Making Bison/Lamb Juicy Lucy’s with Buttermilk Ranch Cheese Curds Topped with Wisconsin Brick Cheese and Bacon

Whenever my good friends and I get together to grill, we do it big. For the Fourth of July, it was our obligation as patriotic Americans to do Independence Day justice. Enacting a “Never Say No” policy at Metcalfe’s and Brennan’s Market in Madison, WI, we set a lofty goal for ourselves: to create the best burgers we’ve ever eaten.

Upon crafting bison/lamb Juicy Lucy’s stuffed with buttermilk ranch cheese curds and topped with Wisconsin brick cheese and specialty bacon on a pretzel bun, we passed with flying colors. The flavor symphony was more beautiful than any orchestra; ketchup and mustard were simply unnecessary.

Here’s how we made them:

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Sports Rapport Is Closed Through Monday, July 9th

I’m headed up to Wisconsin AKA God’s Country for a week and will not be doing any posting.

If you find yourself struggling to make it throughout the week without my sports and food commentary, here are some of my greatest hits from the past year:

25 Things Wisconsin Democrats and Republicans Can Agree are Awesome

SPORTS

Badger Basketball: Where Are They Now?

Rooting for Allen Iverson

Aaron Rodgers Just Got Named the NFL’s Best Player by His Peers; What is His Ceiling?

With 79 NFL DUIs Since 2007, It is Time For An Automatic Four-Game Suspension

How Much Would 304-lb Tackle David Diehl Need to Drink to Blow a .18?

– Charles Barkley Says Larry Bird Drank Him Under the Table, LeBron Haters Led By Punk-Ass Skip Bayless

LeBron James Has ‘The Look’

Under the Radar, LeBron James is Having His Best Season

So Was That Egregious Pacquaio Decision Corrupt or Incompetent?

8 Better Ways to Spend $64.99 Than Ordering Pacquaio-Bradley

8 Better Ways to Spend $69.95 Than Ordering Mayweather-Cotto

Who are the Preakness Owners and How Did They Make Their Money?

TRIP DIARIES

A Day Trip to Auschwitz

EuroCup part I; EuroCup part II

Green Bay for Packers-Giants playoff and epic weekend

Indianapolis for Big Ten title game

Losing on a last-second hail mary to Michigan State

Losing on a last-minute hail mary at Ohio State

Madison for Nebraska, Will’s Northwoods for Packers-Broncos

Joe Paterno

Why Joe Paterno HAD to Go

Joe Paterno’s Complicated Legacy

New Emails Confirm That Joe Paterno Acted in Self-Preservation to Cover Up Jerry Sandusky

FOOD

Trying the New Cantina Bell Burrito Bowl From Taco Bell

How to Make Enchilada Pie

World Wide Wednesdays

Via Google.

My Daily Meal Food Slideshows

Here.

Chicagoist Archive

On Will’s Northwoods Inn, Q101, some more.

Other

HuffPo long read on medical marijuana industry and policy in Colorado.

On The Awl: What Return Can You Expect on That $2 Lottery Ticket?

Sconnie Nation Keeps Growing

#ViewFromMySeats

I snuck into some pretty good ones after getting into Wrigley for $15 right before the pouring rain turned into an absolutely beautiful day…

Paul Maholm pitched 8.1 shutout innings and Alfonso Soriano hit a home run onto Waveland as the Cubs blanked the Astros 4-0.

#ViewFromYourSeats

Kevin, the Sports Rapport reader who graciously provided me the tickets to the three matches I went to in Poland last week, sent in his view from today’s Italy vs Germany EuroCup semi-final match in Warsaw:

In case you missed them, here are my EuroCup entries:

Portugal vs Czech Republic in Warsaw, Germany vs Greece in Gdansk, England vs Italy at a sports bar in London

Italy vs Ireland in Poznan

A Day Trip to Auschwitz

Eating McDonald’s in Warsaw and London

Eating McDonald’s in Warsaw and London

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved McDonald’s. I distinctly remember collecting the large stadium cups bearing the Dream Team in 1992–six-year old me must have been a joy to parent during that pursuit–but I’m pretty sure I was hooked even before that.

