Inspired by Buffetbuster's work, I'm doing my own (less ambitious, I'm certainly no buffetbuster or wanderingjew, but I do get around...) year-end review for 2010.
2010 was an interesting year for me. I actually traveled a lot less than usual (I usually travel between 50 and 75 days a year for work, and around 4 weeks for personal travel), and had a 3 month stretch with no travel aside from a few short trips around VT and NH. But that said, it was actually the busiest year ever for my blog
(50+ reviews in 2010, and I'm still writing), so apparently when I was traveling, I was keeping pace with my eating. But I spend 7 weeks in Europe this year (England and Spain, mostly), and that's not really roadfood if you can't drive it, so I'm going to focus on the places in the US and Canada.
Highlight's of 2010 fit several categories. I'll start with Burgers...
Looking over my blog, I ate a lot of burgers this year, a mix of old favorites (Matt's Bar) and new places. Highlights include (pics are above each entry):
1. Mad Madeline's, Temecula, CA. Jalapeno cheeseburger. Very nicely done California style burger, with nicly leafed lettuce and tomato, a very nicely seared but very juicy half-pound patty, and a nicely toasted bun. A very-well executed burger, but oddly one that gave me "menu regret", since my partner's ortega chile burger looked even more delicious.
2. Libby's Diner, Colchester, VT. Mushroom burger and fries. This was a good diner burger, decently thick patty, nicely crisped but still medium rare, fully juicy, served with decent fries. I'll probably come back next time I'm up around Colchester.
3. Matt's Bar, Minneapolis, MN. Jucy Lucy. An old standby favorite of mine (I used to go there once a month when I lived in Minneapolis), despite the well-done meat, the combination of nicely seared beef and melting, oozing cheese just make for a really good combination.
4. Revolutionary Burger, Lebanon, NH. Che Burger 2x2. One of the odd ones, these are made in the back of the local Mexican restaurant (Gusanoz Mexican). One of their cooks went to In-N-Out and basically had a religious experience, and they now sell these on a take-out-only basis out of the Mexican place. Their version of the Double Double is the "Che Burger 2x2", is a surprisingly good In-N-Out knockoff that gets most everything right, and has their own twist, since their special sauce has just a hint of hot pepper spice to it. I rather liked it, despite the odd business model.
5. Miracle of Science, Cambridge, MA. Ronie Burger. Another odd burger, this one has minced jalapenos mixed into the patty. I'm not usually a great fan of items mixed into my burgers (having suffered through the 1980s craze of mixing onion soup mix into every damn thing imaginable), but this actually worked. A minor bun upgrade and this would be a great burger.
6. Umpleby's Bakery, Hanover, NH. Umpleburger and fries. The owner of Umpleby's really has gotten into locally-raised beef, and decided to occasionally have a burger special. The resulting burger? A mixed bag. The beef itself was flavorful, but could use a good crisp sear on the burger. While I don't usually like brioche buns on burgers (too sweet, and usually not the right texture), it worked rather well in this burger. However, many sins were forgotten with the fries, which are oven-cooked in bacon fat (they don't have a Frialator). These were phenomenal.
7. Louis Lunch, New Haven, CT. Been going there on-and-off most of my life, it was worth finally blogging about. What works here is the juiciness of the meat and a decent sear. To be honest, however, these burgers, while good, aren't top 10 material for me, but I do enjoy Louis Lunch's dedication to still doing burgers using their classic methods.
I'll spread the other posts out over the next day or so.
<message edited by kaszeta on Wed, 12/29/10 4:18 PM>