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mnebergall

The Ubiquity of the Miniburger in DC DelMarVa

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Obviously I HAVE been going to the wrong (right?) places. :biggrin: Maybe my status as a hispter foodie is still secure? :cool: If I'm asking does that mean I'm not one after all? :unsure:

I need a hamburger. :wacko:


Bill Russell

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Don't forget about 701's miniburgers. Actually, they are like half-burgers. You get two, with chips and salad, for like 9 bucks. That, and a martini from Mo at the bar, and you have a hell of a meal.

Alright, I admit it, I like miniburgers.


Save Pale Male <--- GO HERE!

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I had no idea that the miniburger problem had gotten so out of hand in DC DelMarVa. I live near the king of Miniburgers--the world famous White Manna in Northern New Jersey--and yet we don't really suffer from a wave of lesser competitors (other than White Castle, of course).

Also: A halfburger? What would be the point. Either you want your burger full size, so it's nice and meaty, or you want it REALLY mini, so you get that unique greasy yet pleasant sensation that the minis can bring, and then multiply it by the four or five you need to eat for a meal.


Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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I had no idea that the miniburger problem had gotten so out of hand in DC DelMarVa.  I live near the king of Miniburgers--the world famous White Manna in Northern New Jersey--and yet we don't really suffer from a wave of lesser competitors (other than White Castle, of course).

Also: A halfburger?  What would be the point.  Either you want your burger full size, so it's nice and meaty, or you want it REALLY mini, so you get that unique greasy yet pleasant sensation that the minis can bring, and then multiply it by the four or five you need to eat for a meal.

The particular mini's around here that I have seen (and eaten) are indeed the in-between model. More like a good restaurant burger than a fast-food burger. Thick enough that you could specify that you want it rare or medium-well if given the option.


Bill Russell

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I can say it. I have never had White Castle. And I can't believe no one has mentioned this movie yet. The scene at the end when they chow down is pretty much the money shot of modern miniburger cinema.


"Mine goes off like a rocket." -- Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, Feb. 16.

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How thin can we split this hair? I think if you get just one then it's just a burger, albeit a small one. "Miniburger" implies multiples constituting a single serving, surely? I do like "semiburger," though -- it's the 1% milk of meat patties!


"Mine goes off like a rocket." -- Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, Feb. 16.

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Rumor has it Michael Landrum is on the verge of introducing the Nebuchadnezzar - equivalent in size to 20 standard hamburgers and weighing in at over 10 pounds. Offered only rare, medium-rare or medium, it requires an entire bottle of ketchup, a half-jar of dill pickles, a custom-baked bun, and is served with a whole bag of potato chips.

Recommended wine pairing: the 2002 Marquis Phillips Shiraz "Integrity," rated at 99 points by Robert Parker.

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Rumor has it Michael Landrum is on the verge of introducing the Nebuchadnezzar - equivalent in size to 20 standard hamburgers and weighing in at over 10 pounds. 

Anyone remember The Eleven? That was the shit.

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I concede the point. They ARE everywhere. Can some sort of Pied Piper of Hamlynburger not be found to lure them all into the Potomac to float off somewhere really backward where they'll be hailed as the vanguard of a rising, new, miniaturist cuisine? Perhaps Delaware?

Sounds like a job for The Hamburglar.

nah I've never had a mini burger either. I've had (warning: plug ahead) the Palena burger many a time, though... :wink: Which, btw, is one burger that is much better with the "zippy" aioli that comes on it, and not ketchup and/or mustard.


Edited by LittleWing (log)

Eat.Drink.DC.

...dining in the district...

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what's for lunch.

- Orson Welles

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Rumor has it Michael Landrum is on the verge of introducing the Nebuchadnezzar - equivalent in size to 20 standard hamburgers and weighing in at over 10 pounds.  Offered only rare, medium-rare or medium, it requires an entire bottle of ketchup, a half-jar of dill pickles, a custom-baked bun, and is served with a whole bag of potato chips.

Recommended wine pairing:  the 2002 Marquis Phillips Shiraz "Integrity," rated at 99 points by Robert Parker.

it takes a sick mind to think up something like this.

