Grilled: Robyn Lee, Editor of A Hamburger Today


Burger-centric interviews with chefs, writers, and other food lovers.

Note: Today I'm interviewing...myself. Strange? A bit. But I'm the editor, so there's no one else to interview me. I hope this helps to put a face behind the name you find under most of these posts!


I thought about using a more normal photo, but then decided, "Nope."

Name: Robyn Lee
Location: New York City
Occupation: Food blogger, editor of AHT, photographer for Serious Eats

How often do you eat burgers? It varies; could be once one week, a few times another week, or not at all. My consumption has gone way, way up since I started writing for AHT.

Where did you eat your most recent one? SquareBurger in Philadelphia (writeup forthcoming).

Cheese: American, cheddar, other? I like American. Whatever's melty.

Ketchup or mustard? Ketchup over mustard, but I wouldn't add either to a burger.

Sesame-seed or plain? I like sesame action. It's more important that the bun is of the soft and fluffy sort, like a potato roll.

Grilled, griddled, or broiled? Griddled. Not that it really matters as long as its tasty.

And how would you like that done? Medium rare. I know a more well done burger can still taste good and be juicy, but most of the time I find that those burgers too dry, or meh, or bleh, or...they just make me sad. Keep in mind you're talking to someone who likes steak tartare.

Would you do us the favor of describing your perfect burger? Well salted, coarsely ground meat patty, slice of American cheese completely melted on top, maybe some pickles, on a soft potato roll that has been buttered and toasted. Butter is important. Slather it on, please.

The hamburger is a food item with which most Americans have strong childhood associations. Do you remember your earliest encounter with this delicious dish? Nope. But growing up, I didn't really eat burgers. Assuming my first encounter with a burger was at McDonald's, I don't think you can blame me. (I was a 4-Piece Chicken McNugget Happy Meal kind of gal.)

What's your favorite fast-food burger? In-N-Out.

What topping or condiment, in your opinion, should never grace a burger? I can't think of any one condiment assuming we're including fairly normal toppings and not like "stewed worms." It's more of the number of toppings that would bother me than the type. I love avocados and would be fine with that on a burger, but I don't want a burger topped with avocado, bacon, sour cream, and mushrooms.

What's the most unusual burger you've ever eaten? The rice bun burger from Lotteria in South Korea. The rice bun falls apart. What's the point? :(

What's the most overrated burger you've tried? Most underrated? Has Corner Bistro been mentioned enough already as overrated? As for underrated, I never hear anyone talking about the burger in Fairway Cafe. Not that it blew my socks off, but I really liked it. Also, I love the burger from Diner.

For some crazy reason, you're going vegetarian. Where do you go for your final burger? I'd be boring and go to Shake Shack (my favorite burger in New York City), but that has a lot to do with the ambiance of sitting in a park in addition to the burger. I'd be pretty content eating their shroom burgers after switching to vegetarian.

How did you become the editor of AHT? AHT founder and managing editor of Serious Eats Adam asked me, "Hey you wanna be the editor of AHT?" And I said, "OK!" Yes, that's pretty much it. And yes, I'm pretty damn lucky.