There’s no time like summertime for dining on that great American classic — the hamburger. Whether fried, grilled or broiled, the hamburger is certainly one of the most popular foods served at home or in restaurants, from fast food to a white tablecloth. While today’s hamburger is most readily identified as American as apple pie, the burger has gone through many transformations over the years in preparation and how it is dressed.
History would contend that the hamburger got its humble beginnings from Hamburg, Germany, where restaurants served up minced meat combined with onions sautéed in butter, seasoned with salt and pepper and formed into a patty, known as the Hamburg steak.
It wasn’t until the mid 1800s in the United States that the more traditional hamburger came to be. The industrial revolution brought with it challenges for workers, so the Hamburg steak was a staple on many food carts but rather messy to eat. Then some culinary genius had the idea to put the steak between two slices of bread, and thus was born the modern American hamburger. The Library of Congress gives credit for the selling of the first hamburger in the United States to Louis Lassen of Louis’ Lunch in New Haven, Conn. He served ground beef cooked on a vertical broiler and served between two slices of toast.
In 1921, the first fast-food restaurant, White Castle, began serving hamburgers for five cents each. Cofounded by Walter Anderson, he had invented a small bun made specifically for hamburgers. Then in 1940, along came Richard and Maurice McDonald, who started their burger restaurant in San Bernardino, Calif. The cost of a hamburger was just 15 cents. It would be nearly 30 years before McDonald’s signature menu item, the Big Mac, made its debut.
Today, most burgers still come topped with lettuce, tomato and pickle. But some restaurants have taken one of America’s favorite meals and propelled it to the next level. Options abound with considerations like bleu cheese on top or stuffed into the burger. Care for a little spice? Then throw on a few jalapenos and some pepper jack cheese. For something more haute, try foie gras and truffle mushrooms on top.
No matter the preference, the burger remains as popular today as it ever was, and Columbia area restaurants are doing their part to keep the trend going. While they like to keep their secret ingredients just that, several restaurants were happy to share these recipes for burgers and toppings for you to enjoy at home. Happy summer grilling!
Frayed Knot Bar & Grill
1701 Dreher Island Rd, Chapin 29036
Recipes provided by Justin Brooks, owner
The Frayed Knot Bar & Grill sits lakeside at Lake Murray. A family-friendly restaurant with live music on Friday and Saturday nights, the grill offers a varied menu from steaks and seafood to burgers and salads. You can even fill up your boat when you pull in dockside.
The Knot Burger
1 pound 80/20 Certified Angus Beef
1/2 pound prime rib minced
2 eggs, beaten
1 ounce beef base powder per pound
1 ounce A.1. sauce
Sliced pepper jack cheese
Mix beef, prime rib and eggs together well. Add in beef base powder and mix again. Cook the burger patty to your preferred temperature, then melt the cheese on top and add the A.1. sauce. Add any additional preferred toppings. Place on onion bun and serve.
Cajun Blue Burger
1 pound 40 percent Certified Angus Beef
1/2 pound 20 percent Certified Angus Beef, fatty
1 pound 40 percent certified spare rib, chopped
4 eggs, well beaten
1 cup seedless jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
6 teaspoons Chef Paul’s Cajun seasoning
1 cup Maytag blue cheese
Combine all three beefs with eggs and mix well. Add jalapenos and the Cajun seasoning. Form patties and cook to the desired temperature. Add Cajun seasoning to the patty when the temperature has almost been met. When the patty is done, add the Maytag blue cheese and melt. Add any preferred toppings. Served on a brioche bun.
Burger Tavern 77
2631 Devine St, Columbia 29205
Recipes provided by Tasha Durant, manager, and Eugene Thomas, Jr., chef
The number ‘77’ in Burger Tavern’s name signifies the number of toppings you can choose to put on your burger when using the Build Your Own Burger Guide. This means there are more than 220,000 combinations.
Burger Tavern 77 takes pride in giving you the ability to create your very own burger, chicken, veggie or turkey sandwiches. They also offer the option of skipping the carbs and having your burger as a salad.
Black Bean and Corn Veggie Burger
1 (12-ounce) can black beans, drained
1 (4-ounce) can corn, drained
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup cooked rice
Juice of one lime
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, medium diced
1 sautéed shallot, small diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
Empty the can of black beans into a large bowl and smash beans to form a paste with some chunks of the beans still visible. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Measure out the burgers using a 5-ounce scoop to form patties. Cook on a grill for four minutes on each side. Patties can be frozen for up to five days.
Burger Tavern 77 Turkey Burger
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup red onions, diced
1 shallot, diced
2 teaspoons dry parsley
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup flour
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
In a large bowl combine all ingredients except the tomatoes and onion. Once mixed, fold in tomatoes and onion. Form patties. Place on a grill on medium-high heat and cook for six minutes on each side. Patties can be frozen for up to five days.
