Wednesday, July 28, 2010

One step closer to Burger Nirvana

Anybody who knows me knows how much I love hamburgers. And yes, I've complained on this blog before about about the absence of consistently excellent hamburgers in Eugene. An old college professor of mine used to say "Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds." Well, call my brain Tiny then, because I am desperate for a burger I can count on, time and time again.

One of my favorite restaurants is a little burger/sandwich/neighborhood joint called Cornucopia. I love them so much, they catered my wedding. The restaurant has a real friendly vibe, a great beer selection, the only hush puppies in town (that I know of). And despite the popular complaint whenever I mention that I love Corny, I even love the service. It might not be the fastest place to get dinner, but I've been there dozens and dozens (and dozens) of times and may have had iffy service once or twice. I think they do pretty well.

Now, when asked, I'll name Cornucopia's burgers as the best in town. I usually do so hesitantly, because while they're really tasty and are made of good quality beef, their competition is so lacking in this town that they only have to be pretty good to win the Best in Eugene title (as they do every year). I've had burgers there that were over-done. I've had them under-done. I've had them so-so, and I've had them really good.

This weekend, I had one that reset my standard for what to expect in a Cornucopia burger.

My Wild Bill burger, 7/24/10. I almost forgot to stop eating and snap a pic

This was not my first Wild Bill Burger. I've had the half pound patty with bacon, cheese, and BBQ sauce countless times before. But this one was incredible. Grilled to perfection, dripping with sauce, after the first bite I knew I had something special. One of the things I really like about Corny burgers is the char they get on the outside, though sometimes, as I've mentioned, the char goes to far. Not this time - the burger itself was moist and juicy and cooked to my ideal medium-well. And it had that perfect crust on the outside that a burger gets when it's spent the exact right amount of time on the grill.

They always season their burgers really well at Cornucopia. But this weekend's burger was exceptional because while I tasted the seasoning and it was slathered in sauce, the predominant flavor was beefy goodness. Man that was a good burger.

Much to my chagrin, FoodGuy Jr. does not like hamburgers. He's not yet 3, so I'm trying to stay positive that some day he'll outgrow this unfathomable aversion. In effort to help speed his growth along, every time I eat a hamburger, I offer him some. While eating this particular burger, however, I didn't. I love little FoodGuy more than anything, but I was't going to take the chance that he'd chose this burger to try. When he likes something, the boy can eat. To risky.

So now I'm anxious to go back to Cornucopia. Mrs. FoodGuy will only go once a month or so. She really likes Corny too, but oddly doesn't seem to need hamburgers the way I do. She wasn't with FoodGuy Jr. and I this weekend, so there's hope I can get her there soon. And then we'll see if they can replicate my burger. If they can... if they can... It'll be the dawn of a new burger day in Eugene.

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