Not to sound jaded or anything.

But after living in New York City for 23 years. You learn a few things. The ropes. You learn. The. Ropes.

So when Sophie, Adam, and I got into a cab the other day. And the first thing the cab driver asked was, “So which of you two ladies are single?”

Our gut reaction was to run.


But we’d already gotten in and Adam was with us. So we hemmed. Hawed. Rationalized. (Note – this is how people get kidnapped. Yes. You can still get kidnapped after the age of 20. If this happens to you. Run.)

So we told him where we were going. And hoped for the best.
A few seconds later. We are zipping along the FDR Drive.

He says, “Do you know who I am?”

This is not boding well.

We look at each other. Uneasily. Until finally Adam pipes up and says, “No. Who are you?”

(Best to let Adam do the talking. He has a penchant for chatting up cab drivers. The last cab we were in together, he got into a conversation with the driver about his favorite operas. Adam doesn’t even like the opera. I’m not sure how he does it either.)

“I’m the Matchmaker Cab Driver!” he responded. Jovially.
Apparently, this guy, Ahmed Ibrahim, drives around and sets up blind dates for his single passengers.

Um hello people? Do you know what I am? Single. Very. Single.

So he starts asking us questions about our likes, dislikes, careers. The whole shebang. And I am answering left and right while visions of picket fences (in New York, Jo? Really? What are you, a suburbanite?), 2.5 children, and sugar plums dance through my head. ( I don’t know where the sugar plums came from. I guess I was hungry.) I start to picture my future husband and I strolling hand in hand through Whole Foods, doing 20 mile long runs together, shopping for kids beds on the CSN website (aren’t they cute?).
Then comes the real heartbreaker. He says, “Well, I wouldn’t match you girls up anyway.”

Um. Hold on. Stop the presses.

What.

“I only match up girls over 26 and guys over 30. Otherwise you are just crazy, want one night stands. I’m looking for love.”

Yeah well. So am I. But no amount convincing would get my new friend Ibrahim to take my number.

So. New plan. If I’m still single when I’m 25. I will give up riding the subway entirely, only use cabs (by then the subway fare will probably be so expensive that taxis will be cheaper anyway). Until Ibrahim and I meet again.

And until then. I’m going to have to pimp myself out.

Here goes.

My last resort. This is called. Pulling out all the stops.

Bacon cheeseburger. Topped with a fried egg. On a homemade bun. With pickled onions. (No ketchup. Remember. Ketchup = me projectile vomiting all over my kitchen. Not romantic. At all.)

Now guys. If that doesn’t get you all riled up. I don’t know what will.

Heck. I might even have to go take a cold shower.
So this week’s recipes for Symon Sundays were The LOLA Burger (described above) and Fried Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Capers. There was also a recipe for pickling onions in there because that was one of the toppings for the burger. And I added in a recipe for homemade buns. Because of this whole no bread buying thing.

After eating these. I’m pretty sure that Michael Symon is my soulmate. So Michael. If you’re reading this. Will you marry me?
Brussels Sprouts with (Pecans) and Capers
Serves 4, adapted from Live To Cook

NOTE – I didn’t actually fry the brussels sprouts. I just couldn’t. Instead, I baked them. I also used pecans instead of walnuts because I still have half of a huge bag of pecans that I bought from BJ’s. And no bags of walnuts. And because I am trying to be somewhat frugal. I also cut out a lot of the olive oil.

Ingredients

* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 4 salt-packed anchovy fillets, rinsed, filleted and minced
* 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
* 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced on the bias
* 1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted and coarsely chopped
* 2 tbsp olive oil
* 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered lengthwise
* 2 cups loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
* 2 tablespoons salt-packed capers, rinsed and patted dry
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Heat the oven to 400. Put the brussels sprouts on a baking sheet, spray with oil, sprinkle with salt and bake for 40 minutes.

Whisk together the garlic, anchovies, serrano, red wine vinegar, honey, scallions, walnuts and extra-virgin olive oil in a bowl large enough to toss all of the Brussels sprouts.

When the sprouts are done, mix them with the above ingredients, capers and parsley. Toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Master Pickling Recipe Using Red Onions
Makes 2 quarts, adapted from Live to Cook

* 2 pounds red onions, sliced
* White wine vinegar
* Sugar
* Kosher salt
* 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
* 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
* 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
* 4 garlic cloves
* 2 bay leaves

Pack the onions in 2 1-quart jars and cover with water to come within a half inch of the rim. Pour the water out into a measuring cup. Note the volume, pour off half the water, and replace it with vinegar. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons salt for every 3 cups of liquid. Pour the vinegar mixture into a nonreactive saucepan, add the mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, coriander seed, black peppercorns, garlic, and bay leaves and bring to a boil over high heat. Allow the liquid to boil for 2 minutes, and then remove it from the heat.

