The burger at Newstead Tower Public House is never exactly the same burger twice. That's its beauty. Unlike so many burgers, merely the end product of an agricultural-industrial process, the patties more often than not formed by a machine in another state and thawed in the restaurant kitchen, this is a product made by human hands. The patties are irregularly shaped. The beef is grass-fed ground chuck from Fruitland Farms (in the tiny town of Fruitland, located off Interstate 55 north of Cape Girardeau). Its flavor is not the generic "beefy" of who knows how many cows thrown together at the processing plant. It is cleaner, lighter, with a definite mineral edge. In truth, the taste of a Newstead Tower burger is difficult to pin down: It is characteristic of a particular cow on a particular day. You can add cheese, bacon, onion or mushroom to the burger — it doesn't need the help, but those toppings surely don't hurt. However this burger is dressed, calling it "the best" seems like a misnomer. Better to say today's burger from Newstead is the best you've had — until you return and order one again.
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