ffwd – cafe salle pleyel hamburger (a tale of two burgers)

A few weeks ago, my niece wanted us to make some burgers like she’d had at a restaurant – ABC Burgers. That is, avocado, brie and caramelized onions. Since she was about to go off on her freshman year of college, we carved out some time. As I looked for a good caramelized onion recipe, I visited one of my favorite blogs – The Homesick Texan, where I found Spicy Red Onion Jam.  I decided that a little heat from the chipotle sounded good, so that’s what we made. Let me tell you – she had a great idea.

So when I realized we had a burger recipe coming up I thought – hey, I should make the ABC burgers again! Well, I did the same thing that lots of others have done – I didn’t actually read the recipe. So I didn’t realize that the burgers were flavored with all manner of interesting ingredients.

freshly baked slider buns

But once I did, I then thought – I can make homemade slider buns and we can do a taste test! So, part of my challenge this week was to make some slider buns from scratch. For them, I had recently seen a blog on the King Arthur Flour site about making burger buns, so I looked them up and got started. As usual, I wasn’t able to do everything at once, so I made the dough, froze it in mini-portions, and then thawed in the freezer before forming and baking them.

cafe salle pleyel hamburger ingredients

I already had my caramelized onions and was planning on using them for both burgers, so it was just a matter of gathering the remaining ingredients.

abc burger ingredients

So then it was a matter of forming the different sliders – for the ABCs, just a plain, simple burger patty. But for the cafe burgers… well, there were some interesting things in there – a combination of sun-dried tomatoes, cornichons (which I’d never had), capers and herbs. That mixture was processed together, and then mixed into the ground beef. Sliders formed, they were to be cooked about 2 minutes a side. For the ABC burgers, I wanted the cheese to melt a bit, so added it when I’d turned them over once.

burgers cooked in a skillet - the ABCs getting their topping of brie

Then, the burgers are assembled – each with their compliment of accompaniments: Avocado slices and the spicy onions for one; the same onions and some freshly shaved parmesan for the other. It’s hard to decide which looks better.

the taste test is on! abc on the left, cafe on the right

For such similar ingredients, they ended up with such different flavors. The cafe burger is definitely French. Such an unusual flavor pallet. Very, very yummy. I love capers in anything, and I thought that the cornichons had an intriguing flavor. Then with the sharp parmesan on top – what a combination.

Another thing that was different was that the cafe burgers held together a bit better- the ABCs – a lot messier!

the relaxed American, and the pulled-together French

The ABC burger on the other hand relied on the smooth, buttery avocado, the slightly bitter and deep flavor of the brie and the punch of the onions.

I don’t even know that we could decide on a favorite. The ABC burger is amazing, all the more so with the chipotle-spiked onions. The cafe burger is delicious, but a huge departure. I’m looking forward to what everyone else thinks. I know I’d be happy to be faced with either burger in front of me…. too close to call.

16 thoughts on “ffwd – cafe salle pleyel hamburger (a tale of two burgers)

  1. I love that you did your taste test, and with homemade buns. I was thinking about making buns, but it was just too hot today to heat the house up any more. And avocado…wish I’d thought of that. Great ideas.

  2. What a fun taste test! I’m always trying to compare recipes to see which I like better, but am usually too lazy to do both at the same time.

    Your burgers sound quite different so I imagine that it would be difficult to really compare them. But in my opinion, avocado makes pretty much everything taste better!

  3. Oooh–a burger cook-off! I like it! I’ve never had brie on a burger before, but it sounds melty, gloopy, delicious! Glad that they were both winners.

  4. Both burgers sound delicious each in their own way and since they’re on the small side, maybe it’s okay to enjoy one of each;-) Your slider buns look good, I think a homemade bun just makes a hamburger.

  5. I’m impressed that you made your own burger buns! I like the sound of the ABC burgers, some of my favorite ingredients. And the onion jam sounds fantastic. I did not like the onion marmalade that went with this recipe. Yours sounds so much better.

  6. A taste test that ends in a tie – now that’s what I call a win! The ABC burger sounds fantastic and I really enjoyed the French burger, too. Extra points for baking your own burger buns. That’s taking it the extra mile.

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