"It is possible to die from eating. But I think to be professional means you don't die." (Takeru Kobayashi)

Monday, October 30, 2006


So I sat back down after grilling the Clinton Station Diner staff about the giant burger. Twenty minutes later, Heather’s hot turkey sandwich arrived. My burger did not. Oh well, I told myself, two pound burgers take time. Still, it seemed odd to bring out the other person’s order beforehand. After all, isn’t that why they invented heat lamps (something Heather’s lukewarm turkey thing could have used a few minutes under)?

I told Heather to go ahead and eat. As she was finishing her meal, my Leaning Tower of Burger was being carried toward out table. My eyes grew wide. My stomach growled.
The burger was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. I’ve put two one-pound burgers together at Fuddruckers to make a “two-pounder,” but this one dwarfed it. After removing the top bun to add the requisite ketchup and A1, I soon found out why.

The meat patty itself was MAYBE one inch thick. The lettuce and what looked like one whole tomato was another inch. No cheese, no pickles, no onions. The rest of the beast – about another 4 inches—was bun. Two-and-a-half inches for the top and one-and-a-half for the bottom. Granted, that’s roughly proportional for a burger the diameter of a dinner plate, but it was the density of the buns that really took me by surprise.

CLINTON DINER 4This wasn’t a light, fluffy hamburger bun like you’d find in packs of eight at the supermarket. This thing was heavy—like thick, doughy foccachia bread on steroids. The top was hard and crunchy. Leave a dinner roll out on the kitchen counter for four days and then knock on it with your knuckle. That’s what this bun was like. Cutting into it sent shards of crispy, dark brown crust all over the table.

The taste was just like Beautiful Brian had warned, like prison meatloaf. I think I saw a shred of onion in the beef, but other than that, there was no discernable attempt to season the meat in any way.

The only real way to eat it was to cut it into pie-like pieces and the only way to eat those pieces was to remove the helmet-like top bun and eat the rest like an open faced sandwich. That left the top part of the bun on my plate. If this were a competition I would’ve tried to eat the top bun, but it wasn’t a competition and there was no way I was going to force down that slab of dough just for the sake of it.

Right about then, Heather reminded me that I didn’t get the fries I’d ordered. I just laughed and kept eating.

In the best interests of time—and the fact that Heather had already finished her pumpkin pie and was staring at me with a “when are we getting back on the road” look—I decided to cap my eating time at 30 minutes. Twenty minutes into the burger I told Heather I was going to “respect the meat.” With that, I removed the beef patty from the uneaten half of the burger, covered it in A1 and ketchup, and ate it before paying the tab and hitting the road.

So long Clinton Station Diner. Next stop, Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't wait for the write-up comparing the two....

See ya at Denny's!!!

8:29 PM

Anonymous ojrifkin said...

Thanks for the trip report. I guess the claim that Kate Stelnick finished the Zeus burger has no basis in fact (see attached link). Even if they have no Wall of Fame I assume such a feat would be remembered if it actually took place.

11:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've always had my doubts about that whole kate stelnick shenanigan.

8:25 AM

Blogger Carey said...

Nothing beats a couple dozen White Castles on soft rolls. None of those giant burger rolls look appetizing.

1:34 AM

Blogger Mega Munch said...

I agree wholeheartedly, Carey. As a self-proclaimed "burger aficionado," I'd rather chow down on two or three "small" half pounders prepared with loving care than some meatstrocity thrown together for mere shock value.

But every now and then it's fun to slay a monster.

8:10 AM


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