Thursday, June 4, 2015

A Patriotic Burger Bloat

Last night, I became a red-blooded American. I can finally brandish my U S of A passport with pride, because I earned it. I earned the right to call myself a Yankee Doodle Dandy, a Proud-To-Be-An-American, a champion of Ye Grand Old Flag, Ye High-Flying Flag.

Last night, I ate the Most American Thickburger at Carl's Jr.

I've never felt so nauseous* and so proud of my citizenship.

Since I'm officially a semi-certified burger critic, I couldn't let such a momentous occasion pass without documenting my experience eating this behemoth of a burger, this over-the-top spectacle. The Most American Thickburger is somewhat simple in its genius. Just take everything that could possibly be labelled American, save for the apple pie and thankfully the baseballs, and shove it between two buns. That's the only thought behind this gross(ly awesome?) display of nationalism on a platter.

The handmade bun, a little thicker and ten times slicker than your average Carl's Jr. burger holder, cradles one burger patty, lettuce, pickles, mustard, ketchup, a slice of whatever passes for cheddar cheese oozed on top of the beef, one hot dog cut lengthwise and criss-crossed on top of the burger, all resting on crunchy bed of Lays kettle-cooked potato chips.

Mm-mmm, good.

Here I am. Note my squeamishness, my frankly unAmerican skepticism in such a glorious meal. That was back when I was younger, foolisher, ten times more communist and at least ten pounds lighter.

I could barely get my mouth around this burger. The thick kettle chips resisted any compression efforts, and the more I pushed down the more the hot dogs slipped towards the edges of the bread, constantly threatening to pop out of the marvelous burger construction.

Eventually I managed to chomp into the thing, my mouth unhinging like snake jaws with every bite, but let me tell you. It was worth it.

USA! USA! USA! With every beat of my heart, slower and slower as the arteries clogged with grease, its rhythm matched this internal chance. How lucky am I to live in a world where this burger exists. The burger was meaty. The pickles were tart. The ketchup and mustard were gloriously mayo-free, just as any good burger should be. This burger is the Real Thing.

And that's without even mentioning the potato chips! I give those chips fifty stars in red, white and blue. They are the Greatest American Heroes. My Captain America, all full of crispity crunch to offset the gooey mess of whatever-it-might-be and the richness of two (or more) dead animals. It's a textural treat to sooth the wild masses.

If there is a chink in the impenetrable armor of this masterpiece, it's the hot dogs. I know, what a shock, but in the words of the immortal Joe E. Brown, nobody's perfect. The hot dogs were pinkish boiled cylinders. They didn't taste bad, per se, but the look and feel against the rest of the burger was a little unappetizing. But again, this is America. The hot dogs must be boiled. It's a nod to our war-time past. If we grilled those things, they might be mistaken for bratwurst, and this is not a German state. We won that war. Boil those dogs loud and proud! It's the American way.

All things must pass, as American hero George Harrison said (yeah, that's right, he's ours now. Suck it, Britain). And even this burger had to come to an end. I got down to one final morsel, a goopy bundle of burger and condiments and what must be cheese, trapped between soggy potato chips. Choking back sobs, both because my culinary experience is at an end and because my entire digestive tract is seizing up, I scarfed that final piece. As I did, I could barely keep from saluting this fine dining experience. Nay, this fine patriotic experience.

Take that, ISIS. Eat it, North Korea. We win. America forever, America the free. We fought through wars, strife, trouble, and it's all culminated in this, our greatest achievement. The Most American Thickburger. Cue the country singer and his leather boots, the waving flags, the fireworks, all of it, because it doesn't get any better. Welcome to the epoch of our country. Truly, we are the greatest nation of all!

Now excuse me, because I think I'll be completely indisposed for the next week or so as I slowly purge this experience from every pore. 'MERICA!

*This is not quite true. Nothing will ever beat the nausea of the Mall of America Deep Fried Oreo Incident of '04.