A 'burger' no longer means beef, or even meat at all. Restaurants today are using the term with everything from turkey, chicken, vegetarian, and even ahi tuna. The sky has become the limit. What is new and trending with this modern classic, regardless of the patty itself, are a mix of exotic, interesting and unexpected toppings and condiments. Even the standard items such as mustards, ketchups and other condiments, as well as the type of onions, bacon, etc have gotten cool and interesting twists. Fried egg, creamy cole slaw, unexpected cheeses and fresh herbs are everywhere. Sizes and shapes are also taking a new form, as well as the kind of buns and breads being used. You'll see everything from classic baugettes to seasoned buns, and especially brioche.
To get the gourmet burger experience at home, the key is to think outside of the box. Start with the burger of your choice. If you're a bread eater, take a cue from top restaurants in the country and experiment with buns. Brioche has a thick, decadent taste and texture, while a seasoned bun can bring in extra flavor. Next, you want to get crazy-creative with the toppings. Instead of the usual classic onion, go with a red, or even a leek sliced thin. Fried egg might sound unusual but it's very good -- just think about how meat and eggs combine at breakfast. Cole slaw is very popular and amazing on virtually any burger. Don't forget to expand your horizons on sauces and other condiments. Spicy mustards, ketchup, mayo, etc. are available online and in stores -- offer a trio for dipping if you want to keep the other toppings simple. In terms of cheeses, forget about the usual suspects, or if you go with a classic cheese, grab a modern update such as ultra-aged white cheddar, gouda, etc.
Burger parties are a blast for get togethers and events. Offer a range of burger types and as many unexpected, cool toppings you can think of and have guests build their own.