By: Revanche

Burgers and Sushi, oh my!

June 24, 2013

Top Row: Leaning tower of turkey burger; Bottom Row: Gardens of Sushi

Pardon the really dark photos of the sushi, they don’t do the food justice.

The burger craving is an intense and life-enhancing phenomenon. So is the sushi craving, but I hammer that one down more often than not, sushi’s too expensive in the Bay Area to enjoy frequently.

Usually, the need for burgers means we have to trek out to one diner or another and pay about $25 for a couple of burgers and fries.  It’s mostly good but not so amazing that I don’t get a little squinty-eyed over the cost vs my satisfaction.

Then miracle of miracles: a mega sale on ground turkey AND I found the most amazing, simple turkey burger recipe. With a few Just Because alterations and voila!  Magic!

Turkey patties (original recipe for 12 patties at All Recipes):

Makes 8 fat round patties

2 lbs ground turkey ($5)
1/2 onion, diced finely ($0.25)
1/2 garlic bulb, diced finely ($0.30)*
1 egg white ($0.40)
2/3 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp breadcrumbs ($0.20)

Burger buns ($2.49)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and form into 8 patties. Cook over medium heat until they reach an internal temp of 180 degrees.

I made the patties, and the potato salad, then let PiC do the cooking and prep of the condiments and sides.  His execution was flawless: he made surprise bacon!  I danced with glee.

Sides: sprouts, cheddar cheese slices, grilled onions, sliced tomatoes, thinly sliced red onions, sliced avocado, grilled mushrooms, bacon, ketchup, mayo.

These burgers were, I kid you not, the best burgers ever.  Perfectly cooked, delicious, way more flavorful than turkey burgers I’ve gotten at any diner. Three bites in and I was already worrying about my next portion because clearly, I can’t have just one.

Total: $8.64 for eight burgers

*Strictly speaking, the recipe only called for a couple cloves of garlic. But you know me, I’m constitutionally incapable of using less than 4 times the recommended amount.

Potato Salad

1 lb sliced fingerling potatoes

1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp water used to boil potatoes
1 Tbsp diced capers
(2 sweet onions) – used 1 shallot and 1/2 green onion

Boil potatoes until tender, 6-8 minutes. Reserve 1 Tbsp of the boiling water for the vinaigrette. Pour potatoes into a medium mixing bowl. Prep the vinaigrette ingredients: mustard, vinegar, water, in a separate bowl and whisk until mixed thoroughly. Pour over the potatoes, add capers, shallots and green onion (or sweet onion), mix evenly. Add salt and pepper to taste. I didn’t use any.

*The original recipe called for 5 cornichons sliced thinly and 1/3 cup of olive oil for the vinaigrette but I don’t know what cornichons are and I just plain forgot the olive oil. It was good anyway!

That’s the burger craving taken care of … about that sushi!

Now Serving: Sushi

We found Sushi Tomi in Mountain View with four star ratings from 1000+ reviews; that was promising. We ordered a soba, a hamachi don, and a sunomono with octopus.

The nine hamachi slices topping the sushi rice were thick slabs of fresh, delicious fish. I haven’t seen sashimi that size ever. The sunomono was full of great big pieces of octopus, not fried, but a little on the chewy and unseasoned side. Possibly how it’s meant to be but I was rather expecting to see the salad be dressed in some way. It was good enough not to induce regrets but I won’t order that again.

PiC’s soba was good, but since he always uses a bit of wasabi, slightly off-putting to me. The perils of sharing food! 🙂 It was tasty and flavorful even if I thought the portion was on the small side.

The bill would have been more reasonable except I misunderstood PiC saying he had added tip but not tax. That’s backwards to how I do it, adding tax to the main bill we split and then adding tip afterward, so our miscommunication led to a $50 bill. Not the end of the world, but pretty irritating that it went right over my head. Be more careful next time!

And speaking of next time, we wouldn’t make the drive just for the sushi but if we were in the area, we’d definitely go back and try other things.

Final assessment: I’m not the kitcheny genius that @mochimac is, so we’re not going to master the art of Japanese cooking anytime soon but perhaps that should be a project on our list.

Egads but I love good food. I’ll eat not great food too, but I really really appreciate amazing food. And more so when we learn how to make it at home. Mom was always a whiz at that. She could taste a meal once or twice and with some experimentation, reproduce it exactly or better.

:: Am I the only one for whom food is a wondrous thing?

11 Responses to “Burgers and Sushi, oh my!”

  1. Kris says:

    Food is why I live. HA! I don’t eat meat, but your recipe sounds great!

  2. Michelle says:

    All of this looks so yummy!

  3. Linda says:

    I’ve made sushi at home, but only with egg and vegetables. I am too timid to try to track down sushi-grade fish and handle it at home on my own.

    But I do love good food! I’m flying out to the Bay area next week to spend the extended July 4 holiday weekend with my friend that lives in the area. We’ll be driving down to SLO and plan to stop at some Paso Robles wineries on the way, then hit up their Thursday night Farmers Market. The weekend will be full of good, fresh food, I hope, as well as exploring Morro Bay and the coast. (We’re staying in SLO because we got a nice little cottage with a kitchen for a good price, but I want to spend most of my time along the coast. Living in the land-locked Midwest, I crave the ocean badly!)

    Since I arrive on July 3rd just before midday and she is still working, I plan to take the BART from SFO into town for a delicious lunchtime feast before back-tracking and meeting her in Santa Clara late afternoon/evening. She’ s recommending I go to the Ferry Building and dine at one of the restaurants there. Perhaps she’s saying that because she wants me to pick up some cheese for her from Cowgirl Creamery, or perhaps that is a good recommendation. What do you think? I was thinking Hog Island Oyster Company looked quite yummy.

  4. StackingCash says:

    Foodie here. To an certain extent, however. I usually don’t have a problem spending up to $50/person, but the food better be very good. There is a handful of times we splurged big time for an anniversary or birthday. The most expensive meal I can remember was from Aqua (now Michael Mina) in the Bellagio. It was a tasting menu of 10 items for $100/person. Quite phenomenal from the lobster pot pie, miso glazed sea bass, and the most unbelievable grilled black cod. Unfortunately, I have also had some expensive terrible meals too. In regards to living in the Bay Area, you are so lucky to live in such an awesome foodie area. The Ferry Building is phenomenal! You also have the best ice cream, Bi-Rite Creamery. Enjoy living in one of the top foodie destinations 🙂

    • Kris says:

      Michael Mina in the Bellagio? OMG. I worked a conference for a week in the Bellagio once, and my boss took me to Michael Mina on the last night as a thank-you. Easily one of the most memorable meals I’ve ever had in my life!

  5. Sushi-grade fish is not hard to find. You just need to buy the freshest possible (firm, no smell, looks good), and then slice it up and eat it on top of rice.

    Been doing that since… grade school? 🙂

    That all looks SOOO GOOD!

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