Burgers and beer are a marriage that has stood the test of time. Nothing like a fat-filled patty of meat to prepare the stomach for a deluge of beer or bourbon. With a new interest in gastro pubs, chefs are upping the pantry ante for building the best burger around.
Burgers are the mainstay at several local eateries. The owner/chefs are so confident their burgers are unique they have built a business around them. And it works. Everyone seems to need a burger fix now and again.
Sometimes it’s worth the trip just to get these burgers. It would be a sin not to stop in when you’re in the neighborhood anyway.
If you think a burger is just a burger, think again. Chefs who excel at fine cuisine have thought extra hard about the burgers on the menu. There may only be one choice, but chances are good the ground meat will be sirloin or a blend of several meats that capture the best qualities of each. The bun is probably house-made as well as the mayo, at this level called aioli. Enjoy the white tablecloth and lingering servers.
You really like me! Yes, our readers have said again and again that these burgers rock! They are top vote-getters in our Best of NH Readers’ Poll.
Feel like staying in? Richard Chudy, the author of Boston Burger Blog, offers his 10 tips for making the perfect burger at home.
Where’s the beef? It’s at great steakhouses. They may use trimmings from a variety of beef cuts for a mix that is rich and flavorful. Plus, get all the benefits of a creative approach to burgers and the fixings all served with panache and attentive servers.
Burgers are the ultimate fast food. You can fire and flip a burger on a hot griddle in less than three minutes. With assembly-line techniques, low-budget décor and a long spatula, crowds can be satiated in short order.
The corner café may offer a great list of creative burgers. The ingredients can be locally sourced and the accoutrements house-made. Be a regular burger eater and they might name one after you.
If the most important ingredient in a burger is the beef, locally sourced grass-fed beef goes to the head of the class. A handful of restaurants are willing to pay a premium to local farmers for their precious products and treat the final sacrifice with dignity and a good house-made ketchup. All things the same, the flavor of grass-fed beef is much more ... in a word ... beefy. You can actually smell and taste the difference.
Most restaurants offer a veggie burger, some just a frozen purchased patty. Others take great pride in offering their own house-made versions.
The Moose Burger Challenge at Wolfe's Tavern at the Wolfeboro Inn goes over the top with a two-pound burger of ground beef, tomato, 1/2 pound of cheese, 1/2 pound of bacon, onion, pickles, lettuce and entire house-baked loaf of bread sided with a pound of fries. Get a T-shirt and gift card for free lunch and your name on the plaque for being one of General Wolf’s Warriors, $34.95.
To cook up this tasteful guide we surveyed a menu of the most seasoned food writers in the region and grilled them until they revealed their juiciest secrets and rarest insights. Thanks to each of our experts for a job well done. Without their help, we’d have really been in a pickle.
Our Burger Guide to New Hampshire was photographed and compiled by Susan Laughlin. She has been traveling the state with fork and camera in hand for more than 15 years. As our food editor, she finds the newest restaurants and hottest chefs to the best ice cream. National food magazines have also tapped her expertise to get the skinny of the bests in the Granite State.
Helen Ryba eats around. She is host and producer of “The Chef’s Plate – A Taste of New England” on WBIN-TV, which enables her to sample food at restaurants throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts. See what she picked as her favorite burger in New Hampshire.
Mike Morin knows burgers. As a college student working at McDonald’s, Mike sold Big Macs when they were just 55 cents. When he is not busy perfecting hamburgers on his Big Green Egg smoker, Mike co-hosts “New Hampshire in the Morning” on 95.7 WZID-Manchester. He is a humor columnist for the Nashua Telegraph and his first book, “Fifty Shades of Radio,” came out last year. Mike also won first prizes for mac and cheese and his Chocolate Infiniti cookies. See Mike's favorite burgers.
Rachel Forrest knows the Seacoast. She is a food and drink journalist/freelance writer for The Portsmouth Herald and a digital content manager and producer at GateHouse Media. She formerly owned a restaurant and wrote a column for New Hampshire Magazine entitled “Cheap Eats.” She likes her burgers with a ripe tomato and plenty of mayo. See Rachel's favorite burgers on the Seacoast.
Richard Chudy is a professionally trained chef who co-owns a personal chef and catering business called The Skinny Beet with his wife Katie. He writes Boston Burger Blog and his burger cookbook is due out next year. Richard writes the columns “Man Food” and “Night Owl” for Boston Magazine, and his work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Public Radio Kitchen, “The Callie Crossley Show,” Food Republic, The Weekly Dig and Eater Boston. His blog was ranked the 5th best burger blog in the country in 2012 by Savings.com. See his 10 tips for making your own burger.
Barbara Radcliffe Rogers knows New Hampshire, especially the North Country. She writes about New Hampshire in guidebooks and more, taking readers on driving tours into less-traveled corners, as well as encouraging them to enjoy the state through her favorite sports of hiking, skiing and kayaking. She and her husband Stillman Rogers are authors of the guidebook “New Hampshire Off the Beaten Path,” now in its eighth edition. See Barbara's favorite burgers from the North Country.