In my experience, the pleasure of a perfect burger is doubled when it’s shared with someone special. Even the fast food variety is fun a deux. When I think of unforgettable burgers, these are the Top 5 that make the cut:
5 - Jackson Hole: Dashing British beau David and I enjoyed a meal at this cozy New York City staple back in 1999. Home of the seven ounce burger -- juicy and perfectly cooked -- Jackson Hole has been dishing it out since 1972.
4 - The Apple Pan: California-based beau Sparky introduced me to this legendary burger shack on L.A.’s Westside. Fully deserving of all the hype, Apple Pan takes ground beef preparation to a new level. Their burgers come wrapped in paper, served with crisp lettuce, dill pickles, sweet relish and a slice of Tillamook cheddar (no tomato is also part of the signature recipe here). The hickory burger is to die for.
Heaven In A Wrapper: The Apple Pan’s hickory burger has been delighting Angelenos for more than 60 years
3 - Steak ’N’ Shake: Illinois-born sweetheart Steve and I indulged our hearty appetites at this veteran Midwestern chain. Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, Steak ‘N’ Shake is known for its steak burger, made with real cuts of steak, perfectly seared and enhanced with a choice of toppings including Frisco sauce and mustard relish.
2 - Burger Joint: Dog lover Shawn took me to this tiny, renowned eatery, tucked away in the lobby of NYC’s Parker Meridien hotel. It’s no accident that Burger Joint shows up repeatedly on food critic favorite lists. Their thick, tasty burger -- served on a fluffy bun with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pickles -- is about as good as it gets.
1 - Five Napkin Burger: Hunky cop (and big time foodie) Rich gets the credit for acquainting me with, for my taste, the best burger I’ve ever had. A relative newcomer to Gotham’s crowded restaurant scene, Five Napkin opened last year as a spinoff of a popular menu item at Upper West Side hotspot Nice Matin. Its namesake is beyond mouth-watering -- 10 ounces of fresh ground chuck topped with comte cheese, caramelized onions and rosemary aioli. Delish.
Rich thinks it’s the soft bun that makes 5NB’s signature burger so special. I think it’s the entire heavenly concoction, one that will leave you hungering for more.