Many years ago, I ran across George Motz’s Hamburger America website. I didn’t realize the greatness I was about to experience.
The book was way before George’s show Burger Land on Travel Channel and his appearances as the Burger Scholar on Alvin Cailan’s Burger Show. By the way, you can me on the Burger Land episode in Miami.
There is the Hamburger America book, where George Motz presents a hundred burgers spots in 39 states.
Many folks don’t realize there is also a 2005 documentary. In it, George covers eight hamburger joints across the U.S. The film received a nomination for a James Beard Award, which is impressive in itself.
If you’re a burger fan, then you have found your nirvana. It will open your eyes for the first time to the regional specialties that make America great.
So, here are the burger joints along with their locations and a little info to wet your whistle.
Ted’s Restaurant (Meriden, Connecticut): Ted’s is home of the steamed cheeseburger. The cheese on this burger is mesmerizing.
Louis’ Lunch (New Haven, Connecticut): Established in 1895, Louis’ Lunch reportedly served the first hamburger in 1900. The Library of Congress web site states that the first hamburgers and steak sandwiches in U.S. history were served at Louis’ Lunch sandwich shop in New Haven, Connecticut.
An old school vertical contraption flame broils the burgers. You have never seen anything like that. Only cheese, tomato, and onion should top your burger but NEVER ketchup, mustard, or mayo. Two pieces of toasted white bread sandwich your burger patty.
The Meers Store (Meers, Oklahoma): 97% lean grass-fed Longhorn beef from their Longhorn herd. The owner is a character.
“Some folks like mayo on their burgers we call this a Sissy Burger, others like ketchup on their burgers we call this Yankee Burger.”
The Wheel Inn Drive-In (Sedalia, Missouri): The Guber Burger is featured, a burger with melted peanut butter.
Solly’s Grille (Glendale, Wisconsin): Solly’s is home of the Butter Burger; you won’t believe it. It left me flabbergasted and in love at the same time.
Dyer’s Burgers (Memphis, Tennessee): Dyer’s has been selling deep-fried hamburgers since 1912. This segment, when moving to their new location, is burger magic.
The Bobcat Bite (Sante Fe, New Mexico): The Green Chile Burger looks pretty amazing. No, really, take a good look at it.
The Billy Goat Tavern & Grill (Chicago, Illinois): A famous skit from Saturday Night Live (featuring John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, and Bill Murray) recreated the Billy Goat as the Olympia Diner, think Cheeseburger Cheeseburger. The little clip after the credits about the Billy Goat is probably the funniest thing in the film. The famed Billy Goat curse merits mention.
HAMBURGER AMERICA DOCUMENTARY
Hamburger America released its current edition in 2018. This new third edition features 200 burger joints you need to visit.