The Bob’s Burgers Movie is hitting theaters this weekend (read our review!), giving us another opportunity to hang out with the Belcher gang.
Here at Polygon, we decided the best way to commemorate the occasion was by picking a few burgers out of the official Bob’s Burgers Burger Book to cook and sample at home. Six of our intrepid staffers picked a burger that sang to them (not quite literally, although you never know with Bob’s Burgers) and set out to make them at home.
Read below for our takeaways, but first, a quick message to Bob Belcher:
Bob, buddy. I know you have a passion for burgers and for food in general. But for the love of god, spice your food! I know your restaurant has been through a lot over the years, but perhaps if you added some seasoning to your burgers, people would continue to come back to your establishment for reasons other than the, uh, family atmosphere and great puns.
Without further teen, 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 good excuse. I’m also severely lactose intolerant, and I wanted to pick a burger that didn’t require cheese. The other dietary restriction-related substitution I made was a gluten-free bagel for a traditional bun. We also subbed arugula for lettuce, entirely because I misremembered. While my boyfriend made the patty and roasted the bell pepper, I focused on the hummus. The process was pretty straightforward — I prepped ingredients and threw them in a blender. Then we assembled it all.
The result: I’d rate this 3 out of 5 spatulas — though the rating might have been higher if I went with my gut more. The recipe didn’t call for enough lemon or garlic, which made the hummus taste flat. Luckily the bell pepper added acidity, and the arugula added some 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; scallion kimchi, purchased from a local Korean grocery store; American cheese; lettuce; bacon; mayo mixed with a little mirin to add sweetness; a toasted sesame seed bun
The process: I actually 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 sour acidity of kimchi. I used a sweeter mayo and American cheese, with a salty bacon and fresh lettuce that I hoped would add balance.
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, as 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’m giving it 4 out of 5 autographed Boyz 4 Now posters.
Blue Is the Warmest Cheese Burger — Pete Volk
The ingredients: Vegetarian burger patty, hot sauce, butter, white vinegar, cayenne, white onion, all-purpose flour, milk, blue cheese, celery, buns, lettuce
The process: I was drawn to this burger for two reasons. Crucially, my deep and abiding love for blue cheese. And in college, I ate buffalo chicken sandwiches for lunch objectively way too many times (shoutout to the South Campus Dining Hall at UMD). The idea of a burger that simulated buffalo wings with blue cheese was too intriguing to pass up.
I did try to work as many puns as possible into the cooking process and talk to the burger and stove as if they were people, like Bob. That mostly resulted in me talking to them like they were baseball players and I was their manager? Much to consider.
It was honestly pretty easy to make — it’s not a terribly complicated burger. But it is a two-sauce burger, which meant a lot of pots and pans end up getting used. And because our kitchen is approximately the size of a closet, we practically had to stand in the fridge to take the above pictures. But that’s more of an us issue.
The result: It was pretty good! I was expecting it to taste more like hot sauce, but that is not a complaint! The hot sauce was instead a nice undercurrent to the dominant blue cheese flavor (and for me, that was perfectly fine). The celery disappeared into it, which is also not a complaint — but if you wanted it to stand out as a part of the meal, consider adding it as a fresh ingredient on the side (and dip it in your leftover sauces — we halved the recipe but still had way too much blue cheese sauce). Bob’s avoidance of seasoning his burgers is less of a big deal with this one, since the patties have the hot sauce in them, but we added some salt and pepper anyway (come on, Bob!).
I’ll give this one 3.5 out of 5 Kuchi Kopis. We also ate it while watching Spy x Familyand eating a burger from Bob’s Burgers while watching a different animated show about a dysfunctional family at work was perfect. One important note for prospective burger-makers: My household has a lot of dietary restrictions, and we used a lot of substitutions. Your experience may be different!
The Cauliflower’s Cumin from Inside the House Burger — Sadie Gennis
The ingredients: Cauliflower, olive oil, whole milk, cilantro, cumin, lime juice, ground beef, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato
The process: The first thing I noticed when reading through the recipe was how little seasoning there was, so we decided to amp up the flavors at every step of the process. This particularly proved necessary for the cauliflower “mash,” which wasn’t a mash as much as it was crushed, crunchy florets. We added more cumin, cilantro, and lime juice as well as salt, pepper, and paprika, which saved the cauliflower from being a bland concoction to something that was actually pretty decent. I also love a condiment and was slightly horrified to see there wasn’t a single one in the recipe. So while my husband was working on the patties, I rushed to whip up a garlic aioli to spread on the toasted buns. (You will never not find me toasting a bun. It’s just the superior way to eat burgers and hot dogs.)
The result: It was totally and completely fine! My husband and I both thought it probably would have been better with ground lamb — although we’ll never confirm this suspicion since we 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 gotta 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 substitution), zucchini, olive oil, yellow bell pepper, dill, plain yogurt, brioche slider buns
The process: These sliders were pretty easy to construct, all things considered (though this review comes to you courtesy of my partner, who’s the true chef between us). Like others on this list, our house took liberties with seasonings in the patty and the sautéed zucchini. And also like others on this list, we’d do it again.
The result: Though we put the yogurt sauce in the wrong place, you’d hardly know it from how the burger tasted. The crunch from the peppers! The zucchini and yogurt flavors! It all mixed together with the earthiness of the burger in a way that gave you the full effect in every bite. We agreed that the burger felt like a 4 out of 5 grillmasters — a truly delicious burger, if not the greatest burger of all time.
Bet It All on Black Garlic Burger — Danette Chavez
The ingredients: Black garlic, mayonnaise, ground beef, baby spinach, salt, black pepper, sriracha, mozzarella cheese, brioche bun
The process: I thought I was being very strategic in picking this burger, because it has a pretty straightforward recipe. Little did I know how difficult it would be to find black garlic; I went to Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Standard Market before finally remembering that there’s an H Mart well within city limits. But once I secured the black garlic, the burger came together easily. I had already been warned about under-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 to avoid overpowering it with sriracha, but we did want the condiment to have some kick.
The result: Despite my Homeric journey in search of an elusive ingredient, keeping things simple paid off. The burger was, shall we say, a bit basic, but it was undeniably tasty. I enjoyed the crunch of the baby spinach and the creaminess of the mozzarella. And the untoasted brioche bun, while fluffy, provided good support for the patty without sopping up all the mayo. I’d give it 3.5 “order up!” bells.