Monday, November 07, 2005

Michael Chiarello's Behemoth Burger

Armchair Cook is on vacation. Please welcome special guest commentator Toby Driftwood.

I like mine with lettuce and tomato
Heinz 57 and french fried potatoes
Big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer
Well good God Almighty which way do I steer for my....

Cheeseburger in paradise!

While most of us are familiar with Jimmy Buffett's ode to the ground round, is enough attention given to the cheeseburger? Scratch that. The Good Cheeseburger? From Harmon's Hamburgers in Falmouth, Maine to Kua'aina Burger in Haleiwa, Hawaii, America's fascination and ultimately The Food Network's appreciation for our favorite meal is beginning to take center stage.

My personal acknowledgement of The Food Network first began in the spring of ought five. While lazily shuffling through my 600 channels of nothing, I spotted a man giving careful attention to a handful of ground beef.

Remembering my obligation towards The Good Cheeseburger, I shooshed my empty room and told the air that a burger was soon to be born. I put down the clicker and paid close attention. The man, as I would later learn, was Michael Chiarello and he approached the procedure with a fine, unwavering love. The addition of herbs and onions into the beef had me on edge.

Saliva flooded my mouth as Michael assured me that everything would turn out 'fantastic.' (In later viewings of the show, I've realized that this is Michael's only adjective for anything. Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

"This will be fantastic!"

A handful of careful minutes on the grill with the addition of some fresh cheddar and the burger was ready. It was placed in between a Kaiser Roll and just like that, The Food Network and Michael Chiarello had a new fan: the burger-loving Toby Driftwood.

Tell me about your love affair with the cheeseburger. How do you like them? Who makes your favorite? In the meantime, keep those arteries clear and have the defibrilator handy.

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