Welcome to the final part of my Four Part Series entitled, “The Four Food Groups.” As a quick review, the first three food groups were: Italian Food, Mexican Food, and Chinese Food. Last week I asked y’all to guess what the fourth food group might be. Pizza was a good choice, but I kinda rolled that up into Italian. (To be perfectly honest, breakfast was my favorite guess and I may just have to turn that into a fifth food group someday!)

I really don’t believe nature created a more perfect food than the cheeseburger. As much as I love pizza and chicken planks and tacos and sesame chicken and peanut butter banana sandwiches, there’s just something about this wonder food that can’t be touched. It can be shrunk down to an appetizer. It can be enlarged to world-record contest proportions. You can find it at any greasy spoon. And done right, it can be turned into haute cuisine. Spend as little or as much time with it as you like, and you’ll always end up with the perfect meal.

That’s not to say you can’t screw ’em up. Oh, I’ve had some bad, bad cheeseburgers in my life. Most of them go wrong for the same basic reasons: overcooked, no taste, dry, burnt, or just plain blah. A little piece of my soul dies each time I encounter one of these duds. But man! Done right and you’ve got a little bit o’ greasy heaven on a bun. In fact, I’ve heard that every time a bell rings, an angel somewhere gets a cheeseburger.

Of course, no cheeseburger is complete without the proper accoutrements. It’s a flip of the coin whether I prefer fries or onion rings on any given day. Both have their advantages and neither has a disadvantage that I’ve ever yet come across. There’s only one way to fix the fries, and I call that thin or thick or crinkled or waffled or curly. They must be salted or seasoned. They must be hot. Very hot. I’m not sure of the exact temperature, but when you make the hooh-ho-haa-haa-haa-hooo-hooh sound, you know you’re there. I’m a bit pickier about my onion rings, though. I prefer the stringy kind and the less batter the better. In fact, “none at all” is the right amount for me. To see where I’m coming from, read John’s excellent post on the topic.

Lastly, to top it all off, you need a drink. I recommend coffee or hot chocolate. NOT. Actually, I don’t care what you drink but it better have bubbles and it better be icy cold. Whether it has sugar or alcohol (or sugar and alcohol) makes no difference. Just have something immediately at hand so you can deal with the aforementioned hooh-ho-haa-haa-haa issue.

So there you have it, folks! The complete Four Food Groups. In case you’re wondering what to have for dinner tonight, I definitely recommend some taco meat covered in marinara sauce and pepperoni, covered with a few heaping spoonfuls of fried rice, and topped with melted American cheese and served on a big bun with frings. You can’t go wrong.

23 Responses to “Cheeseburgers”

Cammy said
March 3, 2009 at 4:54 am

Favorite cheeseburger ever: Beefburger Palmbeach. Beef (natch), pimiento cheese, toasted bun, tomatoes, etc. It’s been several years since I had a french fry, but I seem to recall they were quite tasty.

I vote for breakfast as a Fifth Food Group, especially if biscuits and gravy are included.

Mara @ What's For Dinner? said
March 3, 2009 at 5:23 am

I agree completely… a cheeseburger is just about perfect food! My favorite: Green’s Pharmacy counter in West Palm Beach. Simple, amazing cheese, fresh baked bun…YUM!

Wei Sic Meow said
March 3, 2009 at 5:58 am

Oh man! You have got all my food heavens covered. Of the food groups though, I think a cheeseburger would be my last supper.

This was not good reading over lunch. Now I hate and resent my salad for not being as tasty as a cheeseburger!

Charlie said
March 3, 2009 at 6:37 am

Well, that is one of the dangers of going back to the fridge.

maggieapril said
March 3, 2009 at 6:46 am

Favorite ever – Super Deluxe Cheeseburger: two patties with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, Swiss and
American cheese, onions and special sauce – from Casey’s in Vero Beach, FL. Walk up window and outdoor picnic table seating one block from the ocean. Probably about 25 WW points. mmm….

Biz said
March 3, 2009 at 7:02 am

Mmmmm. Cheeseburgers – I loves my cheese! Do you remember Grammy ordering a coffee with her hamburger at McDonald’s?? So wrong!

Helen said
March 3, 2009 at 7:59 am

Have you seen the Diners, Driveins and Dives episode on Cheeseburgers? It’s one of my favorites. My hubby says if we were retired we’d take a road trip so we could try all the places (I guess you’ve figured out that he loves cheeseburgers too!).