RE: miniburgers, i liked them better the first time i had them, when they were called sliders.

seriously though, i don't get it. they are little burgers. what's the big deal? i guess if i'm in the mood for a burger, but not a whole one and had several dollars burning a hole in my pocket, i might buy some. it's a fad and it will fade away. the nebuchadnezzer on the other hand....


I wanna say something. I'm gonna put it out there; if you like it, you can take it, if you don't, send it right back. I want to be on you.

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Rumor has it Michael Landrum is on the verge of introducing the Nebuchadnezzar - equivalent in size to 20 standard hamburgers and weighing in at over 10 pounds.  Offered only rare, medium-rare or medium, it requires an entire bottle of ketchup, a half-jar of dill pickles, a custom-baked bun, and is served with a whole bag of potato chips.

Recommended wine pairing:  the 2002 Marquis Phillips Shiraz "Integrity," rated at 99 points by Robert Parker.

No substitutions, I imagine? What if I want an entire jar of my autographed Grey Poupon instead of nondescript ke-chump? Will I be mocked out of the house and placed on the nongrata list?


Resident Twizzlebum

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Rumor has it Michael Landrum is on the verge of introducing the Nebuchadnezzar - equivalent in size to 20 standard hamburgers and weighing in at over 10 pounds.  Offered only rare, medium-rare or medium, it requires an entire bottle of ketchup, a half-jar of dill pickles, a custom-baked bun, and is served with a whole bag of potato chips.

Copycat. Back in the 70's, at my parent's drive-in restaurant they served what was called a Moonburger. It was an ~14" sourdough boule, hollowed out and filled with 10 or so hamburger patties plus all the requisite toppings. Solo consumption of a Moonburger was a right of passage for the local high-school boys (and a few of the girls). It was a creation of the previous owners of the place and every time my parents tried to take the monstrosity off the menu, they were met by howls of protest.

Of course, as appropriate to the times, the hamburgers were served only well-done.

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Eh, Denny's (not that Denny's) Beer Barrel burger would still spit in big Neb's eye and call him a Babylonian bitch.


"Mine goes off like a rocket." -- Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, Feb. 16.

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Has anyone had the miniburgers at Matchbox lately? Isn't Graig gone?

I was thinking of bringing some friends tonite, but want to make sure the food is still good.

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With all the sissy-poo variations on the burger theme, it's only a matter of time before someone serves a Hamburger, Deconstructed. It will be served on a fancy oblong or flat square plate and consist of artfully placed piles. The chef will insist that piles are located at least two inches away from each other at any direction. Piles will consist of the following:

1. Two halves of brioche buns leaned or stacked against each other in manner of cross-thatch roof.

2. Matchstick or julienned pickles (of course, organic, picked by virgins, pickled by an ancient Tribe of Picklers, bottled in Murano, Italy using Venetian glass blowers).

3. A carefully measured and weighted octagon (or star) shaped beef patty featuring cleverly spaced miniscule holes so that juices will surface with an aesthetically pleasing pattern and timing. Don't ask how it is done. Done is out.

4. A trail of mustard, ketchup or zippy aoil weaving around said piles in geometrically perfect squares, triangles and circles.

Requests for additional toppings (morels, camembert, foie gras, glue essence) will be met with icy glares from staff and hysterical screams from the kitchen, and constitute grounds for automatic ejection of customers from the establishment.


Resident Twizzlebum

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Has anyone had the miniburgers at Matchbox lately?  Isn't Graig gone?

I was thinking of bringing some friends tonite, but want to make sure the food is still good.

I had them last Monday and they were delish.

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Something to save youse all from your own hell -

"Three little piggys" at DG. Three excellent black pepper bisquits, each adorned with a different pork technique. Can't recall exactly what was in them, but I do recall ordering two more when the first one came.

Greggory Hill's new pork technique is unstoppable.

Are the chorizo corn dogs at Tallula mini? Put these two together and perhaps the new trend is the mini-weiner. The DG version being the analog to Nadya's deconstructed vision.

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seriously though, i don't get it. they are little burgers. what's the big deal?....it's a fad and it will fade away.

I'm not so sure--but that's because I see the plate of miniburgers as really part of a much larger movement of chefs and restaurateurs reacting to how we the customer have said we really want to eat sometimes or most times: we want the option to have our own little bites of things, plates to pass around, rather than full meals of Nebuchadnezzar-sized entrees we're too stuffed or palate-fatigued to finish anyway. Granted, at the higher end we've had tasting menu options in a few places around town--but not nearly as many or as affordably-priced ones as we should have had for a food town of this market size--it's only recently we've had more than a few. The typical DC chef wants the typical conservative DC diner sheep to go the typical app/entree routine. It's easier that way to keep check averages high.

