Summer is slowly coming to a close. And with that means goodbye to the absurdly hot temperatures we’ve been having in DC, sunburns, and #beachbod hastags. Most importantly, the ending of summer hopefully means less distractions as I continue my To Cook or Book challenges.
Nothing screams summertime fun like burgers, and if you’re like the hundreds of city dwellers with no convenient access to a grill, burgers can be a hard dish to serve when all you’re left with is a small 4 plate electric stove top. For this week’s challenge I decided to put my electric stove top to use with The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book. With puns that wont quit, The Bob’s Burgers Burger Cookbook offers both fans of the show and fans of burgers simple, straightforward recipes of over 70 different burgers. The recipes are delightfully easy (sometimes to a fault) and straight forward. Each recipe has a pun-ny title such as “Shake your honeymaker burger” and “Sympathy for the deviled egg burger”. In all honesty, the puns alone make the book a good read.
I decided to give myself a bit of a challenge and try the “Bleu by You Burger”. Mostly because it involves a red wine reduction. Anyone who has seen me attempt a reduction knows how much anxiety this causes me since I can almost never reduce to the correct consistency. This normally leads me to state of panic (i.e. dumping in spoonfuls of cornstarch) which results in a horrific mixture of liquid and gelatinous chunks. The recipe itself is quite easy, but once again I found myself panicking over the reduction. After allowing it to simmer over double the instructed amount of time, I gave into bad habits and did anything I could think of to thicken the red wine. What I got in the end was jam. Red wine jam. On any other occasion this would have been a winning situation but it wasn’t exactly the consistency I was looking for.
This week’s restaurant we just happened to stumble upon after our after dinner walks during the week. Radiator is a new restaurant and bar attached to the Mason and Rook Hotel in Logan’s Circle. The outdoor seating was spacious with a mixture of high top counters, two person tables, and even outdoor couches. Executive chef Jonathan Dearden offers a clean and modern menu of tapas style food. And can I just say, there wasn’t a single thing ordered that I did not enjoy. The corquetas were divine, perfectly cripsy on the outside and warm and gooey on the inside. And even though I was there for their burger, the lamb belly tacos quite honestly stole the show. A fusion of Indian flavors with a soft “taco” shell mean’t that the third taco had to be awkwardly shared between two people because we both wanted more. The burger itself was perfectly cooked to my liking. The red onion marmalade added the perfect level of sweetness to compliment the oozing layer of cambozola. My one qualm would be that there weren’t enough truffle fries. I love fries. I am definitely the obnoxious diner who accidentally fills up too much on fries then refuses to touch the rest of my meal.
To Cook or Book?
The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book is delightfully charming and loyal to the series. With easy to follow instructions there is absolutely no excuse to have delicious burgers from the stove. However, Radiator not only served up a delicious, moist burger, but every dish that we ordered surprised and delighted us. There aren’t too many restaurants in D.C that I would go back to (mostly because there are always too many new ones keeping me busy) but Radiator would definitely be on my list. For this week I would have to say book it
The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book
Author: Loren Bouchard, Writer’s of Bob’s Bugers and Cole Bowden
Hardcover: 128 pages