Monday, May 3, 2010 2:27:13 AM
Sorry, I'm a nerd.
The quality of fast food in general has gone completely to the dogs, even though at this point I'm not even sure dogs would eat most of it anymore. No one fast food item has suffered the indignity of econo food progress quiet like the basic hamburger.
Half of the time when you peel back the foil wrapper to masticatory happiness, you are more than likely to find an assembly of items that appear to have been thrown on