Chatting Cheese and Cheeseburgers with Food Enthusiasts Across America
Name: Denise Sakaki, aka “Wasabi Prime”
Location: Lurking about the greater Seattle area
Occupation: Food writer, photographer, and blogger – wasabiprime.blogspot.com
On my cheeseburgers I like a lighter cheese, like a Wisconsin Havarti or Provolone, because I love the melted texture of the cheese, but don’t want it to overly season the meat; which I think Cheddar sometimes does.
Ketchup, mustard, mayo, other(s)?
Just mayonnaise with a hint of Dijon mustard on a basic cheeseburger.
Grilled, griddled or broiled?
I think griddled is the best way to cook a cheeseburger – sorry grill fans – because when the whole surface area of the patty gets seared all at once, it sort of seals in all the moisture, and it soaks in all the cheese!
I love a nice brioche bun because it’s got a pleasant sweetness to it, a soft spongy texture. It soaks up all the juices from the cheeseburger, and heck, it just photographs really nicely!
Caramelized onions make everything better. I could put them on a shoe and they would make it taste delicious.
And how would you like that done?
Medium to medium-rare – definitely with a bit of pink on the inside of the cheeseburger!
What is your favorite cheeseburger in Seattle?
Our neighborhood place called Pickle Time, right in the little city of Duvall has brilliant cheeseburgers. It’s family-run; they have a wide selection of cheeseburgers that are all really flavorful. My favorite cheeseburger, for the moment – it changes regularly – is their Texas Burger, which uses Pepper Jack cheese and pickled jalapeños for extra heat. They add in the usual onions, tomato, and lettuce, but the peppers give it a nice kick!
What’s the craziest cheeseburger you’ve had?
Has to be Mark’s Kiss Your Hips Goodbye Burger from John Howie Steak in Bellevue, Washington. It’s a giant cheeseburger of prime chuck, two different cheeses, onion rings, and bacon that are tempura-battered and fried, all piled between two grilled cheese sandwiches. Then there’s Cheddar and Swiss on the burger itself, and that’s not counting the Cheddar between the double grilled cheese sandwiches of the “buns.” The only thing more insane than the cheeseburger was how good it tasted.
What is the number one thing you look for when venturing for a cheeseburger joint?
People – if there’s a crowd lining up, it’s got to be good, right?