Everything but the moo.Photo: Melissa Hom
When last seen, the Tasting Room
’s Colin Alevras was hard at work on his Old MacDonald’s Burger, attempting to revolutionize the form. “Everyone has a burger, and I swore for twenty years that I wouldn’t make one unless I could completely rework it in a way I believed in,” says the chef. Well, he’s done it, and the resulting concoction is made of Piemontese grass-fed six-week dry-aged beef. And that means the whole animal: beef heart, beef liver, bone marrow, heart, tongue, liver, flatiron, brisket, shank, clod. The burger also features Ouray raw cow’s-milk cheese from Sprout Creek Farm and a beer-and-butter bun (of organic local whole wheat, natch) of Alevras’s own invention. “I haven’t seen anybody reconsider the burger from the cow up. We don’t hide behind its casualness. We are remaking the world’s most overlooked food,” the chef boasts.
So, how is it? The burger is served open faced, and its coarse, loose texture and earthy, organ-y taste is like taking a trip back to the Middle Ages. Everything about the burger is rough-hewn: the heavy, rich, slightly bitter bread, the uncompromised flavor of the raw cow’s-milk cheese, the mushroom “ketchup” that rests atop the beef. But all together, it’s too much of a good thing. The bun needs to be lighter; with all that heavy stuff, something has to get out of the way, and it should be the bread, which is almost like eating a burger itself. But anyone with a spark of Slow Food feeling, or any student of the burger, will want to go try it. But bring your wallet: The Old MacDonald’s burger costs $23 and doesn’t include French fries.
Earlier: Colin Alevras: Do You Want Marrow With That?