Kuma’s Corner’s ABSU burger

ABSU

  • Breaded deep fried chiles
  • Queso fresco
  • Red onion and avocado relish
  • Pepperjack cheese
  • Tomatillo salsa
  • 10 oz. beef patty
  • Pretzel bun
Kuma's Corner ABSU burger

ABSU burger from Kuma’s Corner

ABSU LOGO After a slight break from Kuma’s foray into Latin American-inspired Burgers of the Month, I found myself craving the ABSU burger which is an intriguing permanent fixture on the restaurant’s menu honoring the Texan black metal band with a somewhat Tex-Mex burger. The ABSU is a somewhat eclectic, yet suitably regional burger with very vibrant, mild ingredients which tease the palate with all kinds of flavors with some astringency, pungency, a tangy hint and a piquant kick. Without a doubt the most interesting ingredient is the trio breaded deep fried chiles which are still somewhat crunchy inside the thick breading. Hard to say exactly what kind they were, but they were on the milder side and are so great that I just wish they had them as an appetizer. Nothing as decadent as the Fried Japaleño Poppers (more about them later), just something to munch on absentmindedly while headbanging to the great music inside. The queso fresco once again evaded my taste buds like it did with most of the Mexican-inspired burgers and I’d like to think that the crumbles of cheese just kind of meshed with the red onion and avocado relish, allowing the two different textures of the relish’s vegetables to blend together into something somewhat cohesive. If that’s the idea, then it works, because the mild and buttery avocado chunks really added some character to the raw red onions. The pepperjack cheese kicks up the spiciness up a notch, while coating everything with the mild, melty coat of cheese, which covers the tomatillo salsa below. The salsa is also simple and refreshingly pleasant with green, tangy tomatillos, some onion and what felt like serrano peppers, though I’m not 100% sure. This green salsa really takes all of the other ingredients to a whole new level and adds more of the same but in a way that unites all of the vibrancy, especially when it comes to the relish. In the end, the ABSU’s boldness falls the citric, vivid nature of the Goatsnake and the pungent spice of the Plague Bringer, and the best words to describe its flavor is reinvigorating and refreshing. If you are a fan of Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes and love your chiles, you should ABSUlutely give this intriguing burger a shot if you are not into the too extreme.

Appetizer Suggestions:
Kuma's Corner Fried Jalapeno PoppersIt’s pretty obvious, but every time I think chiles or anything spicy I automatically think of the the Fried Japaleño Poppers appetizer. I mean, it’s probably because they are so damn good. Panko-breaded peppers stuffed with cream cheese AND chorizo offered with a spicy balsamic jalapeño raspberry jam dip! See? Good. One of my friends is basically addicted to them and orders them every time we go to Kuma’s and I can’t blame him, really. The heat from the jalapeño is comparable, if not exceeding, the spiciness of the ABSU burger and gets the taste buds nice and ready for the curious, tangy nature of the tomatillo salsa and all the other mild flavors. Additionally, if you really like the Tex-Mex vibe, grab a bowl of Kuma’s chili!

Pairing Suggestions:
When it came to pairing ABSU with a nice beer I also found myself deciding on a suitable beer for my friend’s ABSU. After perusing the menu I almost immediately pointed to Dogfish Head Brewery Festina Pêche Berliner Weisse [4.50% ABV] which was just destined to add its peachy, hazy nuances to the already exciting variety of the ABSU burger. Now, here’s the kicker, folks. I am not a pro, I just do this for the fun of it and everything I’ve learned is from trying it myself or reading about it.. and then trying it. With that being said, try to imagine when the waitress recommended the one and only Festina Pêche out of the dozens, upon dozens of beers on Kuma’s menu. I was on cloud nine at that point and no amount of “I told you!” were enough, so that was great. Personally? I DON’T go for the tried and true, at least not as much, so I decided to start with something dark before the burger evolved. Enter Three Floyds Brewing Moloko Milk/Sweet Stout [8.00% ABV]. With a quickly evanescing foamy head, this dark stout was, true to it’s name, sweet and full of the creamy mouth feel of milk lactose sugars and packed to the brim with chocolate and espresso coffee which the lingering earthiness of golden naked oats. Despite its name and obvious ties to the “ultraviolent” Clockwork Orange, Moloko lacks the bitterness of the polemics or the clearly offensive taste of whatever the heck Moloko Plus is. Instead, this milk stout is very well balanced with enough hop bitterness to add to the sweetness without disturbing it or making it “heavy”. Sure, when it comes to pairing itself, Moloko is probably not ABSU’s bestest droogie, which is why I ordered a Forbidden Root Sublime Ginger American Pale Wheat Ale [3.80% ABV]. Remember when I said that ABSU was ecclectic, yet regionally traditional and vibrant? Forbidden Root is a relatively new Chicago brewery that pretty much thrives on the same eclectic and eccentric logic, and their beers are brewed with all kinds of fancy, fresh botanicals. I say “brewed”, but their methods are closer to alchemy, and one can really taste the difference in their expanding line of beers. Sublime Ginger immediately clicked with ABSU and embraced all the fresh, lively flavors of the burger with its very own blend of baby ginger root and key lime juice. This wasn’t the pickled ginger feature on the Church of Misery burger’s coleslaw, this was a much milder variety with a refreshing, lingering botanical taste paired with the tangy lime. Hints of spice, notes of citrus carried that wheat beer and really, really, REALLY made it shine. If you find yourself ordering an ABSU, definitely give Sublime Ginger a shot. I guarantee that you’ll enjoy this pairing.

 

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