Ketchup, mustard, mayo, bacon, blue cheese, peanut butter, mushrooms, bone marrow, foie gras: There’s dozens, if not hundreds, of ways to spin the modest hamburger. But who’s to say which direction is the best? Believe it or not, even bacon has its detractors, and here in California, foie gras has actually been outlawed (though more because of philosophy than flavor). So what I’m saying is, if condiments and add-ons represent personal opinions and matters of taste, then the burger and the bun represent the cold hard facts. And this is how a hamburger, every hamburger, ought to be judged.
True Burger, like other great hamburgers, takes the essence of the burger into its own hands by (a) grinding the meat in-house and (b) baking the buns in-house. As far as I’m concerned, taking these sorts of measures represents the pinnacle of hamburger cookery. These are the kind of steps you take when producing a great hamburger is at the very forefront of your mission. In fact, assuming that effort is an inherent function of quality, I would even argue that a house-baked bun supersedes a slab of foie gras. Sure, dressing up a burger with fancy add-ons is a welcome twist, but covering the basics remains essential.
And really, a great burger can make you forget all about bacon.