He’s climbin’ in your window,
He’s snatchin’ your people up.
– Antoine Dodson “Bed Intruder Song”
Burger of the Month at Kuma’s Schaumburg for February, 2016
- Arugula salad seasoned with citrus vinaigrette
- Jumbo crab cake infused in Half Acre Pony Pilsner
- Roasted peppers
- Red onions
- Pickle aioli remoulade
- 10oz. beef patty
- Pretzel bun
January is dead! Long live February! New months mean new BOTMs, so to Kuma’s Schaumburg we went, and an Oozing Wound we got – the crab cake burger named after the Oozing Wound Chicagoan thrash metal collective (Damn, not gonna be able to make any crustacean punk jokes today..), not the result of an unfortunate stroll in Chiraq, of course.
Though the name is not the most appetizing, the Oozing Wound burger surprises with a uncharacteristic simplicity for Kuma’s creations, only to be immediately replaced with delicious complexity from the get-go.
It’s like, imagine your date inviting you to Netflix and chill and then whipping out this surf and turf thing and a
bottle of wine pilsner right before Jack Niholson’ goes all “Heeeeere’s Johnny!” – it’s the perfect amount of intrigue, comfort, and just the right amount of upscale dining while still feeling like you’re being yourself, you know? And no annoying cutting and de-shelling either, just burger. That’s the Oozing Wound in a crab shell. Heh.
The jumbo crab cake takes the… cake here, of course, and it is infused with Half Acre Pony Pilsner Pilsner [5.80% ABV] whose lingering citrus notes pair well with the fried crustaceany goodness. Present in every bite, the equally fluffy, flaky and crispy crab cake was mild and cooked so that nothing obfuscated the actual taste of crab. Its inclusion in the Oozing Wound burger is probably a nod to its arthropod cousin on the album cover of Retrash, by the way.
I do have these Thai cough “drops” made from dried black centipedes, so I could see if the taste similarities are there… I’d rather not, though.
To add on to the crab cake, the burger is adorned with arugula salad seasoned with a citrus vinaigrette, and chock-full of roasted red peppers and fresh red onions, and I’d take that on most of my burgers, any day. Bells peppers and onions are standard fare when it comes to the goo ole “krabby patty”, especially when the crab cake is relatively simple, and arugula is always a very clever addition to a burger, because it really slows down the chowing down. It’s just so easy to add a lot of it, and when your other ingredients are a tender crab cake and a medium rare patty, well, you need something to add to the experience by prolonging it. Combine that with the remoulade-style pickle aioli which adds an additional scoop of tangy and creamy tartaresque pungency to the whole mix, and you’ve got yourself a great surf and turf burger with a zesty bite, and the lingering aftertaste of red onions.
Hefeweizens in their unfiltered beauty are a natural pairing for a good crab cake, though I decided to play it simple and started the night and paired with Half Acre Pony Pilsner Pilsner [5.80% ABV]. It’s a great pils from the critically acclaimed Half Acre brewery, which many Chicagoans consider to be the best when it comes to local craft brews, with Half Acre Daisy Cutter Pale Ale [5.20% ABV] easily clearing the field with the power of aluminum. Heh…. Anyway, the Pony Pilsner is a great little addition to a long list of traditional pilsners which are just now getting spearheaded by more innovative interpretations of the style. Pony Pilsner is one such innovation. While most pilsners strive to implant the image of a lazy stroll down Prague’s cobbled streets and marionette shows, Pony Pilsner is more akin to riding a giddy up stick horse on a freshly mowed lawn as a fully grown and fully drunk adult. It’s boozier, more citrusy, very grassy, and with a figure that may have been light at some point, but now is like a dad body yearning for a six pack. It’s just so great! Add a pleasant cloudiness and a head that retains all that lemon aroma, and Pony Pilsner is just a delicious pairing for the crab cake on the Oozing Wound.