Insane Burgers: 10 Totally Cray Cray Patty Masterpieces

Most burgers are served on a sesame seed bun with the typical toppings – patty, iceberg lettuce, ring of red onion, tomato slice, American cheese, and a little secret sauce that’s basically Thousand Island dressing. There’s nothing wrong with being basic. But, for a mo, let’s forget those quotidian contenders. These over-the-top, no-holds-barred two handers feature primo patties, über-luxe garnishes, and other unexpected elements that will have you swearing off standard-issue quarter pounders for life. Here are 10 totally insane burgers, with sincere apologies to those of you who have brought your lunch to work today.

db Bistro Moderne, Miami, Florida
Daniel Boulud may be French, but he has totally mastered the American art of crafting burgers. His most over-the-top rendition stars a ground sirloin patty stuffed with red wine-braised short ribs and foie gras. Slathered with a little fresh horseradish and tomato confit, it arrives on a housemade toasted Parmesan and poppy seed bun. Make a reservation at db Bistro Moderne.

insane burgers

Rockit Burger Bar, Chicago, Illinois
How could you not order a burger called the Mac & Cheese Attack? It sounds so amazeballs that we’d be surprised if anyone could resist it. The carb-loaded beast features a quarter pounder nestled between two “buns” of deep fried mac ‘n cheese. It’s garnished with lettuce, tomato, scallions, and sriracha ketchup, which we now know goes really well with mac ‘n cheese. Who knew? Make a reservation at Rockit Burger Bar.

insane burgers

Root & Bone, New York, New York
This insane, Southern-minded cheeseburger has a couple of things going for it. Firstly, it’s stuffed with pimento cheese. Secondly, it’s chicken fried. And, it comes with waffle fries. ‘Nuff said. Make a reservation at Root and Bone.

Insane burgers

SoBou, New Orleans, Louisiana
This foie gras-enriched burger comes gussied up with a sunny side up egg and duck bacon. To help wash down all that decadent fat is an equally decadent, equally fatty foie gras milkshake. Which would be a great name for a band. Just sayin’. Make a reservation at SoBou.

Insane burgers

MAMO, New York, New York
Don’t tell your cardiologist if you have this for lunch. That’s because this burger is capped off with a lobe of foie gras and a snowfall of paper-thin white truffles, not to mention a little gravy. Because why the hell not? You’ve already clearly decided to temporarily ditch your heart healthy diet. Make a reservation at MAMO.

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Where’s the Beef? 11 Alternative Burgers Without an Ounce of Moo in Them

We have absolutely no problem with a classic beef burger – like we could turn down an American icon? – but, sometimes we want to switch up our routine. Luckily, Angus ain’t the only protein in play in the patty game anymore. Chefs are utilizing unconventional meats sourced from the land and sea. From shrimp and salmon to kangaroo and bison, these burgers are far from your average Big Mac. Here are 11 alternative burgers that buck the convention that is beef.

Azu, Ojai, California
This is one lean, green burger machine. The primo patty is forged out of grass-fed, fat-marbling-free bison. Don’t worry, there’s still some gluttony involved. It comes topped with onion jam, Gorgonzola, and bacon — and there’s a side of fries. Make a reservation at Azu.

Alternative Burgers

Badmaash, Los Angeles, California
Sacred cows are left out of the equation when it comes to making these alternative burgers. Instead, well-spiced lamb takes the lead. Served on a brioche bun, they come with red onion ringlets, iceberg lettuce, juicy Roma tomato slices, and paprika-pepped mayonnaise. Make a reservation at Badmaash.

Alternative Burgers

The Commoner, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Chef Dennis Marron didn’t want to follow the flock when he was designing his burger. So he created one out of lamb to stand out from the herd. It comes capped with Moroccan-spiced aioli, Indian relish, and whipped goat cheese. Make a reservation at The Commoner.

Alternative Burgers

Sambar, Culver City, California
Here’s one done the Bombay way. The chicken burger comes with a plethora of flavor-boosting toppings, including crispy chicken skin, hempseed chutney, and summer fruit chutney. Warning: it may inspire you to book a trip to India — and we will not cover the cost of the ticket. Make a reservation at Sambar.

Alternative Burgers

Sepia, Chicago, Illinois
We want this burger baaad. Sorry, couldn’t resist. The Middle Eastern-inspired round is made with lamb and finished off with pickled eggplant, fiery harissa aioli, and feta crumbles. Make a reservation at Sepia.

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Portland’s Chefs Fired Up; High Cal Inaugural Lunch; Burgers Okay with Exercise

ESPN hires a new head chef. Hilarity ensues.

Food and dining news from around the web and the world…

* Didn’t get invited to the inaugural luncheon? Your waistline will thank you — it was a 3,000 calorie meal! [Washington Times]

* The tipping point. That moment when you start to hear a chef’s name everywhere. [Grub Street Chicago]

* Get the burger. And then get to the gym. [Business Insider]

* Portland’s chefs getting 86d. Some of the region’s best restaurants have parted ways with their revered chefs. [OregonLive]

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And, the Next OpenTable ‘My Foodie Valentine’ Dinner for Two Giveaway Goes to…

Do you get the feeling that Rob and Heather are serious burgerphiles? Me, too!

On behalf of everyone at OpenTable, congratulations to Heather McLeod of West Chester, Pennsylvania on being another lucky winner of the OpenTable ‘My Foodie Valentine’ Dinner for Two Giveaway. Heather, pictured here with her husband Rob, will receive a $200 AMEX or Capital One gift card to help them celebrate Valentine’s Day with another delicious dinner! Heather says, “This picture is of my best friend and husband Rob and I in San Francisco for my 28th birthday. This was one of the many restaurants we checked out on our vacation. This burger definitely got our attention! Can I go back now?” You can — and you can look us up when you do! Happy Valentine’s Day, Heather and Rob!

There’s still one more prize to be awarded. If you haven’t already, upload your entry to the OpenTable Flickr group today! Tune in again tomorrow as we announce the next winner.