In The Restaurants

A Burger a Day in the Month of May

A Burger a Day in the Month of May

May 15, 2016

Let’s be honest. We don’t need a month dedicated to something that is celebrated every other day of the year. But, we’re not complaining. May is National Burger Month and we are beefing up our love for this American classic and showing off the best of the best in burgers at our restaurants. We decided to break down the components of what makes a burger good vs. REAL GOOD, and we tapped some of our favorite burger-makin’ chefs to hear their insight on perfecting the buttery bun, the impeccable patty and what makes a top-notch topper.

Now, the foundation for every good hamburger: The bun.

You can really put a burger on anything and it would probably taste great, but what makes it stand out? Is it toasted? Is it buttered? It is pretzel?

Jeff Mahin, Chef/ Partner at Summer House Santa Monica uses a non-traditional approach to a hamburger holder: a housemade English muffin. These babies are unique in that they have a nice sourdough flavor, while being thick enough to withstand the components of the burger.

Chef Mahin says, “The lightness and crispiness of our double-toasted housemade sourdough English muffins holds up well to our prime burgers.”

Let’s get to the meat of the matter: The patty.

Burger

We spoke to Chef / Partner Doug Psaltis who is the man behind the epic burgers at Bub CityRPM Steak and Three Dots and a Dash to hear his take on beef.

“For me, the greatest burger blend is beef brisket and ground chuck. The chuck gives the patty juiciness; the brisket imparts that deep beefy flavor,” says Chef Psaltis.

“I like to make sure the blend is 75/25 meat to fat ratio. To make sure the meat and fat don’t lose their integrity, pack the meat gently into patties while it’s still ice cold.”

“For skinny or ‘smashed’ patties, I like to use about three oz. of meat each, and for bigger patties, like the ones at RPM Steak, I like to use 8-10 oz.”

“I then season the patties completely with salt and freshly cracked black pepper, then griddle over medium heat to achieve a great caramelization. This highlights the sweetness of the beef flavor – just be sure not to char or burn those patties!”

This brings us to perhaps the most important part of a quality hamburger: The grilling.

Smashed Burger

Executive Chef Joe Decker of Wildfire, gave us his expert tips on grilling vs. griddling and how to ensure maximum juiciness.

“The question of grilling vs. griddling is very subjective. Many people love a griddled burger for a little more juiciness because it cooks in its own fat,” says Chef Decker. “Others choose grilling for the great char flavor that comes from the grill and the slightly healthier effect since some of the fat burns off the burger during the process.”

“The two most important steps in cooking a burger I actually learned from Lettuce Entertain You founder, Rich Melman!”

1. When grilling, do not move the burger often. Only move it to flip it over to cook the other side.
2. Do not smash the burger down with a spatula to speed up the cooking. If you follow these two steps, you’ll produce a very juicy burger.

We like the sound of that!

And to top it off: The condiments.

Bub City Burger

The toppings on a burger not only gives it its own personality but also adds the necessary flavors that everyone knows and loves so much. What are the best things to top a fine patty with? Here’s what Chef Psaltis says:

“Personally, I like to keep things simple with condiments. A strong Dijon mustard or an atomic horseradish is all you need!”

RPM Steak Burger

“I like to use a condiment that has a nice balance of acidity and sweetness. The red onion jam for the Black Truffle Burger at RPM Steak and the yellow mustard and KC barbecue sauce at Bub City are two prime examples. The acidity helps cut through the richness, especially in a decadent burger like the Truffle Burger, where you have truffle aioli, foie gras butter, a buttery brioche bun and of course, the meat. The onion jam is essential and makes the perfect combination of flavors.”

Burger at Mity

“The combination of crispy fried onions and bleu cheese dressing alone are amazing which is what we use for the Fritzy’s Special Burger at Mity Nice,” explains Mity Nice Bar & Grill’s Executive Chef / Partner John Chiakulas. “To have those piled on top of a juicy peppercorn burger is just magical.”

Burger
Burgers from Lettuce

And there you have it! Burger tips from the pros themselves in honor of this most delicious month. Celebrate National Burger Month with us all May-long. For a tantalizing round-up of some of our favorite burgers, check out our dedicated burger Pinterest page.

Happy eating!


You May Also Like...

