I may be a vegetarian, but I can’t deny that burgers make up a good part of the region’s culinary conversation. (Besides, I grew up eating burgers hot off the grill on many an afternoon.) Bacon and an extra patty aren’t enough to fancify your order anymore. Ingredients like pimento cheese, lettuce-as-bun, foie gras, sautéed spinach, potato salad, pulled pork — and yes, veggie burgers themselves — have become the real game-changers.
Instead of inciting a burger throwdown, as CL did for its Pizza Marathon in March, this inaugural Burger Issue embraces the old and the new. First, CL food critic Jon Palmer Claridge goes all scientific on us and does a comparative analysis of 10 classic cheeseburgers. Then we turn to the readers and ask: What’s the most creative burger in Tampa Bay and where can we find it? You’ll discover the crowdsourced and occasionally crazy results (blueberry burger, anyone?) here.
Meanwhile, independent of our editorial efforts, CL’s marketing team is engaged in a patty pursuit of its own: Tampa Bay Burger Week. From Oct. 15 to 25, visit a participating Burger Week restaurant (find 'em at tampabayburgerweek.com or in this issue's pull-out guide) and snag a burger for five bucks.
Trust me — after reading this issue, you’re gonna want one. Dig in!
—Meaghan Habuda, CL Food & Drink Editor