Tom Rooney said
March 3, 2009 at 9:43 am

You may have hit food group nirvana with the excellence that is a cheeseburger. You see cheeseburgers are much more than a food. They inspire memories and are rated. I know for a fact that others around you will compare while eating how it measures up to past burgers. An example might be:
Person A – “wow, that’s a really good cheese burger”
Person B – “It’s good, but not as good as the one from them main street cafe in Lake George”
Person A – “Oh yeah, they toast the buns with light garlic butter and then use cheese on both top and bottom.”
Person B – “Yeah, really takes me back”

Jerry/Mom said
March 3, 2009 at 10:51 am

Do you remember the auto breakdown in a small town somewhere in Ohio years ago on a trip to VA? The water pump had to be replaced, and we were directed to a local restaurant to get some lunch while we waited. The best hamburgers ever… so much that on subsequent trips, we made it a point to make a stop in that town for the burgers!

Charlie said
March 3, 2009 at 11:19 am

I remember it was called Holly’s. I don’t remember it had anything to do with a breakdown! (But I do remember the very last time we went we left thinking it just wasn’t the same anymore.)

Donna said
March 3, 2009 at 11:41 am

If you’re ever in Canada try the White Spot burger with extra triple O ……… mmmmmmmm good!

Pubsgal said
March 3, 2009 at 11:46 am

Oh, excellent choice. Especially if there’s bacon on it. (I was kinda rooting for “bacon” as the 4th food group, but am content if you plan a 5th food group for breakfast food.)

Hmmm…best cheeseburger? That’s a toughie. I like our homemade ones. But dining out? Let’s see…there’s a really great place called Jeffrey’s Hamburgers in San Mateo. I also like good ol’ In & Out Burger. And yes, they can be done wrong. I don’t know what it is, but I just don’t like the Whole Foods deli ones, and I usually love their stuff. (Their fries, on the other hand? Nom nom nom!)

Tony Cannon said
March 3, 2009 at 12:06 pm

There is a place near us that has put heaven on a bun. It’s called the Assembly, and the buger is known as the “Bionic Burger”. I ate the first one when I was just a young lad, and it is still awesome 30 years later! Biz and I go there whenever possible, in fact we may have to go there very soon.

Mel said
March 3, 2009 at 2:01 pm

maaaaaaaaan.. I really want a cheeseburger now!!!

and I’m with you on the hot fries..
‘hooh ho haah ha!!!’
love it!

Quix said
March 3, 2009 at 2:22 pm


And I am also with you on the hot fries. My fiance likes em lukewarm. Does not compute for me at all!

buffedstuff said
March 3, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Was I suppose to read this with Cheeseburger in Paradise playing in the background? You have stripped away my innocence. The title should have been..The Four Food Groups…Food Porn Addition. 🙂

Tuscanystone said
March 3, 2009 at 4:50 pm

I never eat burgers. Or sausages. Bacon is nice tho! Yeah, I think breakfast would by a good food group; eggs n bacon Mmmmm!

Tusc 🙂

Mel said
March 3, 2009 at 6:14 pm

Wait. Are you saying “Cookies” is not one of the basic food groups? I’ve got it all wrong.

Quix said
March 4, 2009 at 10:53 am

Ok, so I have to recomment because I went out for my birthday and I think your post was the one that influenced me to get one of the yummiest cheeseburgers I’ve had in a long time! Yay! Thanks. 🙂

Charlie said
March 4, 2009 at 11:40 am

Quix: Don’t leave me hangin’ like that: where’d you get said yummy cheeseburger?

Jennifer said
March 5, 2009 at 11:29 am

I’m the exact opposite on my onion rings, I like lots of batter and super crispy!

LinZi said
January 7, 2010 at 7:32 am

Keep up the good work! Look forward to reading more from you in the future. I think it will be also nice if you add “send to email” tool so people can forward the articles to their friends easily.

    Charlie said
    January 7, 2010 at 8:47 am

    While it’s obvious you’re a bot who didn’t get caught by Akismet, I will nonetheless take this opportunity to reply to your question for the benefit of other readers who might not know there’s already a “send to email” tool at the bottom of every post. Click “Share it with a friend” to launch your mail program. Tada!