I’ve never really understood why McDonald’s gets such a bad rap from the “America needs to be less obese” people (who are right in their campaign even as they are wrong in scapegoating McDonald’s); it’s not as if McDonald’s food is any worse for you than its direct fast food competitors KFC, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Taco Bell, sit-down restaurants like Applebee’s and TGI Friday’s, or anything that’s ever been on Man vs Food or Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Even at Subway, a footlong meatball sub–which in my opinion is the only sandwich on the menu worth ordering–has 960 calories, 420 more than a Big Mac. For its contribution to our obesity epidemic, McDonald’s receives a disproportionate share of the blame.

The standardization that McDonald’s has achieved on a global scale is one of the most impressive feats of the human race. Almost everywhere in the world, a Big Mac, fries, and a Coke will be exactly what you are expecting out of a Big Mac, fries, and a Coke. I have no idea how they have accomplished this but it’s extremely comforting to know that wherever I am, I can order something and know exactly what I’m getting.

When I travel, I always make sure to try McDonald’s menu items that are not available in America.

In Warsaw, I ordered the EuroBurger, an exquisite double cheeseburger with lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles on bread that has the form, but not taste, of a pretzel bun:

Photo credit: payneforums.com

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Trip Diary: EuroCup Part II

What a week! I have A LOT to cover. Since I last wrote, I went to Portugal vs Czech Republic in Warsaw, Greece vs Germany in Gdansk, watched two matches in the Warsaw fan zone and an England loss at a huge sports bar in London, and had three nights where I saw the sunrise. I shared drinks, meals, and/or conversations with people from America, Canada, Bulgaria, Poland, Finland, Russia, Norway, Ireland, England, Italy, Germany, India, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Here are some of the highlights:

Czech Republic vs Portugal in Warsaw

Like Ireland vs Italy, this was a match where it was clear after about 10 minutes that the Czech Republic’s best chance to win would come from a 120-minute 0-0 tie followed by a shoot-out victory; it just looked like they could play for 10 hours and not score except via a fluky breakaway or penalty. Portugal’s goal came on a beautiful Cristiano Ronaldo header that bounced up off the ground at about a 45-degree angle and took a short hop over the Czech goalie. The timing, strength, and coordination of this goal were unfathomable:

To make it even better, the goal happened RIGHT in front of us. For this game, I was supposed to sit by myself but was struck by unbelievably good fortune. Kevin, my dad’s friend who invited me on the trip, was having issues connecting with the person he bought his tickets from on Ebay. They were supposed to meet by the stadium but the scalper’s phone was dead for an hour as repeated calls and text messages went unreturned. During this fiasco, we ran into a ticket broker from Toronto who I had met on the train back from Auschwitz the day before. He set us up with someone who had 8th-row seats which would have been between the 20- and 30-yard lines on an NFL field. These three seats ended up being in the same section as those he was supposed to buy and were seven rows closer to the field. Also, the three tickets were 150 euros cheaper in total than the two that he was supposed to buy.

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Trip Diary: EuroCup Part 1

As I sit in the lobby of the OkiDoki hostel in Warsaw, I finally have time to reflect on the whirlwind that has been my past 48 hours. What a journey! Going to do my best to do it justice in running diary format in the next hour before I head out to the big Fan Zone to watch the elimination match between England and Ukraine.

Sunday

6:00 AM – Time to wake up and get on the el for my 9:10 AM flight from Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow. In what might be a new personal record, I fully packed the night before and am not waking up viciously hungover. Well I guess this is growing up.

8:30 – I didn’t have time to take a picture before voraciously consuming it but the turkey, bacon, cheddar bakery sandwich with chipotle mayo at Dunkin Donuts is exquisite. If you haven’t tried it yet, please do it soon so it doesn’t go away and force me to spend the rest of my life chasing that food dragon.

9:10 – And we’re off! The flight to London is moderately painless – after six flights to and from Asia over the past two years, the seven-hour flight to Heathrow is a breeze. I sleep for half of it.

Monday

12:00 AM London time – I situate myself in the Heathrow arrivals terminal, which is basically a refugee zone for the dozen or so travelers like myself who have overnight layovers; this will be my home for the next nine hours. I discover that I can buy wifi for 10 pounds and that it lasts a month. This entry is serving as my reminder to cancel the monthly Boingo service after next week’s 17-hour layover.

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