You haven’t had a burger until you’ve had a Sugar Burger. Somehow you have to get yourself to Embudo, New Mexico (some say Dixon, some say Velarde) beside the Rio Grande River between Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico to get your hands on one of them, but once you do it will be difficult, if not impossible, to eat any other kind of burger once you’ve tasted a Sugar Burger.
I think it’s the order of the ingredients, that makes them so delicious.
A Lightly toasted, buttered potato bun
In the Middle (in this order):
(Yellow) American cheese, melted over…
…a well-seared prime beef patty over…
…thinly sliced very ripe tomatoes over…
…a blush of chopped (hot) New Mexican (Hatch) green chiles over…
…sweet (Vedalia) onions sliced together with Iceberg lettuce over…
…4 (or more) sweet/sour pickles
On the Bottom:
The bottom of a lightly toasted buttered, Mayo’d (very important) potato bun
No other order will do. Not ever. Because you have to get the ‘stuffing’ between the potato buns as close to your tastebuds as possible on the very first bite, and that means putting the ‘stuffing’ beneath the beef patty, not on top of the beef patty.
Underneath. The. Patty. Not. On. Top.
Then you wrap the whole thing up in a square piece of parchment paper and put a toothpick in it to keep it warm while you find a spot on a picnic table outside the corrugated metal shack called Sugar’s.
Then you take a picture of it and send it to everyone you know who loves and craves burgers and you make them jealous. Because you are outside on a crisp fall day, the Rio Grande River rushing by, hawks circling above in a clouded sky, and your friends are not.
You watch the cars and trucks and SUVs pull up from Texas, Montana, California, Indiana, Illinois, Oklahoma…wherever…because people from all over the US know about Sugar’s. And if you don’t you ain’t got no swag. Ain’t hip. Don’t know what’s important in life. Can’t fight your way out of a paper bag…or a square piece of parchment sandwich wrapper.
Don’t tell Sugar (a dog), that I’ve figured out the secret. Just take the above ingredients and Do-It-Yourself at home. And don’t cheat. Don’t put other stuff on your Sugar Burger. Don’t put ketchup on your Sugar Burger. Don’t put mustard on your Sugar Burger. Or Chile Sauce or Thousand Island Dressing, or A-1, or 2 or 3 or 4 sauce. Absolutely no Heinz Steak sauce or some other such treason, blasphemy, chicanery or wretched other sauce you think you need on your burger. Because the only thing you need is a dollop of Mayo.
Do what I do: Go directly to Sugar’s after landing in New Mexico and thank the Universe that it’s open Thursday – Sunday. And if you can’t get to New Mexico, make a Sugar Burger yourself and share the recipe with people you love. They will thank you.
But…if…you do get to New Mexico…walk across State Road 68 to the river’s edge and ponder its beauty and think back a few hundred years to what it must have been like before the Wild West was won…
…and to what it must be like to have a life so simple and pure that all one needs do is erect a shack and call it Sugar’s.
Build it…and people will come.
And they do…from far and wide.
#SugarBurger #Embudo #Dixon