A really great burger starts with quality beef. It should have processed cheese that melts well. And it should be inside of a potato bun, sesame seed if you must.
Don’t use ciabatta bread or a kaiser roll. As good as brioche can be, it’s not well-matched to a burger. The bun is a delivery vehicle for the burger. It needs to be big enough to contain the burger, but shouldn’t be so large that it overwhelms the contents – especially the meat.
Everything you put on the burger needs to fit inside of the bun. You don’t want the burger to fall apart when you eat it. It shouldn’t be overstuffed. The goal is a balance of flavors inside, getting a combination of everything with each bite rather than winding up with pieces of meat or pieces of bun leftover at the end.
My initial reaction was that it looked very similar to United’s cheeseburger, right down to the Sir Kensington condiments, however it appeared to have a proper bun rather than United’s pretzel bun.
Recently I took two American Airlines meal flights back-to-back and was up front for both. The first was a breakfast flight and the second a lunch flight. I finally got to try the cheeseburger.
At breakfast I tried the ‘scrambled eggs benedict’ which I thought was an interesting idea, but the turkey ham looked like spam and heating the eggs with sauce on a muffin gives you a very soggy muffin. Disappointing.
That’s actually a good thing, I didn’t want to eat too much scrambled eggs benedict and connecting in Chicago I even skipped Tortas Frontera — because I was going to eat the cheeseburger.
My first thought eating this was school cafeteria. I thought the toppings were problematic. I’d have liked thicker slices of tomato, but mostly I thought the pickles should be sliced instead we got cornichons which don’t really go well in a burger. Give me fresh white onion. Grill the onions if you’d like. But don’t marinate them or pickle them. Whenever something is covered up with vinegar I assume it’s to hide the taste, and to make it last longer rather than serving it fresh.
It’s a little odd to have a bread plate, by the way, with a burger that comes on a bun.
Our flight attendant clearly left the burger in the oven too long and the bun was rock hard, like cardboard. I may not have had a fair representation, then, of what the burger could or should be. At the same time it’s clearly not well-suited to the American Airlines galley if this is how it’s delivered in practice. I give it a C+.
American’s Flagship Burger is unquestionably better than the United Polaris burger. American can clearly do a burger on the ground. I think they have some work to do on their burger in the air.