My current favorite restaurant is Applebee’s. We usually try to find small, quirky, mom and pop places to eat when we’re not grabbing fast food, but Applebee’s has a few things that I just love.
#1 – Red Apple Sangria. I love the stuff. They put a cute little toothpick with little balls of apple chunks in there. I don’t drink alcohol often, but when I do, I don’t really want it to taste like alcohol and this one fits that bill perfectly. I know. I’m a mystery.
#2 – Happy Hour. Not only does this make my Red Apple Sangria cheaper, but they have 1/2 priced appetizers and I happen to love sharing a basket of honey barbecue boneless wings.
#3 – Their French Onion Soup. I used to go occasionally for their unlimited soup and salad lunch deal, but I’m pretty sure they got rid of the “unlimited” part of it. Even though I rarely asked for plate refills, it’s just not as appealing without the option of eating more for free.
It’s actually pretty weird that I like the soup as much as I do, because I’m a texture person and soggy bread does not usually go over well with me, but somehow in this soup, it just fits.
Luckily, I didn’t even have to try to tackle the soggy bread issue when I transformed the soup into burger form. Phew.
I’m pretty sure Applebee’s uses provolone cheese in their soup, but after some internet research (thank you, Professor Google), I found that Gruyere is the more traditional soup topping, so that’s what I used.
I found it in the little island of fancy cheeses at Fry’s (okay, it’s not technically an island. More like a display, but that doesn’t sound as exotic).
And it gave me an excuse to eat caramelized onions. It’s burger candy. The perfectly sweet adornment that makes everything good in the world as you chew.
I use Simply Recipes’ method for caramelizing onions and I usually do this the day before I use them in any recipe. They take some time, but they are so worth it.
So, if you find yourself in the dilemma of craving both french onion soup and a hamburger, here’s your solution.
Or you could just eat a hamburger with a side of french onion soup, but then you don’t get the caramelized onions and, believe me, you want the caramelized onions.
For the burger
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/4 cup grated onion
- 1 tsp beef bouillon granules
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp Worcestershire
For the toppings
- 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1 onion, caramelized
- Mix together the burger ingredients.
- Shape into 4 patties.
- Grill, covered, over medium heat for 6-8 minutes per side, or until meat temperature reaches 160 degrees.
- Sprinkle shredded cheese on each burger, close the cover on the grill, and let the cheese melt for about a minute.
- Remove patties from grill.
- Place each patty on a bun and top caramelized onions.