The cheeseburger has long been a favorite meal for weary travelers and immigrants looking for something cheap and easy to consume during long journeys or after a hard day’s work.
It’s said that Genghis Khan and is Mongol horsemen, known as the Golden Horde, would leave scraps of lamb or mutton under their saddles to be tenderized while riding into battle and then consumed raw, making for the first “steak tartare.”
It wasn’t until the late 18th Century that sailors visiting Hamburg, Germany began consuming something more akin to what we eat today. Flavored, low-grade beef featuring regional spices cooked in the Hamburg style, these patties became standard meals for the poorer classes.
Well, we’ve stepped it up quite a bit since then, adding cheese, veggies, chili, bacon, eggs and more, packing it all in with a sesame seed or brioche bun for what can only be described now as a gourmet burger — some costings as much as $300 with truffles, cave-aged cheddar, caviar and dry-aged Wagyu.
While you won’t find anything so decadent as that in Downtown Santa Monica, we do have a few stellar selections.