The Bob’s Burgers movie hits theaters this weekend (read our review!), giving us another chance to hang out with the Belcher gang.
Here at Polygon, we decided the best way to celebrate the occasion was by picking some burgers from the official Bob’s Burgers Burger Book to cook and savor at home. Six of our intrepid staffers chose a burger to sing to them (not quite literally, though you never know with…) Bob’s Burgers) and set out to make them at home.
Read our takeaways below, but first a quick note to Bob Belcher:
Bob, friend. I know you are passionate about burgers and food in general. But for the love of God, season your food! I know your restaurant has been through a lot over the years, but if you added some spice to your burgers, maybe people would keep coming back to your establishment for reasons other than the, uh, family atmosphere and great puns.
Without a doubt, our burgers!
Hummus a Tune Burger – Nicole Clark
The ingredients: Beef for the patty, along with an egg, panko breadcrumbs, salt and pepper; chickpeas, cannellini beans, lemon, tahini, and garlic for the hummus; red bell pepper and arugula as toppings
The process: I’ve always wanted to make homemade hummus, and this gave me a great excuse. I am also severely lactose intolerant and I wanted to choose a burger that didn’t require cheese. The other substitution due to dietary restrictions I made was a gluten-free bagel for a traditional sandwich. We also traded arugula for lettuce, all because I misremembered. While my friend made the patty and roasted the peppers, I focused on the hummus. The process was pretty simple: I prepared ingredients and threw them into a blender. Then we put everything together.
The result: I would rate this 3 out of 5 spatulas – although the rating might have been higher had I gone more with my gut feeling. The recipe didn’t require enough lemon or garlic, which made the hummus taste bland. Fortunately, the bell pepper provided acidity and the arugula provided a pleasant sharpness. With better hummus this would have been a 4 out of 5 for me!
The Unbreakable Kimchi Schmidt Burger — Chelsea Stark
The ingredients: Beef patties seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder; spring onion kimchi, purchased at a local Korean supermarket; American cheese; lettuce; bacon; mayo mixed with a little mirin to add sweetness; a toasted sesame seed bun
The process: I found this burger name from the Bob’s Burger? wiki list and not from the cookbook, so I tried to adapt a recipe based on what I think would best accentuate the spiciness and tart acidity of kimchi. I used a sweeter mayonnaise and American cheese, with a salty bacon and fresh lettuce that I hoped would balance it out.
The result: This burger has it all. As a pickle lover, kimchi added the flavors I wanted along with some satisfying heat. The only thing I wish I’d considered doing was shredding the scallion kimchi even more because it made for a tougher bite. But it all paired so well with the bacon and melted American cheese. I would definitely make this burger again so I give it 4 out of 5 signed Boyz 4 Now posters†
Blue is the warmest cheese burger — Pete Volk
The ingredients: Vegetarian burger patty, hot sauce, butter, white vinegar, cayenne pepper, white onion, all purpose flour, milk, blue cheese, celery, dumplings, lettuce
The process: I was attracted to this burger for two reasons. Crucial, my deep and enduring love for blue cheese. And in college, I ate buffalo chicken sandwiches for lunch far too often (shout out to the South Campus Dining Hall at UMD). The idea of a burger simulating buffalo wings with blue cheese was too intriguing to pass up.
I’ve tried to incorporate as many puns into the cooking process as possible and talk to the burger and stove as if they were people, like Bob. That usually resulted in me talking to them like they were baseball players and me their manager? Lots to think about.
It was honestly pretty easy to make – it’s not a terribly complicated burger. But it’s a burger with two juices, so many pots and pans eventually had to get used to it. And since our kitchen is about the size of a cabinet, we almost had to stand in the fridge to take the above photos. But that’s more of our problem.
The result: It was pretty good! I expected it to taste more like hot sauce, but that’s not a complaint! The hot sauce was instead a nice undertone of the dominant blue cheese flavor (and for me that was fine). The celery disappeared in it, which isn’t a complaint either – but if you want it to stand out as part of the meal, consider adding it as a fresh ingredient (and dip it into your leftover sauces – we cut the recipe half in half) but still had way too much blue cheese sauce). Bob’s avoidance of seasoning his burgers is less important with this one, as the patties have the hot sauce in them, but we added some salt and pepper anyway (come on, Bob!).
I give this 3.5 out of 5 Kuchi Kopis. We also ate it while watching Spy x Familyand eat a burger from Bob’s Burgers while watching another animated show about a dysfunctional family at work was perfect. An important note to future burger makers: My household has many dietary restrictions and we have used many substitutions. Your experience may be different!
Inside the House Burger’s Cauliflower Cumin — Sadie Gennis
The ingredients: Cauliflower, olive oil, whole milk, coriander, cumin, lime juice, minced beef, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato
The process: The first thing I noticed when I read the recipe was how little spice there was, so we decided to amplify the flavors every step of the way. This proved especially necessary for the cauliflower puree, which was not so much a puree as crushed, crunchy florets. We added more cumin, coriander and lime juice, as well as salt, pepper and paprika, which kept the cauliflower from turning a bland concoction into something that was actually quite decent. I also love a condiment and was a little shocked to see that there were none in the recipe. So while my husband was working on the patties, I rushed to make a garlic aioli to spread on the toasted buns. (You’ll never see me toasting a sandwich. It’s just the superior way to eat burgers and hot dogs.)
The result: It was totally and totally good! My husband and I both thought it would probably have been better with ground lamb – although we’ll never confirm this suspicion as we’ve agreed we won’t be making this burger again. We did use the leftover cauliflower as a side to our salmon dinner the next night, so that was a nice bonus. Overall the burger had some interesting flavors and textures but it didn’t feel quite balanced so I have to give it? 3 out of 5 beef squats† The aioli, on the other hand, was delicious.
Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Zucchini Burger — Zosha Millman
The ingredients: Impossible burger meat (our replacement), zucchini, olive oil, yellow pepper, dill, yogurt, brioche slider buns
The process: These sliders were pretty easy to construct, all things considered (although this review comes to you courtesy of my partner, who is the real chef between us). Like others on this list, our house took liberties with spices in the pie and baked zucchini. And like others on this list, we would do it again.
The result: Even though we put the yogurt sauce in the wrong place, you’d hardly know from what the burger tasted like. The crunch of the peppers! The zucchini and yogurt flavors! It all mixed with the earthiness of the burger in a way that gave you the full effect with every bite. We agreed that the burger felt like a ? 4 out of 5 grill masters – a truly delicious burger, if not the best burger of all time.
Bet it all on Black Garlic Burger — Danette Chavez
The ingredients: Black garlic, mayonnaise, minced beef, baby spinach, salt, black pepper, sriracha, mozzarella cheese, brioche bun
The process: I thought I was very strategic in choosing this burger as it has a fairly simple recipe. I didn’t know how hard it would be to find black garlic; I went to Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Standard Market before finally remembering that there is an H Mart that is well within the city limits. But once I got hold of the black garlic, the burger came together easily. I had already been warned about not enough seasoning, so I used my own mix* for the patty and tried to stick to the recipe for the mayo. Black garlic has a very subtle flavor, so we tried not to overpower it with sriracha, but we did want the condiment to have some spice.
The result: Despite my Homeric journey in search of an elusive ingredient, it paid off to keep things simple. The burger was, shall we say, a little basic, but it was undeniably tasty. I enjoyed the crispiness of the baby spinach and the creaminess of the mozzarella. And the toasted brioche bun, while fluffy, provided good support for the patty without soaking up all the mayonnaise. i would give it 3.5 “order!” bells†