Tuesday, January 3, 2012

One Hell of a Burger

Let's be realistic. Even though we started a new calendar a few days ago, our New Year's resolutions don't take effect until the pigskin is put away for good. And if we had our way, that gluten free diet would not start until February 6th after the big game in Indianapolis. Hell, by that point we might as well just keep the good times rolling another 2 weeks through Mardi Gras, and then follow in Jesus' footsteps with a 40 day fast.

Such was my state of mind on New Year's Day when The Folk Singer and I meandered through the Quarter on our way to dinner before a detoxifying evening at the movies. After waking up under the weather that morning and subsisting on only a satsuma for most of the day, my appetite had recovered and I had one thing on my mind:

Two weeks ago on one of my multiple Christmas luncheons, I dined on this beauty and ever since then have been plotting my return visit. The Steakhouse Bacon Cheeseburger at Dickie Brennan's might have been the best burger that I ate in 2011, a year filled lots and lots of burgers.

"Eats like a steak" is an often overused and inaccurate description of non-steak dishes, but that phraseology is perfectly appropriate for this burger. The flavor profile - beef, iron, beef, worcestershire, beef - comes as no surprise after you consider that the hand-formed patties are made from the ground trimmings of all of those prime filets, rib eyes, and New York strips that you see on the other tables. The burger is grilled over an open flame, just as God intended it. Automatic enhancements include shredded cheddar and pieces (not strips) of bacon - unnecessary but essential to the composition. The foundation is an onion roll, which holds up well underneath the weight of the 10oz. patty; my lone complaint is that the bun was untoasted. Green leaf lettuce, shaved red onion, and tomato (but no pickle) are served on the side, but I don’t bother with anything beside a smear of garlic mayo. The price tag includes a super size serving of house fries, which are more akin to potato wedges than their thinner, crunchy matchstick siblings. I like to dip mine in a side of bearnaise.

At $13.50, this burger and fries qualifies as the budget conscious, but no less enjoyable, version of a fancy steak dinner. During my luncheon a few weeks back, several of my tablemates scoffed at my choice, wondering why I would choose a burger over a filet or ribeye. Their judgment turned jealousy after we finished eating. Of course, my victory at credit card roulette is a plausible alternative explanation.

Unfortunately, my craving for this burger went unsatisfied on New Year's Day. (The restaurant was closed for a private event.) Thankfully, I will have several opportunities this week to indulge. While the burger is typically served only in the main dining room on Fridays during lunch and in the bar every night, during football season the burger makes an appearance on Dickie's Game Day Menu, which is offered during lunch and dinner on days when the restaurant opens early for special occasions. Those days include: today for the Sugar Bowl, on Saturday for the Saints-Lions game, and on Monday for the BCS Championship.

The Steakhouse Bacon Cheeseburger - Birdie/Eagle
Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse
716 Iberville Street
(504) 522-2467

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