Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop





What I Ate: December 31, 2010 (Mighty Fine Burgers)

Posted 3 January, 2011 at 12:14pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate)

Well, this is it: The last entry in the daily What I Ate series. I'll probably post in the future under this category for special meals, but for the most part (after two straight years - seven hundred and thirty consecutive days - of documenting every main meal) I'm concluding this series. After today's post, I'll have documented, through photography and text, approximately 6.8% of my entire life's meals (the first three months of 2008 plus all of 2009 through 2010). Writing What I Ate takes more time than I expected it to and I've decided that my time is probably better spent returning more attention to Cooking For Engineers. I'll continue to post to Orthogonal Thought random thoughts and perhaps continue the Things We Like series or Photo of the Week (formerly "of the Day") series. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

Dinner: Before watching a performance of the Beatles tribute band Classical Mystery Tour backed by the Austin Symphony Orchestra, we grabbed a quick dinner at Mighty Fine Burgers. We're not huge fans of Mighty Fine's burgers (tonight I had a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger with grilled jalapenos), but we think their fries are usually the best in town.
Mighty Fine Burgers - Bacon Jr. Cheeseburger with Grilled Jalapenos and Fries

They make crinkle cut fries that are usually crispy on the outside (where the crinkle cut increases the surface area maximizing the amount of crunch) with a hot and fluffy interior. Today's fries, however, came out a bit overdone and tasted like it was about to be burnt (some bitterness could just be detected). I mentioned this to them and the store manager immediately ordered another batch made, but this time it was cooked "light". Apparently, normal fries at Mighty Fine are fried for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Light fries are fried for only 1 minute and 15 seconds. These came out better than the first batch, but I felt they weren't fried long enough (with several fries limp or without any crunchy exterior). Tina was perfectly happy with the fries since she prefers the moist and fluffy interior over the need for a crispy exterior. Since we normally have excellent fries without making a special order (so presumably cooked for 2:30), I wondered why the first batch came overdone. The manager said that sometimes different batches of potatoes cook at different rates and it's hard to compensate for it. It would be nice if they noticed that the fries were getting a little overdone and adjusted the time for the potatoes, but it was awesome that they cooked another batch for us at no charge and allowed us to specify the degree of doneness (or time if we had chosen to).
Mighty Fine Burgers - Light Fries

Lunch: Leftover beef stroganoff over egg noodles.
Beef stroganoff with egg noodles

8 comments to What I Ate: December 31, 2010 (Mighty Fine Burgers)

David Penny, January 3rd, 2011 at 3:36 pm:

  • Congratulations — you demonstrated remarkable dedication though I'm sure it was very time consuming. I've only been following for the last few months — and I didn't realise you'd been doing this for a whole two years! Anyway, I enjoyed the trip and all those vicarious meals — thank you.

Michael Chu, January 3rd, 2011 at 5:22 pm:

  • Thanks David! I'll still post occasional meals, but in the meantime, I'm enjoying the slight reduction in stress.

Robyn, January 4th, 2011 at 4:24 pm:

  • awww :( You have to do to what you have to do. I will still check often for the special meals, they are the best ones anyway.

Bruce H, January 4th, 2011 at 8:31 pm:

  • echoing David Penny above, congrats to you Michael, i've been following your work closely in both What I Ate, and Cooking for Engineers. I've been impressed with your discipline and culinary photographic artistry, as well as your regular insights into what makes food awesome (any food!) and will miss your regular posts mightily. i greatly appreciate that you may still post occasionally, i'm looking forward to any of your continued commentary on anything edible (i'll still be satisfied with even just the crumbs!) anyhow, thanks again for your diligence, i'll miss the regularity, but i guess that will make the "occasional meals" you post more special. best regards!

Michael Chu, January 4th, 2011 at 11:40 pm:

  • Thanks guys! These comments mean a lot to me!

Scott, January 5th, 2011 at 12:03 am:

  • I've appreciated the dedication as well. I've gotten several recipes and meal ideas, as well as restaurants to check out (well, moreso when you still lived in the bay area. :-p )

    I'll continue to follow, though.

    Looking forward to more updates to CFE. ;-)

simba, January 5th, 2011 at 1:56 pm:

  • I have been enjoying your daily posts very much. I live in Austin and I am also an Asian. So the information you provided has been very helpful to me in terms of my own cooking and choosing restaurants. I am sad to know the daily post is end. My best wishes to you and your family. And once again, thank you for your sharing.

Michael Chu, January 9th, 2011 at 11:19 pm:

  • I'm glad I've helped inspire some people in both cooking and dining. I think that was the hope when we started the project in 2008 (but I wasn't able to keep it up for more than 3 months). The 2009-2010 project seems to have been a success!

    Simba, if we ever bump into each other in Austin, you'll have to let me know that you followed the What I Ate series.