Too Much of a Good Thing?

Gentle readers, this week has been an embarrassment of eating riches, having eaten several meals out trying lots of things. Ranging from Indian buffet to burgers to high-end Southern food, I have a new sympathy for the competitive eater. Today we’re going to focus on the burger.

There is a craze locally, and it seems more widespread, to top burgers with everything shy of the kitchen sink. Some of these combos are probably breakthroughs in burger technology. For me, it teeters on the edge of what I like to call the “fried leek” problem. There was a restaurant in town, a pretty good one, that insisted on adding one ingredient too many. Often it was a pile of food topped with fried leeks.

If you’re part of the Leek Marketing Council, don’t call me up to complain—let it be known that the Practical Cook loves leeks. And the crunch of fried leeks is quite nice. But not on everything.

Here’s the burger that got my mind on this topic. It’s a well-crafted, nicely made burger topped with pimento cheese and pickled okra:

Pimento Cheese Burger

Pimento Cheese Burger

Here’s the problem—the pimento cheese and the bread were so good that I wanted some private time with them without burger interference. The pickled okra were great, but I wanted them on the side. Perhaps I’m a deconstructionist by nature, but the sum wasn’t greater than the parts for me.

This is undoubtedly a matter of taste and personal preference, and it speaks to the way I cook—straightforward flavors, good ingredients, unfussy preparation.

So I’m throwing the question out to you, gentle readers. When does food become too fussy for you? The flavors too stacked? Where is your fried leek tolerance? I look forward to the discussion!

Tomorrow it’s time for Weekly Menus again. If you’ve never planned ahead for meals, try to plan for one or two this week. (Talking to you Mr. T!)

Do you prefer your foods combined or as stand-alones? The polls are open at practical cook at gmail dot com. Or post a comment here, or connect on Facebook (The Practical Cook Blog).

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