Pour the hot liquid into the jars to cover the onions and screw on the lids. Refrigerate for up to 1 month.

The LOLA Burger
Makes 4, adapted from Live to Cook

NOTE – I used 96/4 beef. Only a pound of it. Don’t look at me like that. I am cooking for one. Therefore I will be eating this every day. For four days. I would like to not have a heart attack in the next week or so. But Symon says to use 75/25. So feel free to do that. I won’t judge you. Although I ate it with the requisite egg on the first day, I also cut that out for the subsequent burgers, hence why some of the burgers are sans egg. (The pictures came out better on the second day). I did. However. Use real bacon.

* 8 slices bacon
* 1 lb lean ground beef (or not)
* Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
* 4 thin slices cheddar cheese
* 4 hamburger buns, split
* 4 large eggs
* 1 dill pickle, thinly sliced
* 1/2 cup pickled red onion*

Build a medium-hot fire in your grill or preheat a stovetop grill pan.

Cook the bacon in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, turning once until crisp, 5 minutes. Remove the bacon to paper towels to drain. Reserve the bacon fat in the pan.

Form the ground beef into 4 patties, each about 3 ½ inches in diameter. Season the patties with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Place the burgers on the grill or in the grill pan and cook for 3 minutes. Flip and top each burger with a slice of cheese. Grill for 3 minutes for medium rare. Remove to a plate. Add the English muffins to the grill or grill pan and toast for 1 minute.

Cook the eggs sunny-side up in the bacon fat while the burger rests.

Build the burgers by sandwiching them between the muffin halves along with pickle slices, red onion, bacon, and egg.

One-Hour Hamburger Buns
Makes 12, adapted from Once Upon A Plate

NOTE – these were good and buttery. I approved.

1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 egg, room temperature
4 1/2 cups flour (unbleached, whole wheat, or a mix – I used white whole wheat)
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Heat the milk, water, honey and butter until butter is melted. Check temperature. Depending on the temperature, let cool to 120F. Carefully beat in egg.

Mix 2 cups of the flour, yeast, and salt. Mix into the milk mixture. Stir in the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Beat well after each addition.

When the dough pulls together, (it will form a soft ball) turn it out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. This should take about 5 minutes.

Divide dough into 12 -16 equal pieces. This will depend on the size you want for the finished bun. Shape into smooth balls, flatten slightly, and place on a silicone mat-covered baking sheet.

I cover loosely with plastic film and allow to rise for 30 to 35 minutes. When buns have almost doubled bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.*

*If desired, after buns have risen, brush tops with beaten egg for a shiny glaze, you may also add sesame seeds, sauteed minced onions (cooled), coarse salt, etc. to the brushed tops, then bake.

These have been yeastspotted, Souper Sunday’ed, Simon Sunday’ed, and Side Dish Showdown’ed.
Onto the GIVEAWAY!

I have seen CSN giveaways around the blogosphere a lot in the past few weeks and so when they contacted me about featuring one here, I knew that it was something I wanted to take part in. After perusing their website for a while, I stumbled upon this All-Clad Stainless 12″ Frying Pan!

I knew you guys would love this! So. Here’s how you can win.

Leave a comment on this post. Answering the question. What was the best burger you’ve ever eaten?

I’m not going to do the whole Twitter/Facebook/Follow Me thing for extra entries. Since I don’t use Twitter or have a facebook page for the blog, etc. And you’re following me anyway, right? So no bonus points for that.

The giveaway will end a week from today, so get commenting! You do not need to have a blog to enter, but if you don’t be sure to leave an email address where I can contact you!

Also, CSN can only ship to places to within the US, so sorry to all of my international readers!

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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109 Responses to The LOLA Burger, Brussels Sprouts, A Homemade Bun…and A Giveaway!

  1. Best burger I have ever eaten is at Good Stuff Eatery in Washington, DC. Chef Spike makes burgers melt into your mouth.

    I cannot believe your cab story.

  2. Joanne,,burger n brussel sprouts looks perfect,, brussel sprouts with nuts is the healthy option of eating food… onion topping on burger looks colourful n tempting,, Best burger i have ever eaten is Double cheese burger in Johannesburg…thanks for sharing the healthy version of foods,,take care n keep on smiling.

  3. A nice read about the matchmaking cabbie! Love the Fried Brussel Sprouts With Walnut and capers.They look simply fabulous.

