Here in L.A., when it comes to burgers, people talk about Nancy Silverton's hamburger meat, but strangely, nobody ever mentions her buns. I was making Nancy's classic burger buffet for my family recently, and in addition to the famously fatty blend of 18% fat prime chuck with an extra, whopping 20% fat (that's fat trimmed from all the best cuts of meat) ground in, sold as "Nancy Silverton Grind" at Huntington Meats in the Original Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax, I went to buy the buns she now also insists on.
NS used to serve her burgers on crusty European-style rolls. It's not that I have anything against crusty European-style anything, it's just not what I want in a hamburger bun. Me and her boyfriend, a crime reporter who sometimes writes under the pen name Morty Goldstein, often rebelled and bought soft, cheap grocery store buns for ourselves. Then Nancy found these—Thees Continental Pastries.
When I asked the guy behind the counter, who turned out to the be the owner, Thee—just to be sure—if this was where Nancy Silverton got her buns, he showed me the buns, and also a blank stare. I asked him for 18 of them. As he was ringing me up, he told me I'd bought his every bun. "We've been selling a lot of them lately," Thee said. "You might want to call and place a special order next time." I told him that the reason for the sudden spike in sales may be because Nancy's been talking them up to her food-obsessed friends, which is pretty much all of them. Then he indicated that he didn't know who she was, "But I'm glad to hear she likes our buns." I loved his innocence. More than anything, I loved the buns. Soft and ever-so-slightly sweet with the thinnest, crustiest of crusts. Split them open, brush them lightly (but all the way to the edges!) with melted butter, and put them on the grill for a minute or two just to get some color and crispness. A great American burger bun if ever there was one. I mean, if hamburgers were French, it might be a different story.
Here's the Goods
Thee's Continental Pastries
The Original Farmers Market
(Third & Fairfax)
You might want to call and put in an order...