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Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Original Allman's Bar-B-Q Style Cheeseburger - Circa 1975

Old School Allman's Bar-B-Q Cheeseburger in all its Cheesy Glory!

Back around 1975 when I was in elementary school, I used to love to visit Allman's Bar-B-Q in Fredericksburg, VA not to eat the barbecue but to eat the cheeseburgers. Those cheeseburgers were  among the most delectable treats that I could enjoy back in those days.

They didn't look delicious. In fact, they were "squashed" because Mr. White (the owner) would heat the buns in his "meat press" which was a device that looked like a clothes pressing machine you see in dry cleaner shops. They were cooked in the kitchen by the chief cook Mary Brown. Mary didn't cook the barbecue. She made the coleslaw and cooked burgers, dogs, and fries, etc. And, the cheeseburgers she cooked were nothing short of master pieces.

I had a real craving for one of those delicious cheeseburgers recently. I was almost wishing I had a time machine just so I could go back in time, visit Allman's, and order a cheeseburger. Yeah, they were that good. But, after doing a search on Google and eBay, I realized that there are no time machines to be had. So, I had to get to work and try my hand and at replicating a 1975 style Allman's Bar-B-Q cheeseburger. To my surprise, it turned out very close to the real thing. It was pretty tasty! I ate mine plain, but you could also get any of the standard burger toppings if you wanted. Here is how you can make one too.

1/4 to 1/3 pound of 73/27 ground beef (Allman's wasn't a burger joint. They used inexpensive ground beef.)
2 slices of American cheese (I use Kraft Deli Deluxe)
1 soft burger bun (I used Blue Ribbon brand)
A griddle or iron skillet
A lid that will fit inside the iron skillet or big enough to cover the burger patty on the griddle
Aluminum Foil
2 TBS of water
Salt & Pepper

Form the beef into a thin patty. Touch the meat as little as possible. Mary used to cook a lot of these things, especially on weekends, and I can tell you that she didn't spend a lot of time forming the patty.

Put the meat on the hot griddle or in the hot skillet. Use a little vegetable oil, if needed. Add a little salt & pepper and let the patty cook. When it's time, flip the patty over. Just as it has reached well done, put the cheese on top, pour the water near the patty and cover it with the lid. The steam produced from the water melts the cheese. Let it stay covered until the cheese is melted.

The Original Circa 1975 Allman's Bar-B-Q Style Cheeseburger
Once the cheese is melted, remove the cheesy meat patty from the skillet/griddle. Remove the excess grease from the skillet/griddle being careful not to burn yourself.

Put the bottom piece of the bun on the skillet/griddle, put the meat patty with melted cheese on it and, finally, top it off with the other half of the bun.

Take the lid that has been wiped of liquid/grease and use it to push down on the cheeseburger to "squash" it. Let the bun bottom get good and hot. Flip it over and repeat.

Remove the cheeseburger from the pan/griddle and wrap it in aluminum foil. Let it sit for about 3 to 5 minutes. Unwrap and enjoy.

No, it's not like taking a journey through time in a time machine but it's very close.

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