Romancing the Burger
I tell guests and team members, “Yup, it’s a cheeseburger.”
But it’s not just a cheeseburger. Behind the scenes, there’s so much more to it than that.
The bun: baked by Essential Baking Company (our recipe) using organic flour and delivered to us 7 days a week. We grill it in locally made clarified butter. John Moscrip (Duke’s co-owner) swings by often to “soft test” it (can’t tell you how many times he has poked my buns).
The mayo: we make our own, using clean ingredients, with slightly more lemon juice than normal.
The spice: “Duke’s Seafood, Anytime Seasoning” – our own. It’s so good we’re now selling it in stores like Metropolitan Market. It’s lemon zest with a slight kick and works on everything—corn on the cob, chicken, you name it.
The cheese: Extra Sharp Tillamook White Cheddar. Cheese is just better when sharp. We actually bought our own machine to slice this in-house because you can’t buy it pre-sliced. Believe me, I’ve done a ton of tastings, trying to find a substitute so I wouldn’t have to slice cheese every day, but nothing else works.
The meat: grass-fed Australian beef, a blend of sirloin and chuck to get that “steak bite” flavor that melts in your mouth. Why grass-fed? Because it’s just better for you—and the earth. Why Australian? Because of the consistency of humanely treated cows that get to be cows. Plus, Australian beef just tastes better.
The lettuce: hydroponically grown by Ben DeGoede in Black Diamond, Washington, specifically for Duke’s Seafood. Yeah, we could buy cheaper lettuce, but only the bite and crunch of the organic Bibb from Ben’s farm will do.
Walla Walla Sweets and local tomatoes whenever possible. Don’t get me started on how good these taste.
Ketchup: organic, of course, and without any of those chemicals you can’t pronounce. Hey, if you want to make the world’s best burger, how could you pair it with anything but the best condiments?
So, yup, it’s just a cheeseburger. Enjoy.