Cary, N.C. — Please rise for the Honorable Judge and Burgiatrist in Residence Carolyn McLain.
Carolyn: We are here today to hear the arguments of Senior Burgiatrist Michael Marino and Burger Evangelist The Reverend Donald Corey. Before we started, we flipped a patty and Dr. Marino has the honor of presenting his case first. Dr. Marino?
Michael: Thank you, your honor. May it please the court. I present to the court that a burger must be made from the ground meat of a formerly living, breathing cow. Now, there are those that will say that chicken, turkey, or even bison are suitable substitutes for a cow burger.
Bison are described as more aggressive than the cow. They are wild shaggy creatures. The dirty, hulking hippies, if you will, of the bovine world. Is this the type of animal we want to feed our children? What kind of world is it we live in that we can grind up any meat or vegetable matter and call it a hamburger? I fear for our great nation if we hold the bison burger to the same ethereal level as the glorious cow burger. First it’s bison burgers. Before you know it, it’s Birkenstocks and patchouli.
Your honor, I cannot in good conscience call a ground bison sandwich a burger. It is your right as an American to eat whatever you wish. However, never call such a creation a hamburger.
Don: Your honor, allow me to present my rebuttal. My esteemed colleague is afraid to admit that the Bison is the noble elegant brother of the cow and, thus, a valid expression of the hamburger. This fear only lessens the chance for you and the world as a whole to experience the heavenly taste of blue skies and undulating fields of natural grasses. Dare I say, the taste of America.
Do they not both eat grass? Do they not both have four chambered stomachs? Do they not both chew their own cud? Do they not both travel in herds? And, most importantly, do they not both make great burgers?
Your honor, tear down this wall of prejudice and taste freedom. Recognize Bison as the equal to the cow.
Carolyn: I am going to retire to West Park Tavern to deliberate over this matter and enjoy an outstanding burger. A beast of a burger. Ten ounces of bison or moo-cow on a brioche bun. Whether is was mooing or grunting in its former life, the results are the same: taste buds getting trampled with flavor. A thick burger cooked to a perfect medium. Crispy bacon, pimento cheese that doesn’t overwhelm or cause structural build issues, a bun that is firm yet yielding.
I am still undecided whether a burger made of bison meat should be considered a burger. What I am sure of, though, is that I give the West Park Tavern burger a 4.5 out of 5.
More about the authors:
Scott Blumenthal, Michael Marino and Reverend Donald Corey are The Straight Beef, professional burgiatrists who review, rate and rank Triangle-area burgers on their award-winning blog. You can read more about The Straight Beef, including their education and scholarship, ratings system, and burger categorization method on their official website.