Tuesday, December 27, 2011
I’ve had burgers on my mind lately. What with the burger contest I was asked to help judge and cooking burgers at home, you’d think I’d had enough.
Well, you thought wrong.
With all the talk of burgers lately there was one burger that I knew I had to try. During this past summer Gabriele Bonci developed a special menu over at Open Baladin. (That would be Bonci of Pizzarium fame. You know, the guy I took the pizza and bread classes with).
Open is right around the corner from Domenico’s office, and he kept running into Gabriele, who kept urging us to stop by.
But too much work, and too much other eating meant that months went by, and we still hadn’t tried that burger. But two Fridays ago, we decided to blow off work, and start the weekend early at lunch time.
First up, two beers. (TGIF, right?) Domenico ordered is favorite Isaac, but I wanted to try something different and got San Paolo’s Kolsch style Pecan. Just a tiny bit bitter, with notes of grass, it was the perfect way to start the weekend.
Back to the burger. Although Bonci put two on the menu, I went for the simpler one, The Norcino. Using ‘La Granda” beef, the patty was perfectly cooked, nestled between Bonci-baked buns (he is the master bread baker, right?). I love the choice of pecorino (we’re in Italy, who wants/needs cheddar?) and the guanciale was just crispy enough.
A side order of the house made potato chips, and I was in heaven.
Domenico ordered the Open Dog, which was kind of extraordinary. I know that there’s not much to actually ‘cook’ in this dish, but the artisinal wurst - which had that lovely snap that good wurst do - was held tight by sour kraut and mustard. Each bite - alternating with sips of beer and bits of ceasar salad - was just what we needed.
The only thing missing from the equation - at least in my humble opinion - was a good dill pickle. In my burger roamings over the last few weeks in Rome, the only pickle I was served was in my own home. (My sister just put a huge jar in my Christmas stocking, so now I'm all set for a while. )
Anyway, I’m really glad the whole burger thing has caught on in Rome. (And as I’ve said, they are all quite good. )
But when is the whole pickle thing going to catch on?
Via degli Specchi 6, Rome