Order ahead and eat up!
by Ari Weinzweig
If you’re looking for a good, down-to-earth dinner (or lunch) to take home this week, let me put this beautiful burger in your mind. It’s a longtime favorite of many folks, not least of which is ZingTrain’s managing partner Katie Frank. The 24/7 burger is the sort of simple, based-on-great-ingredients, kind of food I could eat regularly for years. The key to me is that this is just a great confluence of flavors, a sort of harmonic convergence for hamburger lovers.
What makes this cheeseburger so good?
The beef is incredibly flavorful—pasture raised all the way through, dry-aged to enhance flavor, ground fresh daily and hand-pattied (to avoid the compression and pasty texture you get in so many commercially-made burgers). We grill the burger over whole oak logs from up north so it picks up a bit of smoke there as well. The applewood smoked bacon from the Nueske family in Wittenberg, Wisconsin is smoky and just subtly sweet enough to compliment the natural sweet meatiness of the beef. The long-aged, sharp but still creamy on the tongue cheddar from Tony and Julie Hook in Mineral Point, Wisconsin is big enough in flavor to be perfectly in balance with the other two. And the Bakehouse bun is the perfect pillow upon which to rest all this other stuff—soft enough to soak up the juice from the burger, flavorful enough to contribute a touch of creamy, wheaty depth to the equation.
A burger by any other name…
The name? Well, Nueske’s bacon is smoked for 24 hours; the Hook’s cheddar is 7 years old. Put ’em together and you get a 24/7. Having just eaten one, I feel like it’s the sort of food you could eat any time of the day, any day of the week. When I was a kid we used to, on occasion, go to the drive-in for dinner. Ordering one of these burgers, having us bring it to your car window, listening to some good music, and eating it ASAP seems appropriate for the moment. You could, I realize too, put a movie on your phone and make an evening of it.