Wimpy, the Hamburger Connoisseur
Wimpy, the burger-loving character in the old Popeye cartoons, left us with this memorable line, “I’ll gladly give you a nickel Tuesday for a hamburger today.” Well, prices have gone up since those nickel-burger days that Wimpy so enjoyed. When I was a kid tasty burgers had soared to a dime. The many Little Taverns in the Washington DC area offered a smashed burger with pickles, onions, and condiments, much like White Castle today. Three bites and they were gone.
Admittedly, I’ve become a bit persnickety when it comes to my hamburgers. I live just several blocks from 5-Star Burger in Clayton. When in need of comfort food quickly, I can soothe both body and soul with their heavenly mushroom burger. (Though I usually cut it in half. It’s quite messy that way, but I get to enjoy the remaining half later.)
The hefty sandwich comes smothered with caramelized onions. A side of sweet potato fries will add even more comfort and decadence.
The Homemade Burger
I made an especially tasty burger recently at home. Russ had brought me some ground beef from DiGregorio’s Market on The Hill. It’s amazingly delicious! (Some day I intend to ask their butcher what he does to get the hamburger meat so flavorful. On second thought, it might be best not to know, since I suspect it comes from upping the fat content.)
Russ also got me a few jars of Mancini’s Roasted Red Peppers that I love adding to sandwiches and salads.
All the Makings
Russ had also supplied me with some vine-ripe, slicing tomatoes from Soulard Market. And I had a loaf of sourdough bread from Companion Bakery on hand. From the depths of my refrigerator, I came up with Bibb lettuce, hamburger pickles, and the necessary condiments. I was ready to turn out a hamburger, that Wimpy would be proud to go in debt for.
“Slap Ya Mama”
As the beef patty began to sizzle in the skillet, I gave it a jolt of a seasoning called “Slap Ya Mama.” The funky name comes from the old Southern expression used when food is so delicious, it would cause you to do something as outrageous as slapping your mother. This quick picker-upper for meat or vegetables has a mere 4 ingredients—salt, pepper, red pepper, and garlic.
Some Assembly Required
By the time I had all the parts assembled, the sandwich was almost too much to get my hands around, much less my mouth. But I soldiered on. One bite and I knew this was a blog-worthy burger, though I made one adjustment. I removed the dill hamburger pickles, when I found the saltiness overpowering.