Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Special Baseball Edition - Minute Maid Park

It's baseball season. A few weeks ago they finally opened the doors back up to the promised land. Minute Maid Park. Home of the Houston Astros. On this night, they would be beating the hell out of those dastardly New York Mets while we munched down on a burger put together especially for the ballpark by none other than Houston's own Chef Brian Caswell.

The burger is a macaroni and cheese burger. It consists of an onion roll, lettuce, tomato, 3 pickles that bring the thickness, fresh chopped onions and your choice of a slice of American, cheddar or pepperjack cheese. Oh and did I mention the macaroni and cheese? It's not just a scoop of noodles with cheese on it. It's formed into a patty and deep fried. This cardiac event will set you back $9.75 although you may want to bring about $26 bucks though if you want fries and a beer with it. The burger is only served up in the club section, so be sure that if you want a mac and cheese burger that you can get into that semi-private level of the park.

The mac and cheese burger itself was prepared in front of us. It starts out a little scary. The beef patties were cooked en masse and were sitting in a tray under a warmer. They were thin and didn't even look like a hint of salt of pepper had ever graced that meat. They were taken out of the tray and slapped onto a griddle to be reheated and when the reheating is close to completed the grillmaster puts your chosen slice of cheese on the meat to melt it. Wasn't the best start, but then the kitchen staff made a call to the bullpen and brought out a deep fried patty of macaroni and cheese that was a solid inch thick. It's a sexy thing to behold the first time you see it dropped on the burger. Then they pile on the veggies. Burger status: completed.

How was the burger? Tasty. Really tasty. I was almost bewildered by how tasty it was considering how much the meat preparation scared me. Sure, when you are talking about serving up a bunch of hungry big league fans you can't exactly throw down fresh ground meat and still keep the lines moving. The magic is in that patty of macaroni and cheese. It's really greasy. The grease that isn't in that meat isn't missed one bit because it's replaced by cheese-infused fried grease. It's really, really rich. The kind of thing you'd want when you wake up with a hangover. Just be prepared before you chow down, you'll need a few napkins. The bun is definitely not your run-of-the-mill mass produced bun either and it's thick enough to soak in some of the grease that might otherwise try to escape. It's a damn solid burger and it's way up there with some of the best ballpark food I've ever had. It isn't good enough to crack into the top burgers on our list but if you want to try something new and tasty when you are at an Astros game, this is your ticket right here.

We'll also be trying out the burger at the 5-7 Grill that's in Minute Maid Park behind center field. You'll know exactly where to find the best burger in Minute Maid Park this season.

Mets 3 -- Astros 4

No knives. You're chewing the whole burger or you're going to be cutting it with a fork.
They're obviously worried that I might take out a Mets fan with a plastic knife. They're right.

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