I had been going to Ralphs for our staples and Bristol Farms for our meats up until the move. (Jesus! Is there ANYTHING I have to say not related to the move!) The meat quality at Bristol Farms was much higher and the prices weren't that much more. As for burger meat, I would go to the Huntington Market in the 3rd and Fairfax Farmer's Market. They sold a Nancy Silverton ground meat blend that was 80/20 lean/fat. Maybe even up to 75/25 at times. It was, by far, the greatest burger meat I've ever purchased. Anybody you fed this meat to would rave about it to no end and I took tons of credit even though the extent of my involvement was simply pointing at the meat and asking for a pound or two. That, of course, has all changed.
There's a Gelson's on the way home now, but they don't have a meat counter. All they have behind glass is fish and a guy who seems depressed because he doesn't get to wrap steaks in butcher paper. Who ever heard of a supermarket without a glistening red meat counter? How am I supposed to get fired up while I shop?! Unreal, Gelson's, unreal. Whole Foods is also on the way, but although Bristol Farms would add fat to their meat to make 80/20 for you, Whole Foods won't for some reason. And none of these places carries 80/20 meat. The best I've seen is 85/15. Ralphs even has a 93/7. Well why I don't I just grill a damn shoe while I'm at it and we'll have a blind taste test? Shoe versus 93/7 meat. Ralphs does sell a prewrapped tube of 80/20 meat, but it only comes in a four-pound package. In a swirling sea of non-optimal choices, I've been buying a one-pound pre-wrapped package of ground buffalo meat from Ralphs, which is actually pretty tender, juicy and tasty.
That finally segues us into the eventual point of this point, which has been a long time coming. I made an awesome burger last night. Making a gourmet burger is about the easiest thing in the world because all you have to do is add fancy trappings to your normal burger plan. But you make one, and people start asking when your personal line of frozen pizzas and canned soups will be hitting the shelves. (March 08, incidentally)
I took the ground buffalo, added salt, pepper and chopped basil, made two patties and dropped them on the grill. When they were beautiful, I took the toasted buns, spread ricotta cheese on them (the basil/olive oil kind I used for new caprese Monday), spread some goat cheese on the patties and finished the whole thing off with leafy lettuce, red onion and vine-ripened tomato slices from my friend's garden. Finished it off with crispy fries from our countertop fryer and a Shiner Hefeweizen. Damn.
If we had company over last night, I could've charged them $12 for this meal and they would've been HAPPY to pay it. Would've felt like they were getting an amazing deal. Would've told me, "You should include cream of butternut squash in your canned soup line."
And yes, it's official. Basil is the flavor of Summer '07 in the Krogmann household. Peak basil will be reached when I try a lemon-basil sorbet in August.