When a half-pound of ground, nicely fatty Angus beef is whacked onto the hot steel, it produces a flood of meat juice that caramelizes instantly into a crispy halo of blood and fat around the edge of the burger. It’s like meat candy, the delicacy you lose when a burger is cooked on a slotted grill, which is the traditional cooking surface for burgers smashed by hand.
Line up, vegetarians, for your meat candy, your halo of blood and fat.
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Although I’m not going to make any new friends this week among Denver’s gentle herbivores, all you meat-eaters should be happy. Because I’ve just found two fantastic burger joints where we can get our fix. One is Smashburger, a new outpost at Colorado and Mississippi (there’s a second in Wheat Ridge), where the Cervantes Capital investment group has come up with a better burger for burger-lovers. The second is an export from the Midwest to Thornton: Culver’s, which serves a butterburger -- much to the delight of gastroenterologists and cardiac surgeons everywhere. Come back here on Wednesday for the full details. – Jason Sheehan