Doling out dishes like beef fat fries with roasted garlic and rosemary, smoked pork shoulder nachos and a variety of burgers, Eatbar is one of the most lauded gastropubs in our nation’s capital.
The pimento cheeseburger—two all-beef patties, each topped with a smattering of pimento cheese, as well as tomato jam and crispy bacon—has graced the Eatbar menu since it debuted in June 2016. Ask executive chef Nathan Anda if he’ll ever take it off? “Never.”
For the pimento cheese, Anda uses Duke’s Mayonnaise, a beloved condiment hailing from Greenville, South Carolina, that can be found in many pantries of the Southeastern United States. “I think it has the best well-rounded flavor for mayo,” he says, “It’s not too thick and has the right amount of acid.”
Those new to pimento cheese heed warning from Anda: “It’s important not to overdo the amount—and pay attention to the timing of [putting it] on the patty,” he says. “My pimento cheese is mayonnaise-based, so if too much is added it will leak out of the bun. And if it’s added too early or allowed to get really hot, it will separate.”
Here’s how to make it at home.
Pimento CheeseburgerRecipe courtesy of Executive Chef Nathan Anda, Eatbar, Washington, D.C.
For the Smoked Duke’s Mayonnaise:
1/2 cup Duke’s Mayonnaise
1 lemon, juiced
For the Smoked Pimento Cheese:
1/2 cup smoked Duke’s Mayonnaise
3/4 cup Duke’s Mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon smoked pimentón (such as La Chinata)
1 red pepper, roasted, seeds removed and julienned
1/2 bunch scallions (greens only), finely chopped
1 cup grated yellow cheddar
4 burger patties (recommended 6-ounces each, 75% / 25%, made of brisket, chuck, sirloin and round, ground twice)
4 sturdy burger buns (i.e., challah)
unsalted butter, at room temperature, for toasting buns
8 ounces smoked pimento cheese
4 ounces tomato jam or other pickled condiment
Cooked bacon strips, for serving
salt and pepper
1. Make the Smoked Duke’s Mayonnaise: Place 1/2 cup Duke’s mayo in a stainless steel bowl and leave in the smoker, uncovered, for about one hour. (The mayonnaise will naturally take on a smoky flavor on the top layer.) Remove from smoker and stir well; add lemon juice and stir to combine. Season to taste and reserve.
2. Make the Smoked Pimento Cheese: Combine both mayonnaises, lemon juice, cayenne, pimentón, red peppers and scallions in a large bowl and mix well; fold in cheddar; season to taste. Reserve.
3. Assemble the Burgers: Season burger patties with salt and pepper. Split buns in half and spread room temperature butter on both sides. Heat griddle or pan sprayed with cooking oil to medium-high heat. Place patties on griddle for 30 seconds; after 30 seconds, press the patty with a weight to flatten the patties and allow to cook for an additional minute. Place buns next to burger to toast.
4. Once buns are toasted, remove from griddle and place a dollop of tomato jam on each bottom half.
5. Meanwhile, place a dollop of pimento cheese on each patty and allow the cheese to get warm, being careful to not let it sizzle. Remove patties from heat, stacking two on top of tomato jam. Top with bacon and the top of the burger bun and go to town.
Photo courtesy of Eatbar.