The Burger Chronicles: O'Connell's

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The Burger Chronicles is an occasional feature that chronicles burgers.

We cheated, stopping by O'Connell's Pub the day after St. Patrick's Day. I doubt we were alone. Driving there, we passed a small group walking along Kingshighway all decked out in green and gold, wearing beads around their necks and cheap, plastic leprechaun hats on their heads. Unless, of course, they were only then straggling home from the previous day's revelry.

I like that the burgers at O'Connell's come with nothing but one fat pickle, one thick onion slice and, if you want it, cheese. It's a primal burger, all acrid charbroiled scorch and blood-red savor. Every time I order cheese, and every time I think, "What's the point?" This is the apotheosis of ground beef and flame, not something to be topped or stacked or dressed, however simply.

I like also that the burgers come with a steak knife, the implication being that a burger this large you must cut to pieces. But, really, nine ounces is downright average these supersized days, and even cooked medium-rare, it holds together well. The steak knife is for show. Besides, burgers are meant to be handled; they're designed to stain. Cutting them up for your own convenience? That would be cheating.

-Ian Froeb

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