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The perfect burger..in my travels

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For the past couple of years I have been on the hunt for the perfect burger. A lot of people I meet chalk it up to me being from America, land of the McDonald’s. In fact my need for a burger while I am traveling is my coping method for homesickness. In my little beach town back home there is a hole in the wall restaurant that serves the best burger I’ve ever had in my life. Something about the seasoning, or the salt. They make their chefs sign a contract not to reveal what is in the burger. So Paris, Accra, London, Dublin, Athens. I am always eating hamburgers. I can tell you that if you are on the West Coast of Africa, pop into Champs in Accra, Ghana if you want a decent burger. Should the craving strike you in Ireland, go to the town of Ennis, to The Poet’s Corner where they have concocted a burger with sweet relish, though a bit over cooked. Or you can head to Dublin to the Elephant and Castle and have a specialty burger, served with pesto and mozzarella. Scrumptious. Sometimes in desperation I will make my own burger, always with the essentials: tomato, lettuce, onion, mayo. Unimaginative I admit, but a tried and true burger.

Being here in Athens, this craving for a burger started eating me alive. Katrina and her mother set about appeasing it. We spent last night in the kitchen fixing the Greek version of a burger. We seasoned the meat like usual and added chopped onion and parsley, and then Katrina and her mother brought out a bag of stale bread. The tore the bread into little pieces and dampened them with water and threw it all in the mix. My lip started to curl. Soggy stale bread? No thanks. As I watched they made little patties, threw them in the frying pan, and soon later, seated at the table, steaming mini patties in front of us we dug in. Delicious. I was taken aback by the most perfect texture and moisture, and oh the flavor. The flavor was full and spiky, and just perfect. “Katrina”, I said, “You Greek sure do know how to fix a burger.” “Thanks”, she said.

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