Don’t quote me on this, but from what I understand, for a dining establishment to claim “World’s Best” anything, they are required to go through the following process: World’s Best entry forms are mailed to the entire population of the world. Even Liechtenstein. The completed forms wind up in a holding office somewhere near Battle Creek, Michigan and are soon tabulated by two guys in tuxes from Price Waterhouse. The results are then mailed to the proud owners of the restaurants, and for some odd reason, winners are often paint-starved luncheonettes or dusty truckstops on back roads where trucks aren’t permitted.
As an Ohioan, therefore, you should be elated to know that in your state alone, one can find World’s Best Chili, World’s Best Pie, World’s Best Wings, World’s Best Coffee, World’s Best Meatloaf and apparently a three-way tie for World’s Best Burger. I know. I’ve seen the signs with my own eyes. (Imagine how Juan Valdez must have sobbed into his saddle when he discovered World’s Best Coffee was just west of Cleveland.)
Anyway, I contacted the three burger winners and they were kind enough to share their recipes with me, so without further delay - ladies and gentlemen: World’s Best Burgers.
from Uncle Trixie’s Burgers ‘n Borscht in Butte, Ohio:
WORLD’S BEST MUSHROOM-ONION BURGER
Makes 5 big burgers
4 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
6 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1 1/2 lbs. ground sirloin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon A1 steak sauce
Vegetable oil for frying
Flour for dredging
5 big buns, lightly toasted
In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter and cook onions over medium heat until golden brown. Add mushrooms and continue cooking until mushrooms are softened. Let stand until cool enough to handle.
In a large bowl, mix together ground sirloin, salt, pepper, steak sauce and onion mixture. Form five burgers.
In same skillet heat a thin layer of oil. Dredge burgers in flour and fry in oil until desired doneness, turning once. Serve on buns with a dollop of sour cream.
from The Resentful Cow in Mudpuddle, Ohio:
WORLD’S BEST WALNUT BURGER
Makes 4 - 6 burgers
2 lbs. good ground chuck
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Buns or sandwich-sized English muffins, toasted
In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except rolls. Form into burgers and fry or grill as desired. Garnish with ketchup and yellow mustard.
from Louie’s Luncheonette and Tire Repair in Oceanside, Ohio:
WORLD’S BEST CHEESE-STUFFED BURGER
Makes 4 burgers
1 1/3 lbs. good ground chuck
4 domino-sized pieces of your favorite cheese
(Bleu, Swiss or Chevre are nice)
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
4 thick tomato slices
8 onion rolls, lightly toasted
Form ground chuck into 4 patties. Bury a piece of cheese in the middle of each, making sure it is completely enclosed to prevent leakage. Place pepper in saucer and press burgers in pepper to lightly coat. Fry or grill until burgers are well done, turning carefully. Place on bun and top each with tomato slice and tons of ketchup.