The typical DC chef also realizes for a certain group of potential diners they'll have to "appear" to compete with chains on price--which can offer a lower price point on lesser quality, usually. They need a price point option to get people into the door--and then hopefully have the quality and value to keep them returning.

Enlightened foodies have wanted to be able to go someplace and have the equivalent of 3-4 appetizers--if we wanted to--rather than be slotted into the one app/one big entree routine--and we've sought it out here and around the country much longer than that dumb recent article by Shoffner in the Washingtonian mag implied. Miniburgers reveal just how far this notion has gained critical mass. Sometimes we (the customer) want an interesting varied meal and the $25 check average of a Jaleo--but not only when we're at Jaleo--and that puts pressure on these other places to adapt and give it to us. (Or not give it to us--and then we'll go elsewhere when we're in that mood.) That's why I think you've seen more and more mid-to-high end places adopt their own version of the Jaleo/Zaytinya/Oyamel tapas/mezze/Cafe Atlantico "dim sum" little plates/bar menu concept--from a Palena to a Bistrot Lepic to Eve to any number of other examples: in their own ways they're reacting to their customers expressed desire to eat in a way that also makes good business sense and contributes to their bottom line.

Sometimes we want to gorge on a big juicy sloppy Nebuchadnezzar all to ourselves, with grease streaming down our forearms that we don't care about while we're in the Nebuchadnezzar Zone or even notice until we're done.

I hope good mini-burgers don't fade away because we're more empowered as diners when we have more options--when more restaurateurs feel compelled to act on our concerns--and when there is more competition in the marketplace for our dining dollar.

And yes, nadya, some modern diners might not be burger Luddites and also be open-minded enough to appreciate AND enjoy a deconstructed hamburger as well--what you've described very accurately is just sissy-poo. Not that I'm against sissy-poo, but sissy-poo isn't what might be labelled deconstruction or even a creative re-interpretation. (One man's sissy-poo is another's refinement, by the way.) On the deconstructed front, I think what you might see sooner is something like ketchup deconstructed--with all the ingredients and sugar and spices of ketchup pulled out and recombined with more immediate textures or contrasts or intensities--perhaps presented as an amuse or soup--and if done well would sing to you as ketchup--just a ketchup like you've never quite tasted before nor thought you could even appreciate in isolation before. That's if it's done well and fits in the context of the meal. That sensory experience just might help you go back and re-taste traditional ketchups differently or appreciate a homemade ketchup more. All that will ultimately matter--be it mini burger or deconstructed miniburger, ketchup or deconstructed ketchup--is that it is good.


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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Something to save youse all from your own hell -

"Three little piggys" at DG. Three excellent black pepper bisquits, each adorned with a different pork technique. Can't recall exactly what was in them, but I do recall ordering two more when the first one came.

Greggory Hill's new pork technique is unstoppable.

Are the chorizo corn dogs at Tallula mini? Put these two together and perhaps the new trend is the mini-weiner. The DG version being the analog to Nadya's deconstructed vision.

Not exactly mini, although with the batter around them it was hard to tell the size of the sausage (I din't eat any due to overindulgence in carbs during Thanksgiving).


Edited by FunJohnny (log)

Oh, J[esus]. You may be omnipotent, but you are SO naive!

- From the South Park Mexican Starring Frog from South Sri Lanka episode

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perhaps the new trend is the mini-weiner. 

For most people that's not a good trend.


Bill Russell

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perhaps the new trend is the mini-weiner. 

For most people that's not a good trend.

Remember it's not necessarily the meat...


Oh, J[esus]. You may be omnipotent, but you are SO naive!

- From the South Park Mexican Starring Frog from South Sri Lanka episode

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Sometimes we want to gorge on a big juicy sloppy Nebuchadnezzar all to ourselves, with grease streaming down our forearms that we don't care about while we're in the Nebuchadnezzar Zone or even notice until we're done.

Steve Klc and Nebuchadnezzar.

Separated

at

birth.

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