I was on a Dirty Burger-inspired perfection quest in my kitchen all summer long. I must have experimented with the thin-pattied things at least a dozen times, or at least so much so that I had to buy fresh batteries for my smoke alarm! The burgers from places like The American and Fable Diner had really begun to steer my tastes away from thick patties back to the diner-style meat pucks of yesteryear. I enjoyed the ease and simplicity of them at home, specifically their reliance on searing hot cast iron, speed and plenty of fat in the grind. But I’ve been thinking twice about the size of them after introducing my face to the thick and decadently juicy Rouge Burger at Bistro Wagon Rouge, which I enjoyed at the Powell St. eatery a couple of nights ago. Time to mix things up!
The patty is a six ounce, house-ground 50/50 mix of sirloin tip and hanger steak. It sees an estimated 80/20 protein-to-fat ratio. The thing is blasted to order in sizzling beef fat, basted with butter and generously blanketed with aged American cheddar before landing on a simple, white bread, Maldon-topped, mayo-lathered bun after it’s been toasted in the patty’s sizzle stain (the fat soak penetrates the bread just beyond its crisped edge, which is an indulgent plus in my book). Giving the whole thing some acidity and sweetness is a tidy spread of punchy caramelized onion jam made with sherry vinegar, tomato paste and beef stock (think French Onion soup but with cheddar instead of gruyere). It might look super basic but often the most wickedly delicious things are! Bonus: it’s made even better with golden frites and a glass of Syrah.
$17 | 1869 Powell St. | 604-251-4070 | bistrowagonrouge.com