    I AM A BIG FAN OF almost all mini burgers from “POP BURGER” in NYC. Love the small guilt-free portions.They look cute and taste fabulous!

    Love the excellent giveaway dear! All-Clad pans are a must in every kitchen!

  4. Martha says:

    What an awesome collection of food. I want some of those brussels sprouts for breakfast. Yes I know that’s weird, but I’m a little weird – that’s right you already know that 😉

    Best burger I ever had is from Jack’s in Ft. Lauderdale. Yummy!

    CSN sure has been generous around the blogs lately. I’ll be posting mine soon 🙂

  5. Sharlene says:

    It’s corny but the best burger I’ve ever had is my parents’ homemade burgers grilled and eaten on our deck while the sun sets. It has this magical balance of garlic and onion and is mouth-watering every time.

    Right after that is Shake Shack.

  6. Don’t know about the pickled onions…but, the rest of the burger sounds tasty!

    My favorite burger … my mom’s homemade, grilled by my dad!!

  7. Shannon says:

    best burger? that’s a toughie, but the one that first came to mind is the Good Dog Burger (bar in philly). it’s stuffed with roquefort and topped with caramelized onions. and it comes with a mix of regular/sw pot fries. oh i miss philly… did you ever find a good one in boston?

  8. Sophie says:

    Waw,… Joanna! What a great & apart story!! hahahaha,…

    I also love your fantastic all in one meal!! The pickled red onions look fabulous & that burger with all of its trimmings look quite sensational!!!

    Waw!!!!! MMMMMMMM,…too!

  9. THIS IS HILARIOUS!. HAHHAHAHA. =D
    hmmm best burger. it’s sold in the refrigerated prepared section at Berkely bowl in Berkeley…..and it’s a tofu bbq burger. SO delicious. So delicious. i want it RIGHT NOWWWWW

  10. Katie says:

    I had a burger from Five Guys a few weeks ago- it was amazing. Cheese, bacon, grilled onions and mushrooms. Yum!

  11. pick me pick me pick me

    best burger, my backyard… best burger that i paid for, my back yard (beef does not grow on trees)

    Best burger from a restaurant… Barley’s brewpub in Shawnee, KS (but that could be beer goggles… um, beer taste buds speaking

    And speaking as someone old enough to be your grandfather (if two generations acted like tramps and had kids when we were 16), here’s some words of wisdom…

    You are limiting your pool of men who want to be caught when you advertise Brussels sprouts recipes… Stop that right now or you are doomed to spinsterhood.

  12. Funny! Beautiful looking burger, Joanne. A burger isn’t complete without onions, IMO. My favorite burger (outside of my own, of course) is from Solly’s Grill here in Milwaukee – home of the original Butter Burger.

    One day your prince will come 😉 Heck, to win that pan, I’ll find a husband for you! Great giveaway!

  13. Kim says:

    You went all out on this meal Joanne! The LOLA burger sounds amazing with the bacon, fried egg, cheese and those gorgeous pretty purple onions. I bet it was an amazing burger. If you married Michael Symon there would probably be lots of running in your future, especially with these kinds of recipes:D
    Great choice for the giveaway. That is one gorgeous skillet. I think my favorite burger is regular beef burger topped with pimento cheese- very tasty!

  14. SassyAgapi says:

    The Best burger I ever ate was a Grecian Burger my mom makes; its a ground beef & lamb mix with oregano & other spices for the patty, then red onion, lettuce, tomato, & feta on a pan-toasted bun (tzatziki optional)…yum!! & Thanks for doing a giveaway! 🙂

  15. My favorite burger has got to be a hamburger with pineapple and blue cheese…sounds weird i know but it is really good.

  16. Gia says:

    Being that I love all burgers, I would have to say The Winking Lizard in Independence, OH (or any of the Winking Lizards).

    But, I truly loved the Symon Burger at Bar Symon, in Avon, OH. Which is why I chose this for my Symon Sunday!

  17. Chris says:

    First, the entry comment: The best burger I have ever put in my mouth was from a little joint called Melvin’s in Elizabethtown, NC. They didn’t even call it Melvin’s, they simply called it the pool hall because that’s what used to be in that building. It was a special ground beef patty topped with chili, slaw, mustard and onions.

    When I saw the first picture, I thought you had put a piece of watermelon on a burger and I was grossed out! But pickled red onions are a masterful touch and the fried egg? Yum! You won’t stay single for long cooking food like this. I need to go take a cold shower now (ha ha).

  18. Michelle says:

    The Matchmake Cabbie? LOL…I think we might have a few of those in Chicago too! LOL!

    I have to say absolutely the best burger I ever ate was in Phoenix, Arizona. Love that western beef!

