I have eaten burgers at the Westport Flea Market twice recently, and every time I go, I complain about two things: the condiment bar, and the bun.
Basically this is a glorious hunk of freshly ground beef delivered on a glorified grocery store bun. Some places can get away with this, and even benefit from it. Would you want a little town topic patty on a hearty ciabatta bun? No. Thin, griddle-fried burgers go well with cheap buns. But even the mini-burger at Westport Flea Market over-matches its bun.
A thicker, larger burger such as the excellent offering at Cafe Europa can stand up to more bun.
But not everyone agrees with me. My patient and open-minded dining companion at The Flea insisted that an insubstantial bun makes the beef the star. Rather than simply encasing and delivering the meat, the bun simply acts as a vehicle to absorb delicious juices. This is an argument I find strangely compelling.
I still don’t care for the condiment bar, though.
The latest local establishment to garner attention from a national food television show is the Westport Flea Market, which will appear on Food Network’s Meat and Potatoes on Friday Sept. 24. Kansas City has received a lot of love from shows like these over the last year as Guy Fieri, Adam Richman, Zane Lamprey and Camille Ford have all visited over the last year on behalf of their programs.
Photo by rachel_bernadette on Flickr.
Meat and Potatoes focuses (obviously) on delicious meat dishes around the country, and this episode is called “Between the Buns,” because of its sandwich-esque focus. Naturally host Rahm Fama will dive into the Flea’s vaunted burgers, laughingly described on the website as “bargain burgers.”
While I would describe the Flea Market’s burgers as delicious but a tad overrated, I love the concept and the space. It’s a frequent Saturday lunch spot for me. It is nice that folks from out of town will get to experience a little of that charm for themselves.