It makes perfect sense to put Chef Jonathan Eismann through The Grinder right after winning Best Chef in this year’s New Times’ Best Of issue. In another stroke of good timing, Q American Barbeque is also adding a Burger/Slider section to their menu which includes the Media Noche Burger (Pit Smoked Ham, Swiss Cheese, Pickles, Yellow Mustard). The Media Noche Burger was on the National Hamburger Month Menu he created back in May, I loved it….So, I give you Jonathan Eismann, making the world a better Burger place:
BB: Is preparation an important step in the making of a great Burger?
JE: Totally, one of my burger creedos is that the meat only be formed by hand and very lightly so you can still see the strands of grind in the beef. That makes a tender burger.
BB: Do you believe that Burger size to bun ratio can make or break a Burger?
JE: Yes. Bun and Burger must be a good fit. I like my Burger to follow the edge of the bun and not stick out or be smaller than the bun. I like Burger bun and Burger edge to be pretty close.
BB: On a similar note, is 80/20 really the ideal meat to fat ratio?
JE: 80/20 is a good average mix. For a griddled Burger, I like it with more fat so when it cooks it really has some juices to cook in. 80/20 is great for grilling ground sirloin. It can also be as lean as 90/10 but only if eaten very rare. Fat adds the creamy rich flavor to a Burger especially when cooked m/r (Medium Rare) and higher.
BB: What makes a Burger successful?
JE: For me. m/r (Medium Rare), warm inside, lightly seared, not the shape of a meatball. I HATE swollen meatball Burgers. I like a nice 8 or 9 oz. patty or 6 oz. if griddled. Toasted bun. Heinz Ketchup. Iceberg Lettuce Leaf-not shredded, Thin sliced tomato and when I like cheese, I like White Cheddar.
BB: Two of your restaurants’ names start with a “P”, one with an “F” and another with “Q”. Do you have something against vowels? Any possibility of a restaurant in the future with a name starting with a vowel?
JE: Only you would notice that. What’s a vowel? We live in Miami. “VOWEL? WE DONT NEED NO STINKIN’ VOWELS!“
BB: There’s a rumor going around town that you’re planning on stealing The Golden Grill award Michael Schwartz won at this year’s Burger Bash, any truth to that?
JE: Never even thought of it! I usually do Bubble Q……….Well, I gotta go, I have to put a goat in the BBQ Pit.