Sorry, veg friends, you can skip this post. I'll have an entire vegan menu for you tomorrow. But this is today and I have a tale to tell about a burger. A dream-inspiring burger. This burger...
A year ago - maybe not quite a year - friends took us to the Cass Winery & Vineyards in Paso Robles. Our friends raved about the burger as we drove over unending bucolic hills the color of straw. I thought: "It's a just a burger. I've had good burgers before. How good could it possibly be?"
Then, we had them. There were no substitutions and no choices to make. Our friend ordered for all of us. "Seven burgers, please," he declared. "Four with the wine tasting. Three without."
It was simple, but it was bursting with flavor and texture. A seeded brioche bun, baked crisp but with a pillowy inside. A medium burger with just the right amount of juiciness and bite. Pickled red onions. And, on the side, you get a green salad with a citrusy dressing and a sprinkle of pomegranate arils. I was in love.
Whenever we've had burgers since, the Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf asks if we can drive to Cass for burgers. Ummm...no. I am not driving four hours round-trip for burgers. That's what I say aloud to answer D. But, inside, I long to do just that. The burgers are that good. Really.
Well, last weekend, after we helped friends pack up their ranch in Bradley and before we headed to the Central Valley for a wedding, I realized that Cass was on our way. We didn't miss a beat. We stopped, made a date of it, and had the burgers. Finally.