4948 Sunset Blvd, Lexington 29072
Recipes provided by Gordon Brantley, manager
Clint and Clay Hudson are keeping their family tradition going strong at Hudson’s Smokehouse with what began as a hobby for their late father, Robin Hudson. While known for their barbecue, Hudson’s menu also features burgers, chicken and gourmet salads.
1 pound 80/20 ground beef
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
1 tablespoon Montreal steak seasoning
Mix all ingredients thoroughly and form into patties. Cook in a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat, about five to six minutes on one side. Flip and sprinkle Montreal steak seasoning to taste, and cook for an additional four to five minutes covered.
Blue Cheese Spread
This recipe is great on burgers and can also be served with salads or spread on Ritz crackers.
1 cup Dukes mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
3 garlic cloves, minced (garlic lovers can use more)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup blue cheese crumbles
Mix mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic and vinegar thoroughly. Add blue cheese crumbles and mix again. Refrigerate overnight.
1 cup Dukes mayonnaise
5 ounces pimento with juice, chopped
2 strips cooked bacon, crisp and crumbled
Pinch of sugar
8 ounces sharp cheddar shredded
8 ounces monterrey jack shredded
If you prefer a more spicy kick to your pimento cheese, you can substitute pepper jack cheese in place of the monterrey jack cheese.
Mix mayonnaise, pimentos, bacon and sugar. Add cheddar and monterrey jack cheeses. Mix together thoroughly. Put mixture on top of burgers before removing from the grill.
2001 Greene St, Columbia 29205
Recipes provided by Ricky Mollohan, owner
They started out in the early 1980s as a sandwich and cookie shop, but today Mr. Friendly’s has evolved into a New Southern Cuisine restaurant, known for choosing fresh, local ingredients. For their burgers, Mr. Friendly’s uses 100 percent beef tenderloin and rib-eye trimmings, which are ground in-house, then seasoned with salt and pepper.
Mr. Friendly’s Burger
50 percent ground beef tenderloin
50 percent ground ribeye
Salt. Pepper. Done.
French Quarter Pimento Cheese
(pictured on page 41)
1/4 pound butter, softened
1 pound cream cheese, softened
1 (6-ounce can) roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
2/3 pound Gorgonzola blue cheese crumbles
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 dashes Tabasco
Combine all ingredients except for Gorgonzola in a mixer equipped with a paddle and mix until well incorporated. Add Gorgonzola and mix slowly until Gorgonzola is distributed throughout mixture. Do not over mix.
Pawley’s Front Porch
827 Harden St, Columbia 29205
Recipe provided by Brandon Sheehan, corporate manager
Pawley’s Front Porch is known for its specialty burgers named after geographic regions from across South Carolina, such as the Wadmalaw, the Edisto and the Fripp Island burgers. Pawley’s grinds its beef daily in-house and seasons it with hand-crafted blends of special spices. Their secret to cooking a great burger is all about getting the right blend of spices that doesn’t overtake the natural taste of the burger.
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 Vidalia onion
1/2 red onion
3 pineapples, cored and chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups red wine
Dice all of the vegetables to your preferred size — the smaller the better. Sauté everything except the pineapple. Mix the sugar and red wine well, then pour over the sautéed vegetables. Once the onions and peppers start to soften, reduce until the mixture turns into a syrup consistency. Add the pineapple and mix everything together. Cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat while stirring until pineapple becomes soft. Serve the chutney on top of your burger.
Our CMM men also wanted to share their favorite recipes for the grill!
Henry Clay’s Venison Burger
1 pounds ground venison
Cavender’s All Purpose Greek Seasoning
Maurice’s original barbeque sauce
Cheese of choice (optional)
Take defrosted venison and place in large bowl. Add a little Allegro marinade and an egg. Season with Cavender’s. Mix it all together with your hands to make patties, but be sure not to over-knead, especially if there has not been any fat added to the meat. Because of how lean the meat is, the patties will fall apart if you treat it like beef.
After patties are made, sprinkle both sides with a little more Cavender’s. Grill and baste with Maurice’s BBQ sauce, or one you like best. When cooked to your liking, add a slice of cheese and let melt for a minute. Serve and eat while piping hot.
Dennis Craighead’s “Burger Glop” Condiment
Begin with a really good ground round (or ground chuck or ground sirloin) burger and throw it on the grill. Then mix a bowlful of stone ground mustard, tiny diced Vidalia bits, a pinch of horseradish, a splash of Worcestershire, finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese, coarse ground black pepper and some ground up bacon bits. Maybe a little pickle relish. Add a little mayonnaise if it is too stiff. Smear it on the bun. Voilà!