Not surprisingly, several of the June Burger of the Month specials at burger bars are plays on All-American barbecue flavors. But I didn’t expect that to be so in the UK. The UK’s Byron chain features the Sweet Caroline burger “inspired by our head chef Fred’s memories of visits to the Southern States, where summer means one thing: barbecue time.” That translates to a beef patty topped with jalapeño slaw, streaky bacon and crispy potatoes.
At BOBO Social in London the special is The Cowboy Burger, topped with smoky BBQ beans, house-made coleslaw with maple-cured crispy bacon and ranch dressing. For Chalk Valley in Southampton, England, the June burger special is something called the Smokey Bandit Burger. That’s a 100% grass-fed-beef patty, organic Cheddar cheese, bourbon caramelized onions and green poblano chilies.
What they’re missing is that the current definition of a truly All-American burger seems to the inclusion of a hot dog. Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s have their new, wiener-topped Most American Thickburger and Burgerhaus in Indianapolis has The Puebla this month. That’s a half-pound, custom-ground, fresh-never-frozen burger from Davis Creek Farms in Kalamazoo, Mich., paired with an all-beef hot dog, white Cheddar, guacamole-taquero salsa, butter lettuce, sliced tomato, and Worcestershire-braised onions on a fresh pretzel roll and served with fried tater tots. That’s American. So is the Goblin Cock burger that’s menued for June at Chicago twins Kuma’s Corner and Kuma’s Too. It includes a 10-oz. beef patty topped with a ¼-lb. hot dog, bacon, Cheddar, green relish, sport peppers, pickles, tomato, onion and celery-salt mustard. That’s Chicago.
There are several wild card burgers worth noting. One is the Alex Quebec burger at Flipdaddy’s in Cincinnati. Love the name and the burger looks good, too: a house beef blend patty with french fries, house beef gravy, Cheddar cheese and house-made onion jam, served on a pretzel bun. Another is the Born on the Bayou burger at Buckeye Beer Engine in Lakewood, Ohio. It starts with a char-grilled beef patty and adds two slices of American cheese, dill pickle slices, and our house-made special sauce; served on a sesame-seed-topped butter-toasted bun with Engine Chips and a fried pickle. You know Grill ‘Em All in Alhambra, Calif., has something off the wall. The “Holy Diver aka Captain Lou Albano” has lox & cream cheese, frisée, red onion, tomato, smoked-caper aïoli and a half-pound burger on a poppy-seed bun.
There are a couple dozen great burger builds on this month’s list. See them all here. Feel free, of course, to borrow a burger idea or two.