In The Restaurants
Memorial Day 2018
May 25, 2018

An extra long weekend calls for an extra day of relaxing and brunching. Find out where to enjoy…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Celebrate National Wine Day Today
May 24, 2018

National Wine Day (May 25) is today, and while we love a great Napa Cab or Sauvignon Blanc from…

read more >
How To
Here’s How to Make Pesto
May 21, 2018

Summer is upon us and one of our favorite seasonal condiments is pesto! You can make pesto with…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Farm(ers Market) Right to Your Table: Brunch at Stella Barra
May 17, 2018

Chef / Partner Jeff Mahin (Summer House Santa Monica, Stella Barra Pizzeria, M Street Kitchen and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Brunching in the Chicago Burbs?
May 16, 2018

When planning your weekend, brunch should always be a priority and trust us, there’s lox to love…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Celebrate Mother’s Day 2018
May 11, 2018

That special woman who would do absolutely anything for you deserves a day to be celebrated. Join us…

read more >
How To
How To: Make a Restaurant-Quality Dinner at Home
May 11, 2018

Our friends at Peapod are making it easier for you to enjoy your favorite dishes from Wildfire and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Gift Guide
May 10, 2018

Whether it's a birthday, the holiday season or any of the countless holidays throughout the year,…

read more >
In The Restaurants
21 Dishes for Celiac Awareness Month
May 7, 2018

May is Celiac Awareness Month, so we've rounded up our favorite gluten-free dishes that you have to…

read more >
How To
Celebrate May 5th with a Cinco de Derby Julep
May 3, 2018

The Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo fall on the exact same day this year and that means you'll have…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your Guide to the 26 Best Burgers to Try During National Burger Month
Apr 30, 2018

Burgers deserve a full month of celebrations which is why May has been declared National Burger…

read more >
In The Restaurants
In Season: Spring Peas
Apr 24, 2018

Spring has sprung and with the change in the season, our chefs have beautiful green veggies on their…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Happy Hour
Apr 21, 2018

It's 5 o'clock somewhere! Here are all the happy hour deals at select Lettuce Entertain You…

read more >
In The Restaurants
The Best Time of the Year: Patio Season
Apr 20, 2018

Warm weather is here, which means al fresco dining is too! We've rounded up the best patios at…

read more >
In The Restaurants
James Beard Eats Week 2018
Apr 17, 2018

James Beard Eats Week is back! From April 27-May 7 show your support of aspiring Chicago culinary…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Kentucky Derby, it’s Mint Julep Time!
Apr 12, 2018

It's that time of the year again to break out the mint juleps and don your Derby hat for the…

read more >
How To
National Grilled Cheese Day: 5 Steps to Achieve Grilled Cheese Nirvana
Apr 12, 2018

National Grilled Cheese Day (Thursday, April 12) is a food holiday we can certainly get behind.…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to Eat Lunch
Apr 11, 2018

For that one hour escape from your office, you want to make sure to make most of your lunch hour.…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Trending Now: Matcha
Apr 10, 2018

For all those who are matcha obsessed our chefs and mixologists have incorporated this…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Gluten-Free Friendly Restaurants
Apr 8, 2018

Finding gluten-free friendly restaurants has gotten a lot easier than it used to be. At Lettuce…

read more >
In The Restaurants
The Wait Is Over – The Three Dots and a Dash Mug Shop is Now Open
Apr 6, 2018

Looking for your tiki fix but can’t make it to Three Dots and a Dash? Not to worry! The online mug…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Dishes and Drinks with the Color of the Year: Ultra Violet
Mar 30, 2018

Every year, Pantone, the creator of colors, announces their choice in what the Color of the Year is…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Celebrate Passover 2018
Mar 29, 2018

Join us for your Passover dinner this year on March 30 and March 31. Select Lettuce Entertain You…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Easter 2018
Mar 28, 2018

Celebrate the end of Lent and bring the whole family in for Easter. Whether you're looking for…

read more >
In The Restaurants
New Additions to the Windy City Smokeout 2018 Lineup are Here!
Mar 19, 2018

Announcing three new acts to the Windy City Smokeout music lineup! Midland returns, performing on…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Milkshake Madness: A Tournament of Toppings
Mar 17, 2018

In the grand tournament of milkshake toppings, who are the last sweets standing? We rounded up all…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Kid-Friendly Dining Options and Activities
Mar 15, 2018

You've been to the zoo, the beach, the pool... the kids are starting to get stir crazy. We've got…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Get a Slice for Pi Day
Mar 13, 2018

