January 22, 2019 By bangkok7
Happy work day, reader. Y’know, as we walk along this digital road together, I’m sometimes struck with an idea that either doesn’t fit with a Sunday blog or is too good to put off till the weekend. My thought was to call these items odd addendums, or “Oddendums” for short. This is the first one:
It’s no secret that my current favorite Bangkok eatery is The Steakhouse Co. in Patpong. I love everything about it. It’s in my neighborhood, it serves excellent food and wine, and it’s in the spot I got used to going every night—the old Electric Blue A-Gogo. And as a regular customer and friend of the owner, on a handful of occasions I’ve been able to cajole the manager, Alex, into joining me on an odd odyssey: specialty burgers. And much like the wild, wacky, woeful characters Odysseus encountered along his journey in that old Greek tale, so too were the delectable delights we created. If Homer himself could’ve sank his choppers into them, I’m sure he would agree.
It started with a discussion about food and wine pairings. I said I thought a blue cheese mushroom burger might be tasty. Being French, Alex insisted that mushroom and blue cheese don’t go together, so I told him to prove me wrong. He had the chef make a burger for me that—up to that point—wasn’t on the menu: blue cheese sauce, bacon, mushrooms, and onion rings. As an American, I can’t say much for the French aversion to that combination. Maybe my palate is just not sophisticated enough, but I loved it. Paired with their Primitivo, it was stupendous. Succulent and savory. If I had to compare it to one of the challenges faced by Odysseus and his men on their voyage home, I’d say it was the burger equivalent of Scylla and Charybdis. Cue the Police song, “Wrapped Around Your Finger.” I was caught between Alex’s firm belief and mine. Or perhaps I was pulled in two directions by the mushrooms and the blue cheese. Either way, I couldn’t convince Alex that my burger was good. He proceeded to school me on what should properly go with blue cheese….
“Walnuts, honey, bacon, onion rings.” I ordered that the week after, paired with their Malbec. It was too good, and that’s not a euphemism. It was far too rich and decadent for this non-sophisticate. That’s not to say I didn’t love every bite. I just felt like I needed to go to confession afterward. It was an esculent acid trip. Crumbled walnuts sounds like a crazy topping for a burger, but damn if it wasn’t awesome. It went hand in glove with the blue cheese. I could literally taste every layer both separately and together as I ate. The lingering final flavor was something like a Sauterne—heady, sweet, intoxicating. Odysseus might say it was like that time he encountered the Lotus Eaters. One bite puts you in a trance. Four bites and you’re high as a kite. It was a dizzying, dreamlike experience. So good that I almost don’t want it to happen again.
Some days later, we went in a new direction. The chef made me a lamb burger with feta, olives, honey, rocket, and mint sauce paired with their Chenin Blanc. Again, perfection. It hit on every cylinder. It was like the whole of Greek culture crammed into a burger. Homer would be proud. It was akin to Odysseus’ affair with the Sirens. The whole time I was digging in, I could hear sweet music in my ears. Or maybe it was my taste buds singing. Either way, it was beautiful. With each of the last two burgers, the key ingredient was the honey. The mild sweetness both complemented and enhanced the flavors of the cheeses and salty extras, and it soaked into the meat patty, turning it into a melt-in-your-mouth marvel. I don’t know how I’ll eat another burger without honey on it.
Oh, hang on, I had a honey-less burger the very next week. It was a team effort this time—a combo of Alex’s and the chef’s (his name is Patrick) ideas. They were back tackling the problem of what to pair with mushrooms. It turns out that melted Parmesan, bacon, garlic butter, onion rings, and black pepper are ideal on a mushroom burger. I paired it with their Syrah for a fantastic food experience (foodsperience for short, copyright BKK7). It was a monster of flavor. The burger version of a Cyclops. One singular vision. One powerful punch. I felt like a supernatural creature, tearing into that bitch. I think I even growled a couple times.
To round out this tale, I recently pivoted away from burgers. And if the previous ones were analogous to Odysseus’ misadventures, this last one could reflect the moment he finally got back to Greece and banged his wife. It was hot, messy, decadent, and I was embarrassed that people could see me. On Sunday after the carvery, Patrick made me a steak sandwich of his own creation: prime rib, mushrooms, swiss, grilled onion, creamy horseradish, and gravy (not to be confused with the prime rib baguette or the Philly cheesesteak, both of which are delicious and available on the late-night menu and are pictured below this blog). It was carnivorous carnality. Culinary Coitus. Total sensory overload. Paired with the Malbec again, when I polished it off, I 1—skipped the fries, both because I didn’t need them and I didn’t want to replace the taste of that magnificent meal, and 2—I actually smoked afterward, rounding out the sex cliché and solidifying my image as a food porn douche. But honestly, there was nothing else to do. It was possibly the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten.
For the next one, I think I’ll leave it up to Patrick again. He blue ribboned that friggin steak sandwich, so I trust him. And he’s got a few wild burger ideas burning a hole in his recipe book. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, keep your balls clean, your glass full, and if you try getting the Steakhouse Co. to build you one of the aforementioned burgers, tell ‘em Seven sent you. It won’t get you a discount but it may incline them to oblige you. The good news is, if they turn you down there’s a dozen other awesome things on the regular menu. Check back on Friday for a Frowback and Sunday for the weekly. Cheers.