Hoooooly crap it's been a while.
I could make a whole bunch of excuses. I could talk about how I got engaged, bought a house, moved, went to Texas for 2 and a half months, helped plan the wedding, and got married, but it would be just that -- excuses. I could also mention how many times I kept myself from ordering cheeseburgers at restaurants because I didn't have my camera on me (and who wants to see crappy cell phone pics of food? Not this guy). Really, there is no excuse for not eating and/or talking about cheeseburgers.
I'm not going to make any promises that I will update more regularly, but I am armed with a fancy new camera (part of whose purchase I justified by being able to take better low-light pictures of cheeseburgers...). When my friend whose wife was out of town asked if I wanted to go try the cheeseburger at The Anchor Fish and Chips, I jumped at the chance to both eat a cheeseburger and try out my new toy in a new circumstance. Of course, it also didn't hurt that my wife happened to be out of town too...
I had never been to The Anchor before, and have yet to try their namesake fish and chips, but a guy's gotta have priorities. The burger is advertised as featuring Minnesota-raised, grass-fed beef from 1000 Hills, and the cheese as an Irish cheddar. All told, with a side order of hand cut thick fries (er, I mean, chips), it was $9.95. I ordered mine cooked medium, sans pickles (natch).
Upon delivery of the burger, I took note of a few things: One the patty was much smaller in diameter than the bun. Not a huge deal, but one of those things that makes you wonder... The patty itself looked to be somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 lb, nicely seared, and with the cheese melted thoroughly atop it. The bun appeared lightly buttered and lightly toasted, and the burger was served with a generous helping of sliced red onion, a couple thick tomato slices, and a full leaf of green-leaf lettuce.
Slicing through, I saw meat that was, unusually, cooked more medium rare than medium. I'm not complaining, but it stood out because most places are probably so afraid of food-borne pathogens that they overcook everything. Being willing to serve ground beef at medium rare shows confidence in one's meat. I approve. The burger was evenly done throughout as well. The cross-section revealed the layer of cheese was quite thin (nearly invisible, actually).
So how did it taste? In a word: excellent. The standout in this burger is the beef: intensely flavorful, juicy, and darn near perfectly seasoned (I probably wouldn't have minded a touch more salt, but it certainly didn't need it). The use of local grass-fed beef comes through and makes this burger worth eating. The cheese, being as thin as it was, was not a strong component of the overall flavor of the burger. I might even argue that this burger probably would be just as good without the cheese for $1 less (blasphemy!). Surprisingly, the tomatoes were pretty good despite it being January. The bun was soft and fresh and didn't detract from the real star of this burger. Make no mistake: it's all about the beef.
The only downside to this burger is the high bun-to-meat ratio. With careful eating, you can arrange it so that every bite has both bun and meat in it -- but if you're not so careful, you'll end up like my friend who had nearly half of his bun left after finishing the meat. This doesn't affect the flavor one bit, but it's still not ideal.
In the end, though, you can't argue with the meat. This is a great burger. Go get one.
The Anchor Fish and Chips