Josh Ozersky has written on his carnivorous exploits for Time, Esquire and now Food & Wine; he has authored several books, including The Hamburger: A History; and he is the founder of the Meatopia food festival. Follow him on Twitter @OzerskyTV.
Happy burger season! As we do at this time every year, we begged our favorite burger expert, Josh Ozersky, for his Top 10 Must-Try Burgers list for 2014. Ozersky is the author of the excellent "The Hamburger: A History." He gave it some thought, and then handed over his awesome list, plus intel on why these places made the cut.
Only a madman or a glutton with infinite resources could hope to eat every hamburger in America. Think of how big the country is! And yet, it would be equally ludicrous to suppose that the 10 burgers I listed here last year are still the country’s best. Every year new hamburger debutantes have their coming-out parties, and each year obscure starlets emerge from the hinterlands to enchant even the most effete of critics.
Here then is this year’s edition. Not all are new; and not all are necessarily mind-blowing. A few, like Hildebrandt’s and Dyer’s, owe as much to their picturesque surroundings and rich history as they do to the salt and blood of their beef. But all 10 of these burgers deserve our attention, our respect, and most of all, our willingness to eat several of them, one after the other.
Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
We Americans, we do like our beef. The average citizen of the US of A eats somewhere around 70 pounds of beef per year. And we eat more of it on Memorial Day than any other day of the year—not all 70 pounds in one go, necessarily, but still. Evidently we, as a people, cannot resist the urge to slap round patties of ground cow flesh onto hot metal and then devour the results.
If the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival had a Mayor, Vance Vaucresson could be a serious contender.
Even when he's behind his family's sausage po-boy tent, tucked under a New Orleans Saints ball cap and wearing sunglasses, five minutes don't go by without someone stopping by to say hello to him.
"It's like a reunion around here," Vaucresson said between visits. "We're a family, all the vendors."
He shakes a lot of hands, and says a lot of hellos.
"He's just a super friendly, personable guy," festival food director Michelle Nugent said.
One beeeeeelion years ago (okay, 13), chef Daniel Boulud's DB Bistro Moderne unleashed the Original db Burger uponst the New York dining public. Yea and verily, they quaked and drooled in the face of the "monster burger's" lavish short rib, foie gras and truffle-stuffed extravagance - and its then-unparalleled $27 price tag.
Boulud's seasonally-available Double Truffle Burger variant was, for a time, Guinness World Records-certified as the world's most expensive burger. Its $120-$150 cost has since been topped by others including Serendipity 3's limited-time $295 "Le Burger Extravagant," made from white truffle butter-infused Japanese Wagyu beef, topped with James Montgomery cheddar cheese, black truffles and a fried quail egg and served on a gold-dusted campagna roll spread with white truffle butter.
Blini, creme fraiche and caviar added to the beefy tally, but this might make the whole thing a little easier to swallow: Bowery Mission, which serves homeless and hungry New Yorkers, was the beneficiary of the profits.
Cara Reedy is an Executive Assistant at CNN. She previously wrote for Eatocracy on being a small cook in a big kitchen, St. Louis' Provel cheese and her family's soul food traditions. She caveats that doubles aren't pretty (as pictured above) but they sure are delicious.
The Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn has been home to a vibrant Caribbean and African American community since the great migration of the twentieth century. African American people moved to northern states to escape the racial segregation of Jim Crow laws, while at the same time Caribbean people moved to New York for better employment opportunities. The slow Southern charm mixed with the warmth of the Caribbean people make it a neighborhood unlike any other.
When I arrived five years ago, I was a Caribbean food novice. I soon caught up and caught on to the wonderful flavors. My favorite discovery is doubles, a Trinidadian street food that is a Bed Stuy breakfast tradition.
Despite its plural name, a double is a singular sandwich made of two pieces of fried bread (bara) filled with curried chickpea stew (channa) and then topped with tamarind chutney, kuchela (chutney made of green mangoes) and pepper (a vinegary sauce made from scotch bonnet peppers).
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