“Where thou art, that is home.”
– Emily Dickinson, poet
Buenos Aires – Nope, this isn’t about making burgers here at our home, though if you want to see how I like to make them, try these. Nope, this is about Home, Honduras 5860, Palermo, 4778-1008. But I have to start with an apology. To Tom and Patricia, the owners. See, they run this cool little hotel, with a great patio, a pool, and a casual bar/cafe, and great, reasonably priced rooms. And I have friends stay there all the time. And the two of them send their guests to be our guests at Casa SaltShaker, regularly. And, other than to check it out to see if it was a place to send friends to stay, I’ve never spent any time there – in the cafe to be exact, since I don’t need a room. And it had even been rumored to me that they had a “quite interesting” burger… perhaps it was that wording that didn’t quite grab me, but somehow or other, I hadn’t gotten there, and for that I apologize. Yesterday, trying to figure out where to have brunch, or lunch, it came to mind, so I popped off to sample one or the other.
Now the room is a bright, airy sort of room looking out on the patio and pool. It’s furnished in casual, what I think of as Ikea style, though that’s probably not accurate – but blond wood tables and simple plastic chairs – a bowl of kumquats on each table (cute touch for the season). The staff, two young ladies and the hotel’s security guard taking a coffee break, were all friendly. There was a trio having brunch at another table, and over the course of my meal, another trio arrived, as well as two singles, one who sat at the bar, the other at a table.
I’m going to say upfront that the brunch menu itself didn’t quite grab me – it had potential, and I nearly ordered the “complete English breakfast” with its grilled tomato and mushrooms, eggs, bacon, sausage, baked beans… hmmm… it really does sound good. The rest, though, and perhaps I’m just being pedantic about it, seemed odd – Eggs Benedict and Eggs Florentine were both described as eggs, arugula, smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce, the latter adding in spinach too – and those aren’t the ingredients for either of those dishes (those’d be Eggs Royale and Eggs Royale Florentine) – Benedict has Canadian bacon or something similar, Florentine doesn’t have any meat on it (other than the egg), and should be Mornay Sauce (a Gruyere cheese sauce) rather than Hollandaise. But as I said, perhaps I’m just being pedantic – the plates arriving on the neighboring table looked delicious. I opted for the hamburger, figuring I’ve had it in the back of my mind to check out anyway. And a Bloody Mary, because it was brunch, you know?
The drink – dead-on. Great Bloody Mary. Best I’ve had in BA in four plus years here. Coffee excellent too, by the way – and served in a nice coffee mug rather than just a little espresso shot, and I liked that they actually asked if I wanted sugar, sweetener, milk or cream – rather than just plopping their choice of those on the table.
On to the burger, and let me start by saying, I enjoyed it thoroughly, and yet, “quite interesting” is a good choice of words for it. In a way, it’s not a burger. I mean, it’s a ground meat patty on a bun. But really, it was more of a very large sausage patty – very finely ground, and if I were to guess, though I don’t know and neither did the waitress, it was at least a good percentage pork. And it’s filled with spices and chopped peppers that make it taste like a breakfast sausage. A really good breakfast sausage. It’s served with fresh tomato and arugula, a perfectly fried egg, and mayo and ketchup on the side to go with really good fries. Spicy mustard brought to the table on request – and it was spicy brown mustard, the way I like it. The bun, more bread roll than soft bun, and quite good, though perhaps slightly too large for the patty. If I have any complaint about this it was only that it was well and thoroughly cooked through – well done and a little dry even though flavorful and even though I’d asked for it medium rare. Still, I finished every bite, and I’d be happy to eat it again.
So, quite interesting, indeed.