Branch out from a burger with just bacon and American cheese
"This is my shout-out to Cold Stone Creamery, but more of a 'Hot Grill' -- I love to build a burger bar for my friends. Picture this: six to 10 friends, lots of cold beer, a sunny day, a hot grill, a clichéd picnic table with the red and white gingham pattern, and 5lbs of fatty, grain-fed beef. Keep the lean beef for the sissies or, to really blow your friends’ minds, grind country pork sausage into a patty. If you don’t want to get dirty while eating your hamburger, then don’t come to my party. Now, surrounding your big wood cutting board, get your 'stuff' in place. Diced up piles of cheddar, goat cheese, blue cheese, jalapeños, cilantro, pickles, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, rosemary, onions, and fennel! But really, whatever your little heart (that will soon be enlarging) desires.
Now get your friends to come up one by one and let them build a burger by folding everything into a patty! Great buns and accoutrements like Sriracha-flavored mayo, aiolis, etc. to finish these masterpieces off. Step two? Drink beer and grill like your daddy taught you -- hot grill, toasted buns, and big smiles for everyone." -- Brian Malarkey, executive chef of Herringbone and Searsucker
Adam Lapetina is a food/drink staff writer at Thrillist, and prefers his burgers with melted Gouda, caramelized onions, and hot sauce... in case you were wondering. Read his musings on Twitter at @adamlapetina.