I am done pretending to be okay with trying to eat whole-ass burgers all at once. For my entire life I’ve been served giant hunks of cheeseburger and just expected to eat a pound of beef with my hands like it’s normal. It becomes a balancing act of trying to keep all my toppings in the buns, along with not spilling the juices everywhere, all while trying to eat the damn thing. If burgers are a sandwich, then why aren’t they cut in half like every other sandwich? This would make them so much easier and more enjoyable to eat. I mean could you imagine eating a deli sandwich whole? It’d be ridiculous. This is an issue I’m flabbergasted that our society hasn’t addressed yet.
We gotta first break down the different types of burgers. We got “restaurant burgers” and “fast food burgers.” Fast food burgers are your classic cheapo burgers, wrapped up in a paper or foil of some sort and designed to be eaten on the go. They’re maybe a bit smushed up, and don’t require much dexterity to eat. I define a fast food burger as “eatable with one hand.” Like you could feasibly house this thing in your mouth, while also driving to pilates.
Now, not all fast food burgers need to be cut in half. You could very feasibly one hand a McDonald’s cheeseburger. But some… (I’m looking at you, Five Guys) could definitely benefit from a nice, clean slice down the middle. I mean wouldn’t that be more enjoyable for everyone?
But, restaurant burgers on the other hand… are those giant hunks of beef, that usually come on a wooden plank (for some reason) with a toothpick or a knife stuck right down the middle. Those are the gargantuan puppies that definitely need to cut in half before eating.
You would cut a sandwich in half before eating it, right? Pastrami on rye, Philly cheesesteak, a Cubano, it doesn’t matter, they’re all cut in half before being served to you. So, why not split your burger? Have you ever housed a whole sandwich into your mouth all at once? No!! Of course not! So why would you do it with a burger? The fact that burgers aren’t served up pre-cut in half should be a crime.
Could you imagine going to a nicer restaurant, ordering a burger, and then even attempting to eat it with one hand? Near impossible. That burger would be on the floor, lettuce on your shoes and aioli running down your arm.
I mean just look at how much easier and cleaner it is to eat when you slice a burger in half instead of trying to shovel a round pound of beef, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion rings, bbq sauce and a giant ass brioche down your throat. It’s almost like turning a giant burger into a slider, and who doesn’t love sliders? Plus, cutting burgers in half gives them corners and makes them sooooo much easier to dip in ketchup (which is my officially endorsed way to eat a burger).
And I get it. They may not want to cut it in the kitchen before serving because they run the risk of breaking the meat seal and losing all the juices. But while that is a decent excuse, it isn’t a great one. If they really cared about that, they would train their servers to deliver your burger to your table and then offer to cut it for you, tableside. Thus, preserving the juices and also fulfilling their moral obligation as a procurer of burgers to CUT THE DAMN THING! Make it an enjoyable experience for me. One where I’m not constantly worried that I accidentally leaked a maple bacon onion jam on my pants.
Also, if we’re on the topic of how to improve the overall burger experience… instead of “toppings” we should have “bottomings.” That’s right, I think all of our burger accoutrements should be placed underneath the meat. Makes it much more manageable to handle and significantly lowers the risk of spillage. Plus, when we eat, we place food on top of our tongues, right? So isn’t it much more enjoyable to bite through all the flavors of bottomings (your aioli’s, cheese, tomatoes, what have you) and then finish off that bite with the meat of the burger, rather than getting a mouthful of ground beef and trying to scavenge whatever toppings you can into your mouth before they fall on to your shoes?
As of now, I’ll just stick to asking for a steak knife and halving my own burgers. But I oh so long for the day when my burgers will be served to me already beautifully cut down the middle.