Written by Meaghan Clark
Americans nosh on hamburgers 24/7 – it’s a pastime we aren’t ready to let the world forget, and with that sheer passion for meaty, deliciously juicy sandwiches we have passed along our obsession generation after generation. The burger isn’t just for your Memorial Day BBQ or office picnic – slathered with a specialty sauce and vegetables, this classic American sandwich is an all-around institution that has enabled chefs, trained professionally or otherwise, to concoct their very own specialty. With the help of some city experts, Exec Digital shines a light on some favorites.
Keller's Drive-In in Dallas, Texas
Recently named one of George Motz’s top 10 Burger sports in a USA Today piece, Keller’s Drive-In is a Dallas staple, serving up burgers and cold beverages from its drive-up location on Northwest Highway for more than three decades. Forget the glitz here: the burgers are greasy, are slopped on a toasted poppy-seed bun and are downright cheap by today's prices – we're talking two burgers and shakes for under $10 cheap. One necessity: grilled onions. Service is fast and efficient – there are those who have worked 20+ years, or newbie’s who started delivering yesterday – all right up to your car window. You'll do some great people watching and probably see a few classic cars on each trip, no matter what time of day you arrive.
From the experts at Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau
Shamrock, Rose & Thistle Tea Room in Mobile, Alabama
The allure of Wagyu beef goes beyond just being fashionable; the fat content makes for amazing flavor. It might sound odd, but the best Wagyu burger I’ve ever had was at the Shamrock, Rose & Thistle in Mobile, AL -an English tea room by day and Irish gastro pub by night. That much schizophrenia can only result in chaos or nirvana. Chef Corky Sullivan perfectly cooks a half pound of Wagyu, places it on a toasted Keyser roll with caramelized onions, the most crisp applewood smoked bacon, sharp cheddar and a house-made herbed mayo. Nirvana.
Rotier's in Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is known for many things –history, music and great soul food. But amongst the museums, honkytonks and meat-and-three’s there is also a dive called Rotier's. Located on Elliston Place between Vanderbilt University and the city’s heavy metal music district (the Rock Block) is a place that looks exactly like the kind of joint your parents told you to avoid. Ignore your parents; they’re clueless. Rotier’s has a thick, juicy patty stacked on toasted French bread with fresh veggies and melted cheese; simple, but delivering the same attention to detail since 1945.
Stout in Hollywood, California
I tried the legendary, trendy and ‘hard-to-find’ joints in Los Angeles, but hands down the best burger in the City of Angels was at Stout on Cahuenga Blvd. Stout is serious about burgers. They grind their own beef in house. Their buns are airy with the perfect toast on the inside to foil the juicy burger and condiments like blue cheese, emi gruyere, rosemary bacon, caramelized onion and horseradish cream. That horseradish cream is like crack, and perfect with their onion rings too.
Stuart Red Donald (Stout, Rotier’s,Shamrock, Rose & Thistle Tea Room)is a celebrity chef and award-winning food writer. He is also the host of two web cooking shows including Taste Award nominated Little Grill Big Flavor. He chronicles his culinary adventures at his popular web site WannabeTVchef.com.
Roam Artisan Burgers in San Francisco
Not only does Roam use the highest quality grass fed beef and bison, but their artisanal buns are sourced from local bakeries, they serve beer and kombucha on tap, pickle their own pickles, and make hand-crafted shakes from organic ice cream. They also feature house made sodas sweetened with low-glycemic agave nectar, veggies burgers and fries that are always gluten-free, and source their ingredients from local, sustainable purveyors.
Roam's Tejano Burger is the most popular burger and can be made with beef, turkey, veggie, bison, or elk patty. The spicy jalapeno relish, combined with the lean bison, cool ranch and fresh ripe tomato creates a flavor explosion that is complimented by a toasted Pacific Coast bakery sesame seed bun and crunchy corn tortilla strips. The burger has all kinds of sensory appeal - delicious tasting, a nice crunch and pretty on the plate – that’s a must try when visiting San Francisco.
VIDEO: THE DELICIOUSNESS OF ROAM