Giving Reverence to the "Hokie Burger"
The "Hokie House" has been both a staple and landmark on Main Street, directly across the street from the beautiful, expansive campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. Since the mid-1970's, it was a very special place for locals and a treat spot for co-eds.
More importantly, back then it was a formidable, trust-worthy dive bar. Their signature offering, still available today, is the Hokie Burger. Built on Texas toast, it served as sustenance and an alcohol-cutter when we were young, dumb and full of ..... (you get the idea).
Feelings were mixed when the owners transformed the establishment into something that could actually pass a health inspection. Heck, they even have two floors now painted in colors that were no longer all tobacco brown. Vivid memories of a non-ADA compliant, 18" plywood men's bathroom door on barn hinges that proudly sported cowboy boot bangs from floor to about 36" up were most memorable. A personal quote from the townie bartender, "We're shutting down the jukebox until YOU put your pants back on" was a rare litmus test of what would and would not be tolerated as good, blue collar fun.
Fast forward and being 389 miles from our favorite hang out, today was a time for us to try to spin this timeless classic with our organic products and new-world techniques. I'd like to boast that we killed it, but in reality, it was an exercise in glory days and an old fashioned, albeit solemn try. Our version, imagine that, heralded Texas toast, but that's pretty much where the similarities waned.
We used half pound patties of lower fat premium ground beef mixed with ground bacon ends. Handmade mayo, some call it aioli for a reason we just don't get, roasted red peppers, caramelized onion, raw onion and XL crispy lardons of our farm made Black Garlic Forest bacon.
Even our own tapped beer fell short. We adore our relationship with Dogfish Head and keep 60 Minute on tap. It sucked a root compared to the $5 plastic pitchers of "whatever the heck they wanted to serve you" back then. The most major fail was that we chose to make very local potato frites in our new fangled air fryer.....idiotic as it instantly reminded us of the tallo-fried chips they somehow continuously pumped out of the 80 square foot kitchenette just off the bar.
A saving grace was to test our new OOMAMI seasoning which performed spectacularly and jumped the burger's flavor way beyond expectations. We're rolling out this newly invented product in March 2015 with wild anticipation. The best part, our family all sat at our own dining room table, together in fellowship, celebrating each other and two generations of alumni and students who will always hold the @Hokie House in our hearts. Go Hokies.