If any food deserves its own holiday it’s the hamburger. From Michelin starred restaurants, to greasy spoon, hole-in-the-wall diners, few foods are more beloved by Americans as the essential hamburger, as evidenced by the more than 50 billion hamburgers eaten by Americans each year.
The iconic American food has roots in Hamburg, Germany – where the Hamburg Steak first originated, but its current form is a true product of American innovation. German immigrants brought the steak with them as they settled in the United States and during the Industrial Revolution, food carts began serving it to factory workers. While delicious and filling, it proved difficult to eat and thus, a long lost culinary hero introduced the concept of sandwiching the steak between two slices of bread so that it would be easier to eat while standing up. And thus, the hamburger was essentially born.
In 1904, the hamburger made its national debut at the World’s Fair in St. Louis. A few years later, Walter Anderson, a fry cook, created bun made specifically for hamburgers before going on to co-found the very first burger chain, White Castle.
Locally, Virginia’s own contribution to the history of the hamburger came in the form of one G.A. Coffman, who received patent number 3935 in 1845 for a device that would eventually become the modern day meat grinder.
Today, the beloved hamburger can be found on menus all across the country at price points ranging from McDonald’s .99 standby to the ultra-extravagant, FleurBurger 5000. Sold at Fleur de Lys in Las Vegas, this black truffle, foie gras, and Kobe beef burger was paired with a bottle of Chateau Petrus, 1990 and sold for $5,000.
Below are a few of our favorite burgers to try in honor of National Hamburger Day, May 28.
Capital Ale House
Bacon Black & Blue (right): Cajun Seasoned Burger, Crispy Bacon, Gorgonzola, Lettuce, Tomatoes, and Onions. Ale House Burger (left): Virginia Beef, Lettuce, Tomato, Onions and Cheese.
Cheeseburger: Seven Hills Beef, Tillamook Sharp Cheddar, Lettuce, Tomato, House Dijonnaise, and a locally baked Roll.
Boulevard Burger & Brew
California Burger with Tomato, Kale, and Avocado.