I went for brisk jog after work today, and when I got home from doing that I proceeded to give (take?) all of those burned calories right back. I’m usually always lusting after a cheeseburger, and occasionally I’ll pop into a place and have one, but up and away prefer to make them at home, especially when the weather is properly in favor of firing up the grill. Gabrielle and I used to go to a bar called The Victory Bar back before we became parents. Now we don’t really go to bars at all, but we often want to, and we also often want to drunkenly consume delicious, heart-stopping bar food of all sorts and regret it in the morning. That’s a rarity, too. Anyway, this burger is modeled after the one they serve at Victory, and one of the burgers that I find a deep yearning for from time to time. Their version is a venison burger with crispy leeks and a worscestershire aioli, with the option to add Rogue Blue. It comes with a few simple bread and butter pickles, and fresh fried potato chips. My first deviation was to forgo the venison once I discovered that the price per pound is outrageous, at least at the place I happened to be shopping, in favor of plain old ground hamburger, 20% fat content (the only way to go burger-wise, imo.) The second was to add bacon, which requires no further explanation. The way it stakes up is like this, from bottom to top: hamburger bun from New Seasons Market (a passable if not great roll) toasted on the grill with olive oil, Edmond Fallot Dijon Mustard; 1/4lb beef patty; crumbled blue cheese, two bacon strips (from CHOP); some pickled red onion (it’s yellow b/c I pickled it a jar w/ golden beets); fried, crispy leeks (thinly sliced green part); and some worcestershire aioli, which I can’t explain because ours didn’t quite work out, but it still had a great flavor. We rounded out the plates with some sautéed baby bok choi, and a gang of Kettle Chips. This was one of the top burgers that I’ve ever made at home, but I have to withhold a few points due to my aioli fail. It’s probably due to laziness, but I already had some homemade mayonnaise in the fridge, and I just tried to stir in some worcestershire sauce, and it fell apart, and became pretty watery, but like I said it was still pretty tasty. I just love the creaminess of mayo on a burger. It’s probably my favorite burger condiment, over-all, so I did miss that component. But, I’m nit-picking. On days like this, I like to get all my glutinous tendencies out of the way, so after Gabrielle left for work, Lucia and I took a walk down to The Sugar Cube, and split a slice of chocolate bread pudding. . .
Life is really such a burden sometimes.
I’d been in the mood for a cupcake for a while now, and Gabrielle always has a hankering for one, so I thought what better way to rectify this situation than by paying a visit to The Sugar Cube and picking up a couple of what by many, many accounts is the best cupcake in town.
Behold: The Chocolate Caramel Potato Chip Cupcake!
So, the hype is real. . . this cupcake was mad good, and I basically wish that I had ordered 4 of them instead of 2. Here’s the breakdown: it’s a super dark chocolate cake, with a dark chocolate ganache, with Ruffles jammed into the top and smothered in caramel sauce. Pretty much everything about it was perfect. Some Portland transplant ahead of me in line said it “sounds disgusting” and when asked if she was serious, tried to play it off like she was saying it ironically, like it sounds “bad!” or something. Some people. In any case, if anyone in Portland was considering making a trip out to try one of these, and were on the fence about heading out of the house in this miserable weather that we are getting into, then here is some incentive–Kirsten (the owner) is closing up the Cube for 3 months to focus on working on a cookbook for Chronicle Books. So this weekend is your last chance to catch this motherfucker! (until spring)
The Sugar Cube
4233 N Mississippi Avenue