  19. Julie says:

    stop this. is this true?? this is hilarious and awesome and insane oh my god. i wish i heard this story in person haha. can we have a date soon? so you can retell this story please. in person. please.

    hmmm the best burger? i don’t know if this counts but i love tjs salmon patties hahaha

  20. Karen says:

    Best burger I’ve ever had was made right on my grill using ground antelope… Yum!

  21. Marcia says:

    Joanne, you know, you crack me up. You are such a good writer…funny. And in med school. And a runner. And a fabulous cook.

    Let’s see…best burger ever. That’s going to be tough. Not because I’ve had a lot of really good burgers. I probably have. But mostly, because of Mommy brain. You know. Hormones. Your memory goes. And since I don’t eat very many burgers anymore, I have to go WAAAYYY back. Way back. For a non-veggie burger eaten somewhere other than California.

    So, I am going to have to say that the best burger I’ve had in Cali is Hamburger Habit. It’s a local small chain. Great burgers. Grilled onions, cheese. Mayo (sorry). Lettuce. Tomato. Utter heaven on a bun.

    I will have to try to make those onions. They look awesome.

  22. Debbi Smith says:

    That matchmaker cab sounds like a hoot! Meanwhile, is Michael Symon single?

    I thought the picture was watermelon too at first, that looked oddly interesting.

    Best burger would be from Porky’s. Huge, greasy, great with onion rings. *sigh* Such memories. 🙂

  23. Ahmed Ibrahim, the match maker driver meets Jo…a super combi of J.Lo(hope u like her,i do :-))] and Jo the super chef …..and with hope waits till 25 for that perfect match Ahmed has……but no…Ahmed doesnt give in….coz he knows that this is one Jo ,that’ll have prince charming at her knees soon or rather on his Knees coz she a Princess charming… he dare not mess up with that:-)))
    Aint it a super movie plot now?
    Normally when u have ”giveaway”somewhere,specially now,coz so want to win some to send to a blogging pal in the US, i’ll forget everything ,even delicious burgers like these and hit strait to the point but then the matchmaker held my rapt attention…
    Hope u do meet ur prince thru ur blog:-)))how wonderfully roamantic that would be-and that means we’ll get lods of romantic comedy super posts right here:-)))

    U have deliciousness that tops here and i dont have to tell u that but i am:-))))
    love those pickled onions v muc:-)))

    The best Burger i had was at these little quaint little bakeries in vilages out here ,which have their own little version of burgers ,that nowhere close to a ”real burger” but it rocks…the whole expeirence ie …and they are almost home made:-)))
    IF i win,i give u the address of a dear pal right in the US ,a little supriz fo her and yeah i so so wanna win here :-)))
    ok every body does but i wan a bit more:-)))
    How many entries can i steal here?

  24. Faith says:

    What a funny story, Joanne! I can’t believe that about only matching up girls after 26 though…what a crock. 😉 I seriously NEED to try fried egg on top of a burger, it sounds fantastic!

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway! My favorite burger was one we grilled at home last summer. It had Worcestershire sauce, grated onion, and grill spice in the meat…I topped it with avocado and cheese, but I don’t remember what kind of cheese it was, lol! Incredible though. 🙂

  25. Topher says:

    Best burger was at a friends house in high school that her dad cooked. The beef was marinated with a steak marinade/rub and then topped with usual accoutriments. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Chris

    zekks at yahoo dot com

  26. I must say, that is a great way of working in “kid’s beds” into your post! 😉

    You should. You should contact Michael Symon’s people. You’ll end up together for sure!

    Hmmm, best burger. I think I would have to say it has to be our own homemade ones. We usually mix in chopped (or food-processed) onions and celery into the mix. Sooooooo juicy.

    I actually don’t have twitter either. =)

  27. Pam says:

    Thank you Joanne for making this giveaway easy…love to ya honey!

    The best burger was a Bison Burger…so good!

    Those brussel sprouts….gosh..drooling here!

    xoxo

  28. JHM says:

    I have never heard of a cabbie matchmaker, interesting profession. But then again I have never been to NY either. As for the best burger..besides from home of course would be the Keg Burger, from the KEG, Orange Beach, AL. Simple yet for some reason a perfect blend of seasoning and toppings.

  29. Looks delicious. Thank you for the post. Favorite burger… lamb sliders with chipotle mayonnaise and cheddar made in my kitchen. could eat them for a week straight. So glad to have found your blog. I’ll be back for more!

  30. figtree says:

    What a funny story!I want a bite of that burger!

