Friday, March 16, 2012

How to analyze a burger

I decided to approach my upcoming burger reviews - both mine and restaurants’ - with an analytical matrix of sorts. Yeah, that’s right. Here at Mike Likes Burgers, you don’t just get frivolous nonsense, you get analysis. It’s what separates me from the burger blog chaff.

I wanted to measure three characteristics: complexity, quality and value, all with a score from 0 to 5. It’s a bit subjective - sometimes you want a traditional burger, sometimes you want something wild - but you always want a burger to be of good quality and taste great. 

So without further ado, I give you the greatest burger analytical tool ever devised: the BurgerDAR.
Fig. 1: A BurgerDAR applied to a hypothetical burger, wittily named the hypotheburger.

So if the hypothetical burger gets a 2/1/4, it means that it’s a traditional fast food burger that tastes delicious. A 4/4/1 is an edgy and experimental burger that didn’t get the fundamentals right, such as a stale bun or overcooked patty. I could have gone with a traditional matrix, but the BurgerDAR offers the expression of complexity wrapped in the bun of legitimacy.

So how does a burger gain points in each of the three areas? It’s not a precise science; after all, you can’t quantitatively judge a burger to be “good”. However, there are some parameters.

Complexity - Are the ingredients special? Do the meat and toppings work well together? Was the burger constructed thoughtfully? Are the toppings or condiments unique or edgy? Does this burger push the envelope?
Quality - Is it cooked to perfection (varies by cooking technique)? Is it excessively dry or greasy? Is the bread fresh? Are toppings or condiments excessive?
Value - Is the burger priced well for its quality and complexity? Is it truly memorable?

When reviewing restaurants, I’m only interested in the burger itself, not the service or decor or other distractions. I’m concerned that my analysis will be befuddled if I’m too busy scrutinizing the ambiance.

So there you go. Get ready for burger action.

Get ready for the BurgerDAR.

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