The Informalist Blends a Tasty Burger

EC restaurant’s entry in nationwide contest is mushroomy, beefy goodness

Marie Anthony

Sure, my husband looked cute in his beachy-cotton, navy T-shirt that accentuated the golden flecks of his hazel eyes. Even his whispy cowlick was adorable, but it wasn’t Luc that made me want to freeze frame our summer eve together. It was The Informalist’s blended burger. Before I move on, maybe I should elaborate on this whole “blended burger” thing because – until recently – I’d never heard of one. After doing some reading on the James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project, I learned that the blended burger was created in effort to bring burger lovers a more pleasing, healthy, and sustainable option to what we have always known as an all-American classic. It’s a beautiful fusion of beef and mushrooms to make a patty that’s altogether creamy, meaty, and satisfying.  This year marks JBF’s third-annual Blended Burger Contest. The Informalist’s head chef, Amy Huo, certainly crafted a winner. The burger marries grass-fed beef (from Cornell) with oyster mushrooms. It’s crusted in Panko and deep fried to add depth of flavors and textures. The creamy Queso Fresco (using organic cheese from Osseo) is the perfect cheesy complement. Watermelon radishes, a sun-dried tomato sauce, and microgreens give a burst of freshness and crunch to each bite! While Luc nibbled on my leftover fries (it’s all I would share), I quickly logged on to cast my vote for The Informalist’s blended burger as my favorite (you have until July 31 to vote at jamesbeard.org/blendedburgerproject/vote). Whether or not The Informalist’s burger lands in the top five for the Blended Burger Contest doesn’t matter to me. It’ll still go down as the best burger I’ve ever eaten. 

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