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4 Burger Ideas to Improve Your Weekday Lunches

Everyone loves a good burger. Whether you’re a hard core meat eater or committed vegan, thanks to options like the Impossible burger or Beyond meat, the hamburger remains a quintessential American food. In the 10th episode of season three of Parks and Recreation, characters Ron Swanson and Chris Traeger have a burger cookoff in which Chris serves a turkey burger with chutney and a black truffle aioli, Ron serves up a traditional beef patty on a bun.

While I probably would choose beef over turkey anyday, I can definitely understand the appeal of straying from a traditional hamburger. One of my go-to lunches this semester has been a burger. They’re fast, and the store I work at sells a 12-pack of frozen patties for only $11, making it inexpensive as well. They also remind me of lunches at Hewitt or late nights at JJs, taking me back to happier times on campus. The following have been my favorite burger combinations; I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

The Classic

It’s hard to beat the simplicity of a classic cheeseburger. Beef, cheese, lettuce or spinach, onions, mustard, ketchup, and mayonnaise. You can jazz this meal up by also buying and heating up some frozen french fries.

The Eggceptional Burger

I’ve gotten some strange looks from my parents when I’ve mentioned adding a sunny-side-up egg to a burger. However, it’s a secret I stand by. For this burger, I add cheese and a sunny-side-up egg on top of the cooked patty. Then, to garnish the recipe, I’ll add a sriracha mayo. It’s the perfect combination of spice and beef, and when the yolk breaks it combines all the goodness of breakfast with that of a burger. Just make sure to have a napkin handy, as your fingers will definitely get sticky.

The Baconator

This one is rather obvious, but recently my roommates and I treated ourselves to bacon with our breakfast, but didn’t end up cooking it after all. So earlier this week, I added two strips of bacon to the Eggceptional Burger. But, bacon is just a good thing to put on any burger if you’re looking to add another flavor profile. I also recommend letting the burger cook in the grease from the bacon.

The Karmalized Onion

This one is great to make if you’ve got a little bit more time, especially if you have leftover onions. For this burger, simply cut up your onion and let the pieces sit on a high heat in olive oil, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes. Then, turn the heat down and let them sit for another 10 minutes. At this point, congratulations, you’ve caramelized onions, and are in for a treat. The caramelized onions bring a sweetness to your burger that isn’t easy to replicate. The contrast between the sweet and savory creates a sensational experience for your tastebuds.

These are my top four burgers for a quick and tasty lunch that takes you back to campus. But just remember, the best burger is the one in front of you.

Carina Layfield

Columbia Barnard '23

Carina is a sophomore at Barnard majoring in Urban Studies with a Political Science specialization; she is also minoring in Italian. In her free time she enjoys discovering new recipes and spending time outside. She also recently started learning how to play the bass. She can be reached at crl2149@barnard.edu or @carina.layfield on Instagram.
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