  31. Pam says:

    Best burger – a pimento cheese burger!~ Though this one of yours sounds unbelievable!! I don’t think you are going to need a cab driver to match you up, just serve some guy this burger!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Adam is so proud to be featured in your blog entry 🙂 He is a chatty Cathy… (who, ironically, doesn’t like burgers.) <3<3

  33. Great burger! So glad you loved it – and homemade buns too!
    So if you marry him.. you don’t mind if I just make out with him for a while? 😉

  34. Lori says:

    Oh my gosh, loved the cab story! And your longterm plan. 🙂 So glad you shared the burger bun recipe. I’ve been looking for a good one. I’ll have to give it a try.

  35. Mimi says:

    Chef Ruhlman worked on a book with Michael Simon maybe you can go drop some hints on his blog thst you want to marry him. Don’t tell Natashya I told you this, she’s married anyway.

    The best burger I ever had was the recipe for greek burgers in the Frugal Gourmet cooks three ancient cuisines. It’s one of the very few ways I’ll eat beef.

  36. jastembo says:

    i’m a long time vegetarian and don’t eat burgers – not even the veggie kind – so haven’t had one in many a year and can’t remember one that i would of considered the “best”

  37. Yosha says:

    Ha ha a matchmaking cabbie! The next reality show…

    Hmmm the burgers sound yummy! I love brussel sprouts, reminds me I haven’t had some for a while.

    As for the best burger, Ottawa has a “goumet” place called “The Works.”

    http://www.worksburger.com/pdf/menu.pdf

    They have pretty much any combo you want, my fav is one with pears and brie. I am working my way up to one of their peanut butter ones! Now that I am home again will have to attempt to go through the list…will easily take a yrs!!!

  38. Debinhawaii says:

    Ok, I really, really, REALLY want a burger right now. This one is drool-worthy! Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays! 😉

  39. Chef Aimee says:

    LOL! Yes, I have heard of the cabbie matchmaker! Oh this is a great post, Joanne! The brussels sprouts you made look amazing…the fact that it has anchovy in the dish is enough to inspire me to copycat asap!

  40. That hamburger rocks! From the egg on top to the home-made bun. I’m jealous that you ate this four nights in a row! I would of gladly helped. The brussels sprouts look great too – and I have everything to make them and a brussels sprouts lover in the house. Thanks for sending it to the Showdown.

  41. gaga says:

    Mmm, that burger looks great. I love the pickled onions.

  42. That was one nosy cab drivers…some of them just cant zip it up! Well, love is destined and finds you when it has to…Till then, happy cab hopping and better, take a tram.

    I love the Brussels sprouts and pecan recipe..yumm!

  43. Joanne, thanks for sharing the salad recipe! (I’m vegetarian). It looks super gooood, ahhh!

    As for the best burger I’ve had, I really love this veggie burger we used to order at this one small diner at the Bay Area. I miss going to that one place.

  44. Jessie says:

    Well, that was a strange encounter :O He’s looking to set up people for *love* – cute! When I was working in NYC one summer, the guard/card swiper for my building looked me up and down and said: “So, how old are you?” He wouldn’t give me back my card back until I told him. For the record, I was 19. Creeeepy. Anyway, your Brussels sprouts look divine 🙂

    The best burger I’ve ever had was at this little burger joint in Cambridge, MA. Don’t remember the name, but it was savory!

  45. teresa says:

    fun post, the matchmaker cab huh? how funny! the burger looks amazing. i can’t remember where i got my favorite burger, but it was so juicy and covered in bacon and gorgonzola, mmmm.

  46. best burger is from a local pub that sadly changed their menu recently. It was stuffed full of stilton and topped with bacon and onion jam. So good!!

  47. Elle says:

    First off, that was not a very nice comment about under 25s only wanting one night stands…is that true in NY?
    Secondly, the best burger ever was one I had at a place called Pasta Bella in Sebastopol, CA. They have grass fed beef, cook it perfectly to order, and the two versions have interesting names like ‘Son-in Law’ and Dan-o”. I like the one with blue cheese and it also has mixed field greens topping and the best bun…not too thick, not too thin and toasted. Yum! Yours sounds great, too, especially the pickled onions on top. That SHOULD get you interest from a guy.

  48. It’s scary out there, many cabbies have had my adrenaline racing and hands clutching onto pepper spray. Don’t worry, I am sure your prince charming will come his way, and when it happens it will be like lightning! 🙂

    The pickles on the burger look very good!

    My favorite burger – Taylor’s Refresher in Napa Valley.

  49. sophia says:

    MAtchmaker cab better get the hell far away from me. I can’t stand these kind of stuff! Haha. And girl, you don’t even need one. You’re like, multi-talented, and so damn smart, and so damn funny, and so…just PERFECT.

