When Good Company—the newest restaurant from two of Cleveland’s most innovative culinary minds—opened in the Battery Park neighborhood the second weekend of the new year, it did so with a menu that embraces familiarity.
Unlike chefs Brett Sawyer and Vince Thomascik’s other restaurant venture, The Plum, where guests can enjoy weird and wonderful dishes, like pork tartare, crispy beef navel and chanterelle puffs with 24-karat-gold sea salt, Good Company’s lineup of tasty treats is much more approachable for less-adventurous clientele.
But don’t believe for a second the same thoughtful approaches that have gone into making The Plum a Cleveland food destination aren’t being applied at their new hall.
And that includes something as simple as the burger.
That’s because Sawyer and Thomascik are well aware that just having any burger isn’t good enough. Before the restaurant opened, they delved into making the perfect burger, taking into account which cuts to use for the lean component and what types of flavor profiles they’d want for the fat component.
To do so, they brought their kitchen crew down to the Certified Angus Beef ® Culinary Center in Wooster, Ohio, and spent the day with Carson Rogers, the jack-of-all-trades meat scientist who laid out a variety of whole-muscle cuts the group could run through the meat grinder to mix and match and decide what they liked the best.
Call it Play-Doh for adults.
In much the same way that different cuts of steak carry different textures and flavor profiles, the same is true when those cuts are ground into burgers.
If you’ve ever questioned why one burger tastes different from another, chances are, they’re simply made up of different blends. Currently, the en vogue burger popping up around the country is comprised of brisket, chuck and short rib, with the brisket providing the bulk of the fat content, because, truly, brisket fat is more palatable than other types of fat.
But that same type of fat also exists in the beef navel, and given the duo’s history in making that cut something special, well, it surely had to be a piece of the new burger.
As the day progressed and cut after cut was run through the grinder, the differences that exist in the makeup of a simple burger became perfectly clear.
The Good Company crew tasted and contrasted and discussed, and then repeated the process over and over. Then they plated their creations with various buns produced by the restaurant’s pastry chef, and topped with all the condiments they envision possibly going into the final product.
And at the end of the day, what did that final product look like?
Find out for yourself at Good Company, now open at 1200 West 76th Street, Cleveland.