High summer brings burger creativity and the August Burger of the Month Specials don’t disappoint. Here are more than 60 burger builds worth trying. But let me begin with a shout out I’ve been meaning to give for a long time. Buckeye Beer Engine in Lakewood, Ohio, comes up with not one but two great new burgers each month. It calls one the Burger of the Month, while the other is the “Wildy Improbable Burger of the Month.” For August it’s giving its customers a Smoky Blue Peach burger with grilled peaches and a house-made blueberry BBQ sauce. This month’s Improbable burger is the “Wildly Fun Guy” and features prosciutto, smoked Swiss and house-made creamy wild mushroom demi sauce. Every burger BBE creates shows thought, culinary finesse and fun, which are all to the good.
Recognition also goes to two new members of the BOTM list, both from Scandinavia. Barrels, Burgers & Beer in Stockholm, Sweden, does a monthly special. For August it’s a burger called The Burgerland that features jalapeňo relish, crunch roasted onion, Cheddar and Emmentaler cheese and—that global favorite—sriracha mayo. Burger Joint Aker Brygge in Oslo, Norway, shares a decidedly un-Scandinavian BOTM: the “Kim Chi Un” Burger (Gochujang mayo, bulgogi glaze, quick pickles, fresh radish and kimchi).
That Korean-influenced burger is just one of 14 August BOTMs that feature pickles, fresh or fried. I was taken by Mooyah’s Wing It On turkey burger with buffalo sauce, ranch, blue cheese, pickles and tomatoes. But no other burger joint can match Slater’s 50/50’s The Pickled Hog burger. It starts with a 50/50 bacon/beef burger patty infused with pickling spices. With that it adds bacon American cheese, pickled bacon, pickled jalapeño, fried pickled red onions, dill pickles, pickled green tomato and pickled aïoli, all served on a pretzel bun.
I mentioned in a recent post that pineapple is showing up more often a burger topping. This month, three BOTM specials work pineapple into the build. Kuma’s Corner in Schaumburg, Ill., has a burger with pineapple gastrique as well as a slice of the fruit (along with a 10-oz. beef patty, sriracha aïoli, sliced polish ham, mozzarella cheese, buttermilk-breaded fried red onion and paprika dust). This month’s specials also show an especially inventive array of sauces and condiments, from summer chow chow relish to banana-rum mustard, paprika aïoli and the Caesar mayo on the Caesar Burger at Bobby’s Burger Palace this month. Watch for them.
A final shout out goes to Reinhart Foodservice, which sponsors the Burger of the Month roundup and makes it possible. Reinhart and I both hope you’ll look through the complete Burger of the Month list here. You could spend the rest of the summer playing with the ideas packed into that list.