Friday Q&A, pt. 2: The randos

Oh absolutely. I don’t know that the photographed burger has too many toppings, but when a place piles on too much stuff that isn’t bacon and cheese, it can get ridiculous and gimmicky. I don’t have any hard-and-fast rule about how many toppings a burger should have because it’s all about proportion, but there are few things more disappointing than a burger when I can’t actually taste the burger. As a general guideline, I would say it’s safe to add one extra, offbeat ingredient when the burger is fully loaded with typical ingredients and two extra offbeat ingredients when it isn’t.

But I very much enjoyed this bacon cheeseburger at J.G. Melon the other day:


Bacon, cheese, burger. Elegant in its bluntness, with pickles and onions on the side as optional toppings — I’ll have the former. When every ingredient is delicious, you don’t need to go crazy with toppings. You can, of course, but you don’t need to.

Well, I don’t know yet. I’m spending the day in Philadelphia, enjoying some sort of native sandwich for lunch and likely going out to dinner somewhere with the wife before we head back to New York. Something good, for sure. Usually I rely on for travel eating recommendations.

I’m way more interested in what you have for dinner, Rob. What’s the best native food in the Netherlands? All I’ve heard about from friends who have been there is late-night drunken falafel in Amsterdam. Presumably that is neither native to the region nor the best thing available there. Anyone?

I actually think about that sometimes. I liked working in the deli because it made so much sense: We have food, you have money, we have the time and equipment with which to prepare this food in some delicious way you’ve requested, and for that you are willing to give us money that we will then use to buy more food. It’s the circle of sandwich life.

But opening and operating a business takes so much time and effort, represents such a huge financial risk, and seems so prone to randomness. And I have a job writing about baseball and sandwiches that provides health insurance. It’s not something I’m eager to walk away from.

I do think, though, that someone should give me some sort of massive stipend to serve as a sandwich consultant for a restaurant. “Sandwich Curator” if you want a fancy title. Basically I come up with new sandwich concepts or tell you how you can improve your sandwiches, then you pay me a ton of money and feed me lots of free sandwiches. WIN-WIN!

Holy crap I’ve never even considered that. You mean the zesty Pepper Jack sauce, incidentally, but yeah… they need to get that stuff out there. Think of the things we could Baja!


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