offering top of the line burgers in and around Manhattan. 

There was talk about which cuts of beef made the best ground beef; philosophies on the best accompaniments and condiments; and a variety of French fry and onion ring styles as side dishes.

It all looked good and made me hungry.

Half way through the program I found myself fantasizing about a nice grilling party featuring burgers made from meat ground fresh here at home; Nice hard rolls from a local bakery; great slices of Jersey tomatoes at peak ripeness; and accompanied by potatoes and onion rings fried to order.  A cold beer or two and the laughter of good friends sharing a meal on the patio as the sun sets.

A fantasy I’ll have to wait to act on.

It’s snowing again.

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