By Jim Duncan The spring quarter was a time of alarm and espionage. Mo Yun, the wife of a billionaire Chinese seed magnate, was indicted on intellectual property theft after her brother and another man were caught digging up and stealing patented seedlings in an Iowa farm field. Food inflation began to raise its ugly […]
From the Editor
A burger for every budget and taste
By Jim Duncan
During the Civil War, Dr. J. H. Salisbury determined that dysentery could be cured with a diet of coffee and ground beef. He recommended eating hamburger three times a day — deep fried or boiled. After the war, he popularized his diet for the masses. By World War I, his featured menu item had become known as Salisbury steak. The name changed, and so did the prevailing nutritional wisdom. Yet there are still Americans who visit their favorite burger joint more than once a day.
Hamburger is America’s most popular dish because it’s so versatile, particularly in price. Researching this issue, we found a surprising $1 cheeseburger at Wendy’s. Some food trucks turn out superb burgers for less than $6, while $9 seems to be the standard starting price for Court Avenue district burgers — that’s a couple bucks less than in the Gateway area. At Jethro’s, one loaded burger is the most expensive item on the menu at $25. Even a Rossini burger at Django, which includes truffles and foie gras, costs about $10 less. It’s all pretty reasonable. A recent trip to Ann Arbor, Michigan, revealed that the average burger price in that food-mad town is $14. And it’s easy to find $50 burgers in Las Vegas, Nevada, a town that pioneered the $100 burger.
So, we hope this issue of Relish has something for every burger budget and taste. We talked to experts at pairing beers and ice creams with burger, and at preparing the best burgers and sliders. We interviewed the master behind the grill at Zombie Burger and the executives behind the desk at Maid-Rite, Iowa’s original burger icon. Our cover story spans more than 700 years of burger history and every part of local burger culture, from diners and food trucks to the sports bars and fine dining cafés. And The Dish is back with three months of food gossip, rumor, news and scandal.
I’ll have mine medium with a hard sear, please. RELISH