The Rake


This is going to come across as disingenuous, but the burger is undisputedly the US of A’s greatest contribution to culinaria.

Few subjects elicit greater diversity of impassioned opinion and inspire more heated debate; fewer foods still draw one into such fevered fanatical fixation. I won’t delve into the myth and lore of the history of the burger, or its cultural and economic significance as an American icon — that’s what Wikipedia is for. But should you be a bun-and-patty fetishist, the late, great Josh Ozersky’s The Hamburger is required reading (as if I needed to tell you). Everything you ever wanted to know, and then some, about whether the spheroid of ground beef clamped betwixt a bun is the birthright of red-blooded men and women or a symbol of industrial mass production and cynically capitalistic corporate greed robotically served by wage serfs to a brainwashed, largely morbidly obese, demographic is in that spellbinding volume.

You know that value your mama tried to inculcate: ‘If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all’. In that spirit — because we love our mamas — what we’ve’s favourite burgers in the burger capital of the galaxy. N.Y.C., natch. L.A. and an In-N-Out paean? That’s another story for another issue. And one more disclaimer: this is emphatically — I repeat, emphatically — not a breathless exaltation on the trending, majorly Instagrammed, so-hipster-it-hurts hotspots. If that’s your shtick, you can please stop reading now. P.S. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid, you don’t always find salvation there.

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