For a third day in a row the line around Oinkster was a never ending snake of people, all anxiously awaiting their chance to try today’s tribute burger, The NorthEastern, faces pressed to the glass trying to catch a glimpse of the Kings as they floundered unexpectedly against the New Jersey Devils on glowing flat screens. Today’s burger was an homage to Carl’s Jr.’s Western Bacon Cheeseburger, a burger built with bacon, American cheese, BBQ sauce, a beef patty, and two onion rings. Now I’m just going to come right out and confess, I have never eaten at Carl’s Jr. Not ever. Perhaps you think this makes me ill qualified to judge this burger, but if that’s true, I would like to hear your reasons why Carl’s Jr. is worth visiting in the comments section. Educate me.
Now that that confession is over, I want to talk about why I was so excited about this burger. It’s all the guilt. Everyone has a list of foods that for some reason or another either their parents or rabbi or doctor have forbade them from eating. And being the humans that we are, when we break those rules the food tastes even better slathered in a coat of guilt. If you can hear a voice in your head saying “You really shouldn’t be eating that,” the food will be delectable. We can’t help it. We want what we can’t have.
As a Jew the holy grail of this feeling is found in the bacon cheeseburger, which manages to break two of the three kosher laws (I have often thought they should just garnish it with a shrimp and go for the hat trick. Go big or go home.) As if that wasn’t enough; they added onion rings IN the sandwich. I could hear my mother and doctor’s shrieks of horror ringing in my head, as I took the first bite. But I’m not sorry.
Unexpectedly the star of the burger was Oinkster’s homemade tomato based BBQ sauce, which had a smokiness that reigned in the salt of the bacon without overpowering the beef or taking away from the tang of the American cheese. The effect was so dramatic that I’m considering writing a petition to the powers that be to add BBQ sauce as an option on the regular Oinkster burger. Why not let us indulge in that sweetness all the time?
Epilogue: For those of you who are taking the trek to Oinkster tonight be forewarned. The Grill ‘Em All boys are taking over and there is not one special burger tonight but FOUR. Wear your elastic pants and bring your friends.