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Are you thinking about dinner yet? Well after this you might be craving a burger — we apologize to all you vegetarians.
He joins Radio Boston to dish about burgers, good and bad. But we also want to hear from you. Do you have a favorite burger? What makes a good burger? The bun, the toppings or the meat itself?
Adam Ragusea: You recently wrote in a piece for DigBoston about the indisputable trend in the restaurant scene toward the middle and upscale burger. What do you think this phenomenon is about?
Richard Chudy: Burgers are a funny thing. I think they’re recession-proof, really. Right now the recession’s down and people want the cheaper, fast food kind of style. But I think there’s always that market for the higher end ones too. There’s always something for everyone. It’s going in different directions and nobody’s really making up their mind, which I think is great — chefs are kind of schizophrenic and can’t make their mind if they want to serve the next great gourmet one or the next great cheap one.
In the burger scene there exists a persistent East coast vs. West coast beef, so to speak. Explain the distinction between these two styles.
Here on the East coast, we generally like our thicker, grilled, kind of pub-style burger — realy big bun, huge slab of pickle on the side. Whereas, the West coast is more In-N-Out style, Shake Shack if you’ve had that — thinner, griddled. You get a good crust on the meat. Smaller bun, more of a handheld thing.
Bread to meat ratio. Is there an optimal ratio there? The golden mean of burger buns?
I think there is. There’s no specific proportion but it should fit like a glove, you know? It should fit the patty but not overwhelm it. The star of the show should be the beef; the bun should just be a good supporting role. It should never overwhelm, just really complement it.
This segment aired on March 16, 2012.
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