    My best burger…Umami burger, for sure. It had a beef burger, marinated mushrooms, parmesan crisp, roasted dried tomatoes, some kind of sauce, on this rich, brioche bun. SO good.

  50. ok that burger seriously looks amazing. heard about the matchmaker cabbie recently – too funny that you ended up in his cab.

  51. Home made buns looks perfectly baked and looks very delicious

  52. Katerina says:

    You placed a lot of work and effort on this one, but it looks like it worthed it.

  53. sweetlife says:

    what a great story…love the plan and michael symon don’t blame ya he is a cutie..great burger, looks so tasty!! best burger…oh theres been so many..

    sweetlife

  54. grace says:

    that. burger. is. gorgeous.
    for the record, i’m ready, willing, and able to fight you for mr symon’s hand in marriage. 🙂

  55. first of all very cute story about the cab driver! i though you were gonna tell me he was the taxi cab question driver-forget the name of the show….you know where they quiz you and you win money.
    anyway, you r food had my tummy growling and it is only 6 am over here 🙂
    best burger hard to say…..love it with bacon and cheese and grilled mushroomn and onions-oh boy-do it right if you are gonna do it!
    great giveaway 🙂

  56. Loved the post. Seriously, great stuff. Give up med school and become a writer 🙂
    And um, maybe you didn’t notice, I started this cooking club b/c Chef “Dreamboat” Symon is MINE! He’s marrying me. ME!

  57. thanks! i was in a bit of funk thinking about how my readership has declined greatly! but i’ll stop owrrying about that!

    hot?! are you sure?! i look so tired.

  58. It is morning. Who can think of burgers although I could take one of each of the above.

    I made the best burger, I ever had. All I remember is that it had Worcestshire sauce in it. It was good.

  59. Pam says:

    Love the giveaway. It sounds like you had an interesting cab driver. Loving the burger and the brussel sprouts look really terrific too.

  60. Mary says:

    The best burger I ever had was in Shanghai. We had been eating (only) Chinese food for 3 months. I needed a taste of home and that provided it. As usual, your photos and recipes and thought and dreams and prayers are smashing :-). I love to come here and catch up with what’s been going on. Blessings…Mary

  61. The burger looks so mouth-watering! Love the colourful brussel sprouts dish too! Too bad I’m not entitled to your beautiful frying pan. Anyway, I’m still craving for a “Ramli” burger from my hometown, Malaysia.

  62. great story and recipe. I would love a chance to win that pan!

  63. I am going to have to go with the tried and true in and out. nothing better 🙂
    Hope I win! This pan looks absolutely amazing 🙂
    I have been wanting a stainless steel one for so long now!
    Also, very cool story…anything in NY!

  64. Shannon says:

    Best burger I ever had was @ ESPN Zone in Las Vegas. Blackened burger, gorgonzola melted all ooeygooey. I fell in love.

  65. ruchikacooks says:

    Well Jo, for someone as talented as you are, skip Symond. Choose some other eligible fella!

    Being a vegetarian all I can say is, I have never had the hamburger (worse than the pink panther huh?) but I’ll say the best veggie burger I have had has a cutlet made of potato,carrots peas and spices in it, which makes up for the ham, and the rest of the works is the same, tomato-onion..call it Indianized burger along with some cilantro chutney and date-tamarind chutney to go with it!

    I live in TX, would love to enter my name in the giveaway too.

  66. Maria says:

    I am loving those sprouts! Mmmm! Best burger-a black bean veggie burger with avocado and the works:)

  67. Ann says:

    Hands down the best burger I’ve had (and continue to have) is the Bacon Cheeseburger at Lankford Grocery in downtown Houston. It’s a hole in a wall place constantly threatened by commercial development. Uneven floors, rickety chairs, a 92 year odl cashier and a big ol’ roll of kitchen paper towel on each table for all your sopping needs.

    Fancy that, I got an email from them CSN folks , and I thought it was spam! Goes to show the state of my mind these days!

  68. Andreas says:

    Great write-up.

    On being single, I can only pass on the advice my co-workers keep giving me, to enjoy the financial freedom and spare time.

    Yes, I know that’s totally not helpful. 😉

  69. Bob says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  70. Bob says:

    Holy crap. I want that burger so bad.

    The best burger I’ve ever had? I don’t know if I could pin it down to just one, really. But I am particularly partial to bacon guacamole burgers. 😉

  71. Pam says:

    Loved that cab story! Your burger looks great. Other than the burgers hubby cooks on the grill, my absolute favorite is the A1 Peppercorn Burger at Red Robin.

