So, what’s the difference between a burger and any other sort of sandwich? It’s not the bun — not if you still consider the patty melt a burger. It’s not the toppings — I’ve seen almost everything on a burger.
I think the definition has to come in whether or not there’s a burger patty on the sandwich. In that case, Boss’ BBQ in Benton has tiptoed past every other description to come up with a burger that’s not a burger. No worries — they also do a burger that is entirely, completely burger material.
Dropped by the other day just because the place I was going had already closed at the end of their lunch shift. My dining companions and I had passed it on the way to somewhere else and decided to double back. Glad we did.
Of course I was going for a burger — but the first thing we see on the menu is the Boss Burger ($5.49) — listed as “Beef, Pork, Polish Sausage on a Bun Topped with Cheese, Sauce and Slaw.” And one of my dining companions just had to have that. Me and my other dining companion, we went for burgers, regular ones.
And we weren’t disappointed. I’d ordered a Jumbo Cheeseburger ($4.09) that came with a third pound of good beef, fixings and a big fat slice of American cheese. The beef was done to medium well, griddle fried with a little smoke and salt to the flavor, served up on a toasted seedless bun with mayo on the bottom and hamburger dills, iceberg lettuce and a slice of tomato (I had the mustard and onion held this time, I was feeling sissy).
It was a nice, two hand burger with a lot of flavor, and I felt I’d chosen well. What I did do wrong was ask if the potato salad had bacon in it before I ordered it. Assured it did not, I got an order. What I should have asked was if it had pork in it. Which it did, nice pulled strings of barbecued pork butt between the soft potato bits. One of my dining companions happily traded a few of his order of Jalapeno Onion Rings for the potato salad.
And those things — well. The order at first seemed a little small for $2.99, but boy did they pack a punch — onion rings coated in a cornmeal and jalapeno batter. Immediately after biting in I didn’t notice anything but the onion, but then the jalapeno went right to my sinuses. Strong. Hot. Spicy.
But you’re wondering about that Boss Burger. And even on photographing the thing I couldn’t find the beef patty. Because it wasn’t there. I shoulda taken a bite shot. It was loaded with shredded beef and pork, a split Polish sausage link grilled to a light char under the slice of American cheese.
The slaw and sauce were served on the side — a decadently rich and spicy sauce at that. The slaw, though… I don’t think I’ve had slaw like that anywhere before. It was completely not sweet — nice and savory, but with so much black pepper it smacked me hard on a little try. I had to grab for my iced tea and pray I wouldn’t sneeze. It was almost harsh.
So is the Boss Burger a burger? If burgers can be beef or even a mix of things, all right. But technically, it’s not a burger, because it doesn’t have a burger patty. End of story.
I’ll have to stick with the regular burgers at Boss’ BBQ — but you don’t have to. Give them a shot. I’m going to… and next time I think I’m going to try that smoked turkey sandwich with some of that sauce.
You’ll find Boss’ BBQ at 703 West South Street in Benton. (501) 315-3196 or check out the webpage.