An overhead close up shot of a white plate with a grilled ground sirloin hamburger patty on a kaiser roll.

Who can beat old-fashioned burgers, where you taste the  burger, not the trimmings?

Being among the judges at one of the burger contests held by Fairway Packing, who can rightly boast of having great burger meat, had me stumped a few years ago… I was baffled that it was actually a competition of what maybe should be called a “Burger Trimmings” contest or whatever … My selection, alas, was only on the great meat that Fairway puts out … not with the extras that are sometimes relentlessly piled on … so one can taste Fairway’s luscious meat.

Detroit Free Press writer Susan Selasky was one of the judges and probably knew better about the judging … One of the contestants, first-place winner a couple of times, chef/owner Eve Aronoff’s burgers at her eatery on W. Washington, Ann Arbor, aren’t even called burgers… They’re Cuban-inspired Fritas at Eve’s Fritas Batidos … (There’s also a location now at 66 W. Columbia St. in Detroit.)

When it comes to burgers, I may be old-fashioned, but give me some of those burgers we used to gobble up at many places in the yesteryears … You got just the burger sandwich, but oh, what a burger … Not to say that most of today’s beauties on the tongue aren’t in their own goodie class … Hey, Fairway folks, why not burgers of yesteryears against those of today?

Speaking of burgers, one of the yesteryears burger oldies of those times, White Castle, as well as others, now even have frozen vegetarian burgers among their delicious variety of sliders at some of the markets … White Castles and others take only a minute to thaw … no longer … you can easily defrost them in the microwave.

IT’S GOOD to see some restaurants are able to fight back in some way by adding a third dimension of carry out … to help fill tummies and save jobs … By restaurants like Beans & Cornbread, Northwestern, north of 12 Mile, one of America’s leading soul food eateries … Patrick Coleman calls it “No Contact Take Out,” where the customer calls in the order, pays with a credit card number or cash and stays in the vehicle as a waitperson brings the food to them in the car … It makes for happy customers … and jobs saved for the waitstaff.

WHEN RESTAURANTS GET back into action, many outdoor patios and terraces will also be highly welcomed …Those eateries that are able to and don’t have them are missing out on a lot of business and much happier customers … The healthful and comfort qualities are invaluable … Those with lamps, heat pits, etc., are huge destinations … Restaurant owners who can have any of them, large or small, are doing many of their clientele a big favor … and are priceless to themselves!

QUICKY OLDIE BUT GOODIES … “How did you find the steak,” asked the waitress. “Fine,” said the customer. “I moved a pea and there it was.” … “Waiter, please take your thumb out of my soup!” “Sorry, I have a boil, and the doctor told me to keep it warm.”

CONGRATS …To Jimmy Gottfurcht on his 80th birthday … To Adele Goldstein on her 95th birthday.