Synopsis

 

Hamburger America is a documentary film by the award-winning New York based cinematographer George Motz. It is the story of eight deliciously unique hamburger locations across the country and the people behind the burgers. Each restaurant featured in the film has been around for more than forty years, uses only fresh meat, and in many cases can boast the fact that ownership has stayed in the family. Not only is each establishment family run, but their booths, counters and stools have seen families come together and grow over the years. The tenets of tradition, family, and pride are what make Hamburger America a truly American tale.

 

Hamburger America takes you on a cross country road trip stopping once in Chicago, IL; Santa Fe, NM; Sedalia, MO; Memphis, TN; Meers, OK; Milwaukee, WI; Meriden, CT,  and New Haven , the birthplace of the hamburger sandwich.

 

In Connecticut, at Ted's Steamed Cheeseburgers, you'll meet Paul Duberek whose father Ted pioneered the idea of steaming cheeseburgers in a specially designed steam cabinet.

 

From there, the burger trip continues to Memphis where the burgers come with extra ‘Vitamin G’ thanks to the 93 year tradition of deep-frying hamburgers that has been perfected at Dyer's Burgers.

 

Back in Connecticut we visit Louis' Lunch and the 3rd and 4th generations of the Lassen family.  The Lassens have been cooking their signature burgers on the same upright flame broilers since 1900.

 

Heading west to the old Route 66 we visit a former cowboy outpost and gun shop, The Bobcat Bite, where husband and wife team John and Bonnie Eckre pride themselves on hand grinding the beef each morning and then smothering their 9oz super lean burger with fresh New Mexican green chile.

 

Back on the ranch in Oklahoma, you'll meet the one and only Joe Maranto at the Meers Store who raises his own Texas longhorn cattle for the burgers in his restaurant. Joe's is proud to boast that his 7 inch round burger that is served on a pie tin is 97% lean and 100% natural.

 

In Chicago, The Billy Goat Tavern is where you'll meet Sam Sianis, the man behind the famous ‘cheezborger! cheezborger!’ SNL skit starring John Belushi. Sam is also the nephew of the man responsible for the infamous Billy Goat hex on the Chicago Cubs.

 

Glenn Fieber at Solly's Grille in dairy proud Wisconsin is keeping his family tradition alive with the butter burger, an all-beef patty that literally swims in pure Wisconsin butter.

 

The hamburger journey ends in Missouri at The Wheel Inn where John Brandkant's family has been slathering his ‘Guberburgers’ in peanut butter for close to 50 years.

 

This is the second documentary film for Motz. His first film, Benches, the story of a Long Island beach club, touched on similar themes of family and tradition. He is thrilled to be working on a project that combines two of his passions in life: filmmaking and hamburgers. The trailer for the film can be viewed at www.hamburgeramerica.com.  Enjoy!

 

 

George Motz/Casey Benjamin

4/1/04