  72. Cynthia says:

    Don’t they say that it’s hard to find single and good men in New York? Then again, it’s probably hard to find a good man anywhere, but the fact that you can cook (and boy can you cook!) means that they’ll probably be lining up around the block soon. Love the pickled onions! I wish I could enter the giveaway – that pan looks amazing!!! Should I move just so I can participate in giveaways?

  73. Gulmohar says:

    Homemade buns look too good..so is all other dishes here 🙂
    Best burger: well, something that has chicken and is spicy..lol..

  74. Kiran says:

    Dear Joanne ,Congratulations! for winning the giveaway hosted at PanGravyKadai by CoolLassie.
    Wish you many more such wonderful awards and gifts in life.

    Kiran(http://kiranjay.blogspot.com)

  75. Cindy says:

    mouth? watering.
    that burger looks goooooooooood.
    as for the cab/matchmaking experience?
    i’d stick with random boys in bars for now, jo.

  76. Julie says:

    I just love the stories you tell. Best burger…oh yeah. Back in the little town I worked in for 12 years in northeast Arkansas. Tiny little drive through dive, I think it was called Hamburger Station. Burger with pickles, mustard and grilled onions. I’d pick one up to take back to the office and by the time I got there the grease was dripping through the bag. *sigh*

  77. Sippity Sup says:

    Before I get to the burger let me just say, you New Yorker have the wackiest cabbies! REALY! My favorite burger is from a restaurant Beer joint called My Fathers Office. Oh, and I mean the one in Santa Monica (not the one in Culver City) GREG

  78. Shankari says:

    That was one crazy cab driver you encountered. The best burger I have had is at The Counter in Roseville where you can build your own burger. Juicy, perfect with just the kind of topping I like.

  79. Oh girl, that’s hilarious! I love it. 🙂 Imagine not being “single enough” to get matched. Sigh. 🙂 I LOVE your Brussels Sprouts recipe though. Oooee! 🙂 The best burger I ever had was in Oklahoma. The Cult would hardly ever feed us meat, but friends of ours would get us out to their house and make the biggest juiciest burgers slathered in hot pepper jelly. Lordy, lordy, they were the best burgers EVER! 🙂 We still talk about them. 🙂

  80. tigerfish says:

    No best burger as yet. Each time, it just gets better. Right now, I am still faithful to In-n-Out for the price and taste (my definition of a best budget burger) ;p

    you are the cab driver is not working for the census bureau – multi tasking the driving and collecting stats. Well , times are bad…

  81. vickys says:

    Really? The matchmaker cab driver? That ought to be like a reality show of something! And if this burger doesn’t have guys lining up for your number then they’re all raving mad! I’m all the way in Asia and am ready to get all my single guy friends swooning over the burger (and you). 🙂

    *hug!* Awesome story as usual!

  82. theUngourmet says:

    Was that cab driver for real? Too bad you didn’t end up in the cash cab! Isn’t that in NY too?? This is quite the burger! Yum! I would be stuffed if I at all of it though, it looks huge! Great Brussel sprouts!

    Awesome giveaway! I think my favorite is a bacon bleu cheese burger. 🙂

  83. Deborah says:

    Wow – that burger looks like pure heaven!! If that doesn’t make a guy fall for you, I don’t know what will!

  84. Azita says:

    that burger with onion topping looks great. love onion pickles and yours look so delicious. best burger…homemade veggie burger

  85. Caronae says:

    Those burgers look fabulous; I love cheddar on mine. Probably the best I’ve had is at ShakeShack; those burgers are legit!

  86. The fried sprouts are the business! That is something to try. And so is the Matchmaker cabbie. Hmmm, look for him on the next trip to NY.

  87. Meena says:

    Great post, Joanne…the matchmaker cabbie sounds priceless:))

    My fave burger for the giveaway entry: I make a veggie black bean-brown rice burger with a yoghurt sauce for spreading on the bun…guiltless and then I can load up:)

  88. Jagruti says:

    Lovely post Joanne! also congrats for winning at Cool lassi(e)’s!Your burgers looks perfect!!

  89. Barbara says:

    Ya gotta be careful with those cabdrivers in NYC. I’ve had some experiences….and one time one of them locked the doors and wouldn’t let my daughter out. Another time, she and I lasted a grand total of 30 seconds in a cab and jumped out. On the other hand, I’ve had some good ones. I guess they outweigh the bad for the most part. You’re really at a disadvantage if you don’t know where you are going.

    Best burger? A joint in Birmingham Michigan. Long gone.

  90. Lea Ann says:

    Love the cab ride story! As always, great writing. RE: burgers. Bud’s Bar, Sedalia, Colorado.

