We, the creators of The Straight Beef, present our new endeavor, This Place Is Known For. We went to places all over the Triangle and the US to carefully evaluate burgers. As we sampled more and more sites, we realized there was too much Bad Daddy and not enough Al. We are currently awash in burgiatric mediocrity. New burger joints are rehashing what had been done but with a fresh coat of paint or condiment, as the case may be.

Not to get too cynical, but there are only so many ways to make a burger. I rarely order a burger when eating out and prefer making my burgers at home with simple ingredients. After over ten years, we felt the burger blog had run its course. The COVID shutdown didn’t help for sure. The writing was on the wall. As proud as I am of what we accomplished with TSB, that era is done.

Whenever we got recommendations for places to review, people told us we should try a restaurant because they are known for something. We often went somewhere for the burger, but the place’s specialty was something else. For example, we had the burger at Merritt’s in Chapel Hill, but they have an amazing BLT. They are known for it.

Recently, Don told me about The Roast Grill in Raleigh. It’s a hot dog place that has been an institution near downtown. Why had I never heard of this place? Unfortunately, it was closed when we went, but it was during that car ride that this new website was born. We plan on releasing one article per month. If you have any suggestions, please email me at tpikf@proton.me. — Michael

P.S. If you are curious about how I make my burgers, I use the Smashburger technique using a cast iron bacon press on a hot cast iron skillet.
Ingredients: Baldwin Farms ground beef, Martin’s Potato Sandwich Rolls, Boars Head Yellow American Cheese, freedom

  • Take 5 oz of 80/20 ground beef and make a ball.
  • Place on the hot iron surface and smash with the bacon press. Leave it that way for about a minute.
    • If you take the press away too soon, you risk the patty sticking to it, ruining your patty.
  • Flip and sprinkle the seasoning on the patty.
    • I make a small bowl of kosher salt and pepper with some cumin and rosemary.
  • Flip after one minute and put yellow American cheese on the patty.
  • Cook until the cheese just starts to melt.
    Enjoy with the condiments of your choice. For Pete’s sake, don’t put any condiments under the patty. The only thing under there should be the bun. The seasoning is there. Don’t mask it.

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