We all love a good pun, especially when it has to do with food! Mathematicians and foodies rejoice…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Join RPM & Mercy Home’s March for Kids Campaign
Mar 10, 2018

Looking for a way to give back to the Chicago community? Join RPM Italian and RPM Steak this month…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Meet the Women Behind Some of Your Favorite Desserts
Mar 7, 2018

In honor of International Women's Day on March 8 (and every day) we want to give a shout out and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Celebrating Diane Corcoran of Bub City
Mar 7, 2018

In honor of International Women's Day on March 8, we celebrate Diane Corcoran, Beverage Director…

read more >
How To
Giuliana Rancic Dishes on How To Throw An Award-Winning Oscar Party
Mar 2, 2018

The 90th Academy Awards are happening this Sunday, March 4th! With a little planning and some useful…

read more >
In The Restaurants
St Paddy’s Day 2018
Mar 1, 2018

St. Patrick's Day calls for corned beef, cabbage and all of the beer! Lucky for you, our restaurants…

read more >
In The Restaurants
This One’s For Our Indecisive Diners
Feb 26, 2018

For all of you indecisive order-ers out there - the "I want to order one of everything on the menu"…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Lettuce in Love: Weddings with Lettuce Parties
Feb 13, 2018

It's almost Valentine's Day and love is in the air. Believe it or not it's a tale as old as time (or…

read more >
In The Restaurants
It’s Tequila Time! National Margarita Day is February 22
Feb 12, 2018

As if you needed an excuse to drink margaritas, here's one more: National Margarita Day…

read more >
In The Restaurants
A Few of Our Favorite Pizzas for National Pizza Day
Feb 9, 2018

There's a food holiday out there for everything but today (February 9) is National Pizza Day and we…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Presidents Day 2018
Feb 8, 2018

Enjoy your long weekend on Presidents Day (Monday, February 19) by staying up late, sleeping in and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to go on Valentine’s Day 2018
Feb 4, 2018

Have you made your Valentine's Day plans yet? It's right around the corner and there's lots of…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Valentine’s Day Dishes Designed for Two
Feb 1, 2018

February 14 marks a day when it's appropriate, if not preferred, to share your food "Lady and the…

read more >

Recent Posts

In The Restaurants
Memorial Day 2018
May 25, 2018

An extra long weekend calls for an extra day of relaxing and brunching. Find out where to enjoy…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your New Go-To Lunch Spot is Sushi-san
May 25, 2018

If you work in River North, your lunch break just got a major upgrade with Sushi-san’s new lunch!…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Celebrate National Wine Day Today
May 24, 2018

National Wine Day (May 25) is today, and while we love a great Napa Cab or Sauvignon Blanc from…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Only on Thursdays: Alaskan King Crab & Burgers at Oyster Bah
May 23, 2018

Why wait for the weekend to have all the fun because every Thursday night at Oyster Bah, in the Low…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Let’s Do Lunch! Meet You at Booth One
May 22, 2018

It seems that no one ever has time for lunch, which is often replaced by a quick snack between…

read more >
How To
Here’s How to Make Pesto
May 21, 2018

Summer is upon us and one of our favorite seasonal condiments is pesto! You can make pesto with…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Farm(ers Market) Right to Your Table: Brunch at Stella Barra
May 17, 2018

Chef / Partner Jeff Mahin (Summer House Santa Monica, Stella Barra Pizzeria, M Street Kitchen and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Now Serving: Happy Hour at Antico Posto
May 17, 2018

Here’s something to get “happy” about. You can now enjoy Antico Posto for lunch, dinner and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Brunching in the Chicago Burbs?
May 16, 2018

When planning your weekend, brunch should always be a priority and trust us, there’s lox to love…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Windy City Smokeout Presents the Country Music Stars of Tomorrow
May 13, 2018

Windy City Smokeout is returning to Chicago on July 13-15! Known for showcasing country music's…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Rise & Shine: The Best Way to Breakfast During the Week
May 13, 2018

Early risers rejoice! We've rounded up all of our weekday breakfast specialties that will keep you…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Celebrate Mother’s Day 2018
May 11, 2018

That special woman who would do absolutely anything for you deserves a day to be celebrated. Join us…

read more >
Lettuce Consulting Group

Grow Your Business

Learn More
Career Opportunities

Join Our Team

Search Jobs
Latest Articles

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign Up Now

Lettuce on Instagram

Checkout our feed @lettuceentertainyou!