  91. Being a vegetarian I have had more bad soy burgers than good ones but Picasso’s in Dallas,TX has a killer Jalepeno Cheddar veggie Berger… Hands down the best veggie burger I have ever had.

  92. Bonnie says:

    Best Burger-hands down. Hires Big-H in Salt Lake City, UT. 1/3 lb. ground chuck ground in-house daily.

    Love the posts on the HB in
    five breads.

  93. Saju Sharfu says:

    luved ur cabby story..best burger i have eaten..my mom’s made it in such a way that u dont have to worry about anything..just pop it into ur mouth and u will neverm iss the fast foodburgers..

  94. Alisa says:

    Oh my, it has been so long that it is hard to remember – Oh wait, in the town I grew up in there was a drive-in type place called Giants. Their burgers were huge and divine. I really loved them all, but that super-messy teriyaki burger with a pineapple ring was extra-special. Yeah, I like my food messy sometimes 🙂

  95. This comment has been removed by the author.

  96. This burger looks to die for! And I dare Dave to make those Brussels sprouts – they could be his conversion recipe. And you are NOT condemned to spinsterhood – bad Dave, bad! LOL

    The BEST burger I ever ate was at Hamburger Henry’s in West Los Angeles (dang I hated when they closed their doors). It was a sauteed mushroom and caramelized onion burger on fresh baked buns that you had to eat with a knife and fork. They had like 90 some burger combos and I kick myself for NOT trying more of them because I always gravitated to the same burger over and over.

  97. Do i get another chance…i have changed my mind about the best burger……its all the ones i drool over food blooger sites :-))))))

  98. Kerstin says:

    Best burger was at Moody’s pub in Chicago – mmmmm! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

    Oh, and I want to make those Brussels sprouts, but you lightened up version for sure 🙂

  99. Daniel says:

    For a second I got really excited because I thought it was the Cash Cab. Now I’m just disappointed.

    -Your brother.

    PS: You use a lot of sentence fragments.

  100. Danielle says:

    My favorite burger ever was one that I had a restaurant called The Old Fashioned in Madison, WI. It was the first time I ever had a fried egg on my burger and I flipped out! I cannot get enough of that oozing yolk running into my burger!

  101. Erica says:

    That is one very intriguing burger, and the brussels sprouts look wonderful. My favorite burger comes from a local restaurant called The Boathouse, located on the lake in Indiana. It’s a Black and Bleu Burger, with a blackened cajun-spiced burger topped with a generous portion of bubbling bleu cheese.

  102. Arthur says:

    When I was in high school my friend Adam used to have me over for dinner. His dad put together burgers that he called “Texas Rangers” He would grill a cheeseburger and top it with cole slaw and tomatoes. There were other secrets in the burger itself, but I’ll never know what they were. Best burgers I ever had.

  103. fenixfoods says:

    Horn of the Moon Restaurant had fantastic veggie burgers. They were the first vegetarian restaurant in Montpelier, VT, but unfortunately closed several years ago.

  104. GA Jane says:

    I would love to win that pan and cook an onion burger here at home. I don’t know if it will be the best but it’ll be fun trying. I love reading your blog and see what you do with the HBin5 bread!

  105. Shirley says:

    I’d love to win the giveaway too. Dont worry about the out of region stuff. If I win you can mail it to a relative in Dallas. all within the region.

  106. Xiaolu says:

    Oh I love the pretty red color of the onions. Everything looks delicious as usual :).

  107. SGS says:

    I guess I’m bringing up the rear, last minute here. No matter, here’s my entry. 🙂

    The best burger I’ve ever eaten was cooked and served at a little hole in the wall restaurant in New Orleans. Now mind you, I had my first one there about twenty five years ago …and my most recent one in September. How awesome is that!? …that a burger can be SO GOOD you come back for twenty five years?

    The name of that little hole in the wall is Port of Call, down on Esplanade. In fact, I think the guy that served me my first beer there served me the last one also.

    Oh yeah …the burger. Stands about 4″ tall and proud; just your everyday all American burger with a certain je ne c’est quois …served in an atmosphere that is pure Southern and home-town. (I think the flavor seeps in from the atmosphere.)

  108. Foodycat says:

    I’d marry you for burgers like that! Absolutely stunning.

  109. Lisa says:

    OMG, this burger is abolutely mouth watering and your photos showcase it beautifully. I have to get Michael’s book pronto! He is one talented chef and definitely holds a spot in the top 5 creative burger makers ever. Now, believe it or not..I think the best burger I ever had was the “Fat Doug” burger of his that I made..but I’m sure there’s plenty more in the book that might trump that 🙂

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