A coworker (and one of the only people at work who can tolerate me when I’m having a bad day) and I went to Cliff’s today for a quick bite at lunch.  I ordered — as I always do — the Murphy burger, a heart-stopping concoction of 100% beef, grated sharp cheddar cheese, sauteed onions, thick strips of bacon and tangy barbeque sauce.  No wussy lettuce or tomatoes on this bad boy; it’s pure myocardial infarction-inducing goodness.

My coworker, who originally hails from Denver, watched curiously as I tossed aside the ketchup packets that came with the burger, irritated by their mere presence.  “Stupid ketchup,” I grumbled.  “Why would they give me ketchup for a burger?”

“Why wouldn’t they?  Don’t you want ketchup on your burger?” he asked, bemusedly.

I glared at him, trying to decide whether or not to answer sarcastically: “Of course!  I love ruining a perfectly good hamburger with ketchup!  Pass those packets back over here!”

Instead, I responded with a sharp, “You’re in Texas now, buddy.  We don’t put ketchup on our burgers.”

“Really?  I mean, I thought I had noticed that, but I wasn’t sure.”

“Yep.  No ketchup on burgers.  It’s like a state bylaw.  Heresy.”

“Wow.  So…what do you put on them instead?”

“Mustard, obviously.  And mayonnaise.  Sometimes.  But always mustard.  Haven’t you been here long enough to know that by now?”

“I guess not.”

“Hmph.  You’ve got a lot to learn.”

“There was this place in San Diego that used to do the best burgers with ketchup on th–”

Me, interrupting: “I don’t care.”

“I was just going t–”

Me, rudely interrupting yet again: “Don’t care.  You’re cutting into my valuable Murphy burger eating time here.  I don’t care how they do it in California or Colorado or anywhere else.  In Texas, you don’t put ketchup on burgers.  Period.”


“Fine.  Can we eat now?”

Go ahead.  Tempt me.  What do you put on your burgers?  What don’t you put on your burgers?  Be prepared to feel my wrath if you answer “ketchup.”  But, seriously, I’m quite interested.

So tell me, burger fiends!


13 thoughts on “Burgers!”

  1. Mustard, for sure. This sounds weenie but it’s not — there’s a raspberry wasabi mustard you can get at Central Market that’s AWESOME on burgers.

    Also – picante sauce, when the mood strikes. Sliced jalapenos.

    Mushrooms and swiss, of course.

    And cracked-wheat buns.

    Want a great burger? Try the ones sold at Frank’s Pizza downtown. OMG.

  2. Hey girl, this was too funny. Your poor co worker! My parents and I own a burger joint here. Some people ask us to put ketchup on their burgers, but people usually just get mayo, mustard, lettuce, pickles, onions, and tomato. Extra bacon and jalapenos (we pickle em ourselves) are common.
    Frankly, I am sick and tired of making burgers everyday that I never eat them anymore, but reading your post, I might have to try this Murphy Burger.

  3. Ketchup is only necessary on burgers that need ketchup. That may be circular logic, but it’s true: tasty ones don’t scream for Heinz.

    As for toppings, I’m a sucker for the semi-gourmet stuff, like caramelized onions and blue cheese.

  4. @ Dwight: ALL of your choices sound fantastic, especially the raspberry wasabi mustard sauce. Those three words in one product have to be amazing. And Frank’s is now on my hit list. Thanks!

    @ Foodie Cutie: Yeah, I imagine that you probably loathe burgers right now. I was like that with Tex-Mex for a long time after working in a Tex-Mex joint; couldn’t get the smell of refried beans off my skin and hair for anything. But — hey! — you guys pickle your own jalapenos and that is terrifically cool!

    @ Foodood: Very true. Ketchup, for me, is one of those condiments that just serves to mask any underlying nastiness. And I will second your onions and blue cheese vote; yum.

  5. If one MUST use a tomato based product, chili sauce can be an acceptable substitute. It is also great with fries (i think you taught me that)

  6. Now I’m craving a burger. A big one. Cheddar cheese, lettuce, light mayo, mustard, tomato, pickles, onions. Never, ever ketchup. It’s rare that I get bacon on a burger because, although I love it, I somehow convince myself that it’s the only thing standing between me and a heart attack. See how health conscious I am?

    Other favorites:

    Blackened burger with coleslaw.
    Mushroom and swiss with mayo.
    The above mentioned blue cheese.
    The above mentioned carmelized onions. Lots.

    Oh, this is bad. I know I’m going to consume a lot of beef today.

  7. I used to enjoy salsa on my burger, but have grown out that stage. One concoction I do like is mixing ground beef with some Lipton’s Onion Soup mix and some A-1. talk about some ad placement. Anyway, that is how some of us folks from Denver do it.

  8. @ daddy-o: I’ve taught you all I know! So proud! Chili sauce is excellent in pretty much anything. I wouldn’t have made it through college dorm food without it. 😀

    @ MB McQueen: Aw, poor vilified bacon. 🙂 I maintain that it’s the cheese fries that are to blame for any heart attacks that may occur…

    @ berated coworker: Bless your poor, verbally-abused heart. Give him a hand, folks! He takes my beatings at lunch and still comes and visits the blog later. 😀 And your hamburger mixture sounds eerily close to mine. I guess Coloradoans are okay after all.

    @ Cory: I read your Little Bitty Burger Barn review the other day and can’t wait to try it, but I think I’ll take your advice and wait till the crowds die down. 🙂 You have your basic burger ingredients down pat, so you must be trusted in all other burger-related matters.

    @ mrcanacorn: As long as there’s no must-up or ketchonnaise, it’s all golden. 😉 And those were hilarious. 😀

  9. @ ieat: A highly delicious and acceptable topping, my friend. Approved.

    @ MF: Ketchup is just one of those odd condiments that people have a thousand differing uses for, I suppose. I also like it on sardines, which are then placed upon Saltine crackers. Gross, right? But oh-so-delicious. But never on burgers!!! 😀

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