Colorado culinary arts students are trained to prepare amazing dishes from a wide range of culinary traditions. Still, nothing beats the satisfaction of sinking your teeth into a perfectly cooked burger with your favorite toppings. That’s why chefs keep finding fun new ways to put their personal touch on the simply delightful combination of patty and bun.
Restaurants are constantly debuting new and different takes on this classic staple of diners, pubs and fast food. With delicious ingredients and carefully honed culinary skills, there are always exciting innovations to be discovered. By staying on top of the latest trends, you may discover ideas for creating your own ultimate burger.
1. Go wild with toppings
“Piling up unique flavor combinations makes for a fun entree.”
A purist might say there’s no need to get overly experimental with burger toppings if you have quality ingredients and a steady hand at the grill. On the other hand, piling up unique and tasty flavor combinations makes for a fun entree that captures people’s attention. Burgers with creative add-ons can get messy, but they’re sure to have diners talking.
Since opening in 2005, Kuma’s Corner in Chicago built an international reputation and expanded to four additional locations, thanks to the combination of heavy metal-inspired atmosphere and remarkable burger creations. Among the regular offerings are options like the High on Fire, featuring a 10-ounce patty topped by prosciutto, roasted red pepper, grilled pineapple, sweet chili paste, and sriracha. Each month brings new Burgers-of-the-Month at the various locations, such as the Scorched Tundra, which includes pork belly, chicharrones, roasted jalapeno, habanero mayo and a stout barbecue sauce.
2. Double down
While some establishments focus on grilling a single, thick piece of meat to perfection, recent years have brought a resurgence of a simpler style. Restaurants across the country are winning acclaim with double cheeseburgers featuring two thin patties. It’s a classic approach, but chefs draw huge crowds and critical plaudits by stepping up the quality of every element that goes into their signature dish.
Spearheading the trend is another Chicago institution, Au Cheval. Since 2012, the high-end diner’s kitchen has been turning out burgers with two four-ounce patties, cheddar, dill pickle slices and dijonnaise sauce. Serious Eats noted that Trifecta Tavern + Bakery in Portland, Oregon, is one restaurant to take up the gauntlet with a burger that features all house-prepared ingredients: patties made from a combination of ground brisket and chuck, pimento cheese and a brioche bun.
3. Small burgers with big flavor
Sliders have also taken their place on the menus of many restaurants, offering a way to share burgers with a crowd or sample adventurous combinations of meats and toppings. If you love old-school miniature burgers with grilled onions and potato rolls, then Food & Wine suggested making one of White Manna’s two New Jersey locations a destination. For those who crave something a little different, Kogi BBQ food trucks deliver sliders that include short rib meat, sesame mayo, cheese, salsa and a cabbage-romaine slaw.
4. Who needs meat?
Vegetarians and vegans don’t have to feel left out of the hottest trends in burgers. Chefs are continuing to find creative ways to make amazing patties without the beef. With careful attention to flavor and texture, great substitutes have been created from black beans, chickpeas, kelp and many more.
One of the most-renowned veggie burgers around is the namesake of New York City’s Superiority Burger. Chef Brooks Headley keeps the precise composition of his patties a closely guarded secret, but The Daily Meal surmised that they contain quinoa, beans, nuts and a potato starch binder. The burgers come with Muenster cheese, lettuce, tomato and dill pickle, capturing all the classic flavor with none of the meat.