Thursday, October 28, 2010

Anatomy of a Blimpy Burger

If you're one of those people who dislikes yelling out your order in front of a bunch of people only to get called out for it by a skanky short order cook who looks like Ted Nugent, do not go to Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger. During our recent visit, a guy about eight people ahead of us in line had his wife order for him. Having your wife order for you at Blimpy Burgers is like admitting you're a big pussy. The cook - a tough, red-headed Ted Nugent lookalike - called him on it.

"I want to hear it from you!" she yelled, laying him open for all of us to see.

This kind of stuff doesn't unnerve me because I know you have to go into Blimpy Burger prepared. You can't waver or be indecisive or God forbid, hide behind your spouse as she orders for you. You go in ready to kick some ass. You start with your deep fryer order (ours: fried zucchini and fries, SIR!), you then move on to your burger size and bun (doubles on kaisers), you then tell them what grilled items and type of cheese you want (mushrooms, onions, swiss), and then you breathe a huge sigh of relief, like you do at the end of a double root canal. The hard part is over.

Blimpy Burger isn't an ordinary burger place and that's thanks to its sort of unconventional burgers (and, yes, its wet-your-pants ordering system). The burgers are more of a loose meat patty, architecturally built with a multitude of toppings. They start out as golf ball size chunks of ground beef that get whacked down hard with a spatula into very thin, irregularly shaped patties. The advantage of this is irregular shaped patty = little bits of crunchiness (thinner meat chars more quickly) which counter the greasiness/juiciness of the meat. I don't know it this was well thought out or intentional, but it certainly is wondrous.

Before the whacking:

After the whacking:

There also has been much discussion about the number of patties one should order and I've concluded that three gives you the perfect ratio of meat to bun. Four, or a quad, is good for Big and Tall Shop patrons. Five, or a quint, is obscene, and best left to marijuana-fueled post-fraternity party forays or trying to impress your girlfriend. Just a note: for fear of too much meat, I would never order a triple anywhere else. But it just works at Blimpy's.

A word about the griddle: grease. A word about the line: long. A word about the burger: one of the best you'll ever have.

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