Flashback Friday – Hamburgers

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!! As we approach the end of the month, today’s post will celebrate National Hamburger Month.   Although I am excited about this post, I am dreading it as well.  After reviewing all my pictures and places I have been to, I discovered that I love hamburgers and I tend to order them at restaurants and bars.

After researching and reading the history of the hamburger, here is the lowdown on the emergence of the famous classic dish:

During the 12th-13th century, ground meat was developed and consumed raw by Genghis Khan and his “Golden Horde” army during battles.

19th century, German immigrants borrowed the recipe of the steak tartare from the Russians who learned about ground meat from the Mongolians.  The Germans brought the “Hamburg-style” chopped steak to America after the port of Hamburg, which was the big exporter of beef.

During the 20th century, there have been four claims of who made the first American Hamburger.  Over the course the century, the hamburger has been mass produced in fast chains such McDonalds and Wendys and by the 2001, burgers made up 71% of the beef served in commercial restaurants.

Below, are pictures of hamburgers I have ordered and consumed, which resulted in the 30 pound weight gain over the last 10 years.  My personal favorite burger is not listed in any of these pictures.  This burger is the Shack Burger with Cheese Fries and Arnold Palmer (total calories = 1,190; total cost w/ tax $12.88) from the original Shake Shack on Madison Square Park.  Shake Shack was established by Danny Meyer in 2004.

Here’s the scary thought, I used to devour this meal twice a week after 9pm before my evening commute home.  I took full advantage of the fact that I was in grad school for my first masters in public health (how ironic) and did not eat lunch or dinner.  After reading the calorie count for each Shake Shack item and graduated from the public health program, I have reduced my intake of the Shake Shack meal.  I am happy to say that I have not eaten at Shake Shack in over a year.

Although I have not eaten at Shake Shack, I have not stopped appreciating and enjoying a good burger with fries at various restaurants and bars in New York City. Here’s a reason: Health benefits of consuming a hamburger.

Ground beef consists of high levels of:

Iron: helps carry oxygen to cells, tissues and organs

Vitamin B-12: produces new red blood cells

Protein: lean ground beef helps build muscle and provide a reservoir of energy.

Given the cliff notes of the benefits of consuming hamburgers, below is a list of burgers I have consumed over the last year:

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Top left: Kitchen Burger – David Burke Kitchen; Top Right: Korean BBQ Burger – 5 Napkin Burger Union Square; Bottom left: Dorian’s Classic Burger – Dorrian’s Red Hand; Bottom Right: Wagyu American Kobe Burger – Frites N Meats

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Locksmith Burger w Yucca Fries – Locksmith Bar – Washington Heights

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Hamburger – La Dama – Financial District

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Angus Burger w truffle fries – Uncorked Wine & Tapas

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Happy Hour Burger Special ($6) – McKenna’s Pub – Union Square

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Cravin’ Bacon Burger w Fries – Bowlmor Lanes – Chelsea Piers

There are other burgers I have enjoyed but I did not have the opportunity to take pictures:

PJ Clarkes Burger, Five Guys Burger, Grass Fed Angus Burger at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Fishtail Burger, Donovan’s Burger at the Donovan’s Pub in Woodside and the Hamburger at the Fame Diner.

There are other burgers I definitely want to try, especially, the ones listed in Zagat, Time Out, Serious Eats, and PureWow.

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