The Burger Battle of the Best continues…
Ragtime, a nice Cajun pub in Arlington VA offers the Big Bayou Burger, “a burger made of ground beef, pork and shrimp, covered with swiss cheese, Creole gravy and three grilled shrimp.”
Oddly not as good as it sounds; burgers use ground beef because of the fat content, which makes them juicy. Remove too much, and it becomes dry; that’s why they’ll tell you to use 80% lean as the leanest for burgers, and 73% might be even better. Because fire melts all that fat and it drips off. When you take lean pork and shrimp and add them to the mix, you get some good flavor- the burger did have a shrimpy fish flavor- but you lose the familiar texture and juiciness. This would have been a lot better with just beef, and topping it with the shrimp.
Was it bad? Hell no. Just a lot different than I expected, and I’ve had shrimp burgers before at Joe’s Garage in Minneapolis; no idea what they cut them with to keep them moist, probably salmon, but they were very good. Here the jambalaya side was very good, the Cajun chicken pasta was well-received, and the mac ‘n cheese was killer. I had crawfish bisque that was a delicious starter, so the Big Bayou Burger was a bit of a disappointment. I guess I could have drowned it in ketchup, but I shouldn’t have to. Stick some onions in the mix, or leave the shrimp chunky and put chunks of cheese in too. Shrimp is all about texture, and grinding it takes that away. The garlic shrimp toppers were awesome. I should have just gotten shrimp etoufee! It’s a nice hangout for Louisiana transplants in the D.C. area, and serves a good beer selection.
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