Burger roundup: Five unique patties, from lamb to camel

Clockwise, from top left: camel, chicken, pork, turkey, lamb

Clockwise, from top left: camel, chicken, pork, turkey, lamb

We at the Hot Dish are the kind of people who take things like Hamburger Month very seriously.  For example, we pre-ordered our buns before Christmas and have our mustard flown in from a Bavarian abbey where monks grind the seeds by hand.

Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but all month long, we've been sampling all manner of different burgers around the city.

To cap off our multi-part series, we visited three local eateries to explore a wide array of unique taste delights.



Camel Burger

Camel Burger from Safari Express- Midtown Global Market

Camel Burger from Safari Express- Midtown Global Market

Midtown Global Market is a bustling thoroughfare of gastronomic delights.  One of the more unique offerings is found at Safari Express. Besides the curries and suqqars, the menu also features a burger made of camel meat. The patty is spiced and served with a grilled pineapple ring, cheese, and a tangy mayo. The meat is lean and pleasantly chewy but not rubbery or tough. The flavors of this burger blend together well for an interesting and unusual burger--one of the few of its kind anywhere in the country.


Chicken Cordon Bleu Burger

There are lots of places that offer sandwiches called chicken burgers.  Usually the "patty" is a whole chicken breast, but at the Sample Room they take hand-cut ground chicken and form a patty around Swiss cheese and ham to make a chicken cordon bleu burger.  But after sampling this burger, we feel it may be better to leave the breast alone.  Something about grinding the chicken and then frying the patty makes for an unpleasantly moist and slippery feel.  The burger as a whole is quite mushy and somewhat bland. A different bun could make a big difference. But as is, it's hard to justify this burger's $10 price tag.


Lamb, Pork, and Turkey Burgers

Joe's Garage offers three beefless burger options on their menu. The lamb burger is topped with fresh goat cheese, portobello mushrooms, and roasted red peppers.  The lamb is tender, juicy, and moist. The flavors of the toppings blend wonderfully and make for an excellent burger. This fairly unique recipe justifies its high pricetag; $12.50 ($15 to sub fries, salad, or mashed potatoes for chips).

The Asian pork burger is topped with Asian slaw and a peanut soy dressing.  The patty is mildly spiced and quite juicy. The flavors of the vegetables balance well in the overall burger. 

Burgers are not often made out of pork, possibly because ground pork is not often leaner than 70-80%. The fat content definitely makes for a juicy burger, however, as this one can attest.





Turkey Bruschetta Burger from Joe's Garage

The turkey burger at Joe's is one of the largest turkey burger patties we've seen.  It was the size of a saucer and hung over the ends of the buttery ciabatta roll. Topped with fresh tomatoes, shreded parmesan, and basil pesto, this Italian-inspired gobbler burger proves that turkey is a viable alternative to ground beef patties.

Chicken Cordon Bleu burger from The Sample Room

Chicken Cordon Bleu burger from The Sample Room

So, it seems that in the Twin Cities the choices are limitless when it comes to burger options. What local restaurant offerings have you sampled and enjoyed? Or even better, how creative have you been at home? Leave your opinions (or recipes!) in the comments below.