The classic meal for a night out with family or friends is still beer and burgers (with soda for the kids, of course). In fact, in the same way that many Vietnamese restaurants are judged on the quality of their pho or beef broth, the burger can be the benchmark for the quality of American comfort food. From historic eateries to local pubs, the quality of the burger can make or break a reputation. When trying new places for dinner, the combination of burger, fries and beer can determine if it becomes a favorite spot or a once-only and never-again.
It’s the basic go-to for family meals. It’s also one of the top choices when eating out, and overall, Americans eat burgers about 4.3 times a month. That’s about once a week. The burger defines the quality of the meal, and is in its turn defined by the quality of the meat used. Three out of four or 75% of burger aficionados rank the quality of meat as the first or second most important attribute of the burger. Only 42% ranked toppings as the first or second most important thing.
When it comes to the quality of meat, it’s difficult to beat grass fed beef. The taste sets it apart, since the grass itself has been soaking up the sun and imparts all kinds of goodness to the meat. Humanely raised cattle are likewise a winner, as people become more ecoconscious. Best of all, sustainably raised meats are truly delicious, needing only the minimum of cooking to bring out the flavor.
The craft beer revolution
The craft beer revolution is now almost complete, and craft beers have won a sizeable domestic market, currently valued at $ 19.6 billion. Craft beers typically have 5 to 10% abv (alcohol by volume), and are brewed in small batches. They are made to be consumed within a few months of brewing.
Since craft beer fans prefer to sample beers according to season, batches get finished quickly, just in time for the new one to arrive. Across the board, beer drinkers like to sample new types, whether they drink imported, domestic or craft beers. The quality and range of craft beers available is an important consideration when trying new places for dinner. The right combination of burger, good craft beers and fries can mean the discovery of a new favorite.
Don’t forget the fries
Fries are a significant part of any burgers and beer outing, and are in a class all by themselves. They can be regular, crinkly, or round, and many restaurants have their signature fries. Cooks who leave the skin on the potatoes when making fries get extra credit.
Finding a good restaurant can be a fun challenge to be undertaken with a group of friends or colleagues. When trying new places for dinner, the right combination of burgers, craft beer and fries can be the key to a new favorite.