The Twin Cities Patty Orgy: Five Guys Burgers And Fries

It is the duty, nay, obligation, of everyone writing about the Twin Cities food scene this summer to write about hamburgers. That's because three very high-profile burger joints have opened here over the course May-June, an event I am dubbing the Twin Cities Patty Orgy. Two up-and-coming national chains, Five Guys and Smashburger, opened Minneapolis outposts. And then there's Burger Jones, which for non-resident readers is a very popular new place just two blocks from my home, run by one of the biggest local restaurant groups.

Roasting Potatoes

NOTE: This technique uses an oven. All ovens are different, but some ovens, like my ovens, are more different than others. If you do this, keep an eye on both time and temperature.

Why roast potatoes? Because they're a quick flavorful side dish, and because they're especially handy to have around if, say, you have a batch of garlic aioli you want to use before it goes bad.

STEP ONE: Buy Potatoes

Many people overlook this step, and end up very hungry as a result. I like Yukon Golds or fingerlings for roasting.

Kitchen Shears

These are my kitchen shears.

PIG.

I buy pigs. I mean, I buy pork, yes, but in the past year, I've started buying pigs. It was my friend Drew's idea. He has an excellent local butcher in St. Paul, and that butcher sells whole animals. Or more accurately, whole animals' worth. So Drew thought it would be neat, since we both cook, to go in on a whole pig. And it's one of the best things that ever happened to me, food-wise.

My First Aioli

So I'm working on this dinner, and we run into a problem. Artichokes are one of the few things we really like mayonnaise on. But two batches of artichokes ago, we used the last of our mayo, and hadn't replaced it. Dammit. We considered going out and getting some, but a thought came to me.

I'm a food blogger now, dammit. Going out and buying mayonnaise in a pinch? Why, that will get me roundly mocked by the foodnerd community. And I cannot have that, this early into Forkbastard's short life.

Steak, Scallops, and Artichoke

Now that our camera is back from California, I can start putting foodporn shots along with the articles. And with Cathy bringing the camera back with her, I thought I'd make something semispecial. She's a big fan of steak, and I had a large hunk of top sirloin left in the freezer. I'd bought it for fajitas, and really liked the flavor. It's a bit chewy, but very, very beefy.

Taco Ruminations, Part One Of Four Million

I. Love. Tacos.

Forced to move to a desert island where I can only eat one foodstuff for the rest of my life? Tacos. Of course, that's a bit of a cheat, because tacos aren't a food. Tacos are a form factor.

Consider this. The 79-cent classic hard shell taco from Taco Bell is a taco. It contains ground beef of questionable provinence, orange grease laden with cheap cumin, lettuce and/or packing material, and cheese and/or packing material, all wratpped in a corn-based shell that was fried to a crisp at some point in the distant past. Yet it is still a taco.

Yum! Kitchen and Bakery

I've been going to Yum! pretty much since it opened. It helps that it's a block and a half from where I live, and when it opened, it filled a real niche that the neighborhood needed. It also helps that their food is pretty damn good.

Stumpy Tubes Of Evil

The downtown, Minneapolis Target now stocks four varieties of Combos.

This is serious, people. This may be the single greatest danger to my ongoing health since the three months the (now closed) convenience store near my office started selling Zingers. Dolly Madison Zingers. God, that was like a snack food version of Field of Dreams, but the body's decreasing tolerance for creme filling as it ages* made for an interesting time.

The Alton Brown BLT Salad

Here in Minneapolis, the humidity has finally kicked in. A June that had, for almost three weeks, been comfortable, livable, and pleasant has turned into a damp, sticky nightmare where human skin develops the consistency and adhesion of a movie theater floor. Summer means summer cooking, and summer cooking means adding as little heat and humidity to the environment as possible. And adding as little heat and humidity as possible means salad.

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