What makes a burger good? I mean, real good. I reckon first, you gotta have quality beef — like, say from Simon Farms in Faulkner county, bought one cow at a time and lovingly ground into the perfect texture and consistency. The burger should be juicy, but there should be texture to the meat — the dollar menu disgraces that just turn to mush in the mouth need not apply. It should be served on substantial bun. There should be fresh toppings and real cheese.

In other words, a good burger should be like a burger from The Root Cafe.

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It had been awhile since I had one of these masterpieces, but during a photoshoot for Food and Farm the other day, one of the photographer’s assistants ran down to the SoMa cafe for lunch and came back with the sort of sandwich that deserves odes and songs written about. Good outside sear, tender, perfectly medium middle — every bite was a triumph of taste and the worst of tragedies, that of being finished and not having any more.

A burger at The Root runs $8.50 and comes with a salad and housemade dressing. Sure, it costs more, but unlike commodity beef, the beef comes from one single animal, and not the hundreds of animals present in your average Big Mac. Sure, there are cheaper burgers in the world, but there aren’t many that taste better.


Spend a few more dollars. Treat yourself to a plate of local food. You’ll thank me.