Monday, November 7, 2011

Turkey Burger on the Brain

I started getting into turkey burgers six years ago when I was training for a marathon.  Which is probably why I had turkey burger on the brain this past weekend as 47,000 runners were passing through my city for the annual celebration of pain and exhilaration that is the New York City Marathon.

Turkey burgers are a great, low fat, and tasty source of protein- just the sort of quick and easy meal a tired body craves post a long and strenuous workout. 

Now, I’ve gotten pretty good at making turkey burgers over the years which is why I hardly ever order them when out to eat.  Most that you find on restaurant menus are the thin rubbery kind, previously frozen and purchased in bulk from a broadline distributor.

Not so the turkey burger at Westville in New York.  Westville’s three downtown New York locations have extensive menus with a strong Southern comfort food bent.  But it is the turkey burger I return to time and time again.

The turkey burger at Westville is thick and moist, cooked slowly in cast iron skillet resulting in even cooking and a fine crust.  The Portuguese bun on which it is served is slightly sweet with the thickness of an English muffin, just enough bun to hold the burger together.  This comes with your choice of cheese, pickles, lettuce and tomato.  If you need cheese (and this is a turkey burger that really doesn’t) the Gouda fails to melt in a nice cheeseburger way and the cheddar is a bit to sharp, dominating the meat.  But the Swiss is just right, tangy and molten, adding richness without overwhelming the burger.

For those in recovery, from long runs or a long night out, nothing really beats the Westville turkey burger- unless you make one yourself.  For that, come back Wednesday for my tips on bird burger cooking at home. 

Amy Powell is a food and travel writer based in New York City. She is a graduate of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration and the French Culinary Institute. Follow her on Twitter @amymariepowell

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