Burgers, Brews, and Barb

Today is Burgers and Brew 2010, and I won't be there. Sad face!

I covered this event last year for The Daily Page, and it was a pretty fun event. This year, though, I'm in Appleton for my mom's birthday. It's a trade I'm willing to make, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't going to be thinking about little burgers around 4 this afternoon.

Those burgers sound, as usual, delicious. I turn once again to AV Madison for a preview of the menu, and once again I'm met with a surprisingly narrow view of the culinary offerings. Last year, Scott Gordon referred to the quail egg-topped burger from Lombardino's as "bizarre" and a "miniature bird abortion." Why the hate, Scott? And this year, Erika Janik calls it "infamous." I've seen the lines for that burger, Erika, and I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Erika also freaks out a bit over the Fresco burger, a little patty topped with black truffle aioli, radishes, and bone marrow-sauteed onions. Bone marrow isn't some new food concept, nor is it even new to Madison (the popular-like-gangbusters Coopers Tavern offers roasted veal marrow as a starter). That's not to say it isn't unusual, but to call it "crazy shit"--well, I'll just say that someone maybe needs to read Fringe Foods a little more.

But hey, that's AV Madison's (and AV Club's overall) schtick: look at how high we can raise our eyebrows at these cultural phenomena and pretend like we don't want or value them! It works most of the time; I'm certainly a regular visitor to both sites. But when it comes off as leading an unexamined life and being proud of it, it does a disservice to everyone involved.

Anyway, I wish everyone there great weather and an even better time. And someone save me a Brewbarb Burger!