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Pet Peeves: What Denver Chefs Hate to See on Their Burger

A whole variety of toppings got blacklisted from avocado to ketchup.

Pork burger at Old Major
Pork burger at Old Major
Dining Out

Denver chefs tell all, in honor of Eater's Burger Week. We asked Denver chefs about the one ingredient they don't want to see on a burger. From traditional condiments like ketchup and a tomato to avocado and pickles, chefs are particular about their burgers.

  • Elise Wiggins, Panzano: I don't like side dishes on my burger like onion rings etc. One, the burger is already big. It doesn't need anymore help. Two... I like to eat my sides as sides.
  • Brandon Biederman, Steuben's, Ace: Ketchup, I just don't like the stuff, I had a whole conversation just yesterday about the addition of peanut butter and the line swore by it, but I have yet to try for some reason so I don't know about that one.
  • Paul Reilly, Beast + Bottle: Most people know I despise ketchup, but I'd also say that an unripe tomato is equally as bad. I also hate any other meat on a burger besides bacon.
  • Patrik Landberg, Charcoal: Sliced tomato makes it to hard to eat.
  • Rayme Rossello, Comida: Avocado. Not ever!
  • Dakota Soifer, Cafe Aion: Crappy buns drives me nutz! it is easy to get a good bun, and toast it. but burning it or using stale bread is def not ok.
  • Lon Symensma, ChoLon: Ketchup, I hate it with a passion.
  • Steve Jankousky, Tom's Home Cookin': I'm not an absolutist about anything, if you want peanut butter & banana slices on your burger, go for it!
  • Justin Brunson, Old Major: Too many accoutrements - my pet peeve is really overloaded burgers.
  • Theo Adley, The Squeaky Bean: I'm kind of a burger purist, so for me it's more about the few things I do want on a burger. If I had a pet peeve though, I would say I really don't enjoy a brioche bun as much as some people do, and the fried egg thing for me is kind of a mess.
  • Kevin Morrison, Pinche Tacos: I want simple, Heinz ketchup, yellow mustard, cheddar cheese, iceberg, raw onion, pickles. Leave off the fancy stuff, foie gras really?
  • Pete Ryan, the Plimoth: I think the only thing that doesn't belong on a burger is inferior buns! I hate having a fight with stale buns or too thick buns or brittle funky bread or burger time is precious and I want all of my components to contribute to the burger party.
  • Jorel Pierce, Stoic & Genuine: Anyone can put anything on any burger, it's all about what you like. Burger joints that don't have pickles and mustard (I actually experienced this recently) should be shut down immediately!
  • Hosea Rosenberg, Blackbelly Market: No peanut butter!
  • Alex Seidel, Mercantile Dining & Provision: I think that many places have made the argument that anything can add to a burger. I would agree, can't think of anything that would be awful on a burger, well except any "special sauce" that isn't special. I also can't do warm pickles on my burger. Love cold pickles on the side though.
  • Jenna Johansen, Epicurean: I hate a pickle. I like the pickle on the side. I think I am a purist... I dislike it the most when I can't taste the meat... loads of onion, garlic, and seasonings make it more like meatloaf. Not for me.
  • Frank Bonanno, Mizuna: A stray hair. It's a burger—anything else goes. Except foie gras (what a waste of good liver).
  • Chris Thompson, The Nickel: I can't stand ketchup on a burger or hot dog. It's just too sweet for me. Mustard is my condiment of choice.