Cardwell's at the Plaza's Bill’s Burger Meister Burger

Cardwell's at the Plaza's Bill’s Burger Meister Burger
cardwell's at the plaza's bill’s burger meister burger photo by carmen troesser

Light your fires, grillers, it’s burger season. Everyone’s got a tried-and-true recipe, but the title of burger champ has to go to Bill Cardwell, whose famous Burger Meister Burger has graced Cardwell’s at the Plaza’s menu since 1994. Quality ingredients make the difference here – Niman Ranch beef, applewood-smoked bacon, buns from Companion and a homemade spiced tomato relish that’ll have you off ketchup forever. Happy grilling. – Katie O’Connor


1½ lb. lean ground beef, preferably local grass-fed beef
4 oz. blue cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
4 1-oz. slices white Cheddar cheese
8 crisp slices smoked bacon
4 hamburger buns
Spiced tomato relish (recipe follows)
Lettuce (optional)
Sliced red onion (optional)
Pickles (optional)

For the spiced tomato relish
5 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1½ cups minced red onion
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup tightly packed light brown sugar
½ cup light Karo syrup
6 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 small jalapeño, minced with seeds
1 clove garlic, finely minced
½ Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground white pepper
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground mace
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint


• Gently form the ground beef into eight 3-ounce, ½-inch thick patties.

• Use a metal spoon to make a shallow indentation in the center of four of the patties and place 1 ounce of blue cheese in each indentation. Top each with another patty, and press along the edges to seal the two together.

• Season each burger with salt and pepper.

• Grill the burgers over a medium wood or charcoal fire or in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook to the desired doneness: 4 to 5 minutes on each side for rare, 6 to 7 minutes on each side for medium, and 9 to 10 minutes on each side for well done. When the burgers are done, top each with a slice of the Cheddar cheese.

• Toast the buns.

• Place one burger on each bun, top with 2 slices of bacon, 1 tablespoon of spiced tomato relish and lettuce, onion and pickles, if desired.

For the spiced tomato relish
• Combine all of the ingredients except the mint in a 3-quart saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat.

• Transfer the relish to a bowl and place the bowl in an ice until it is cold. When the relish is cold, stir in the mint.

• Refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.

Tags : Beef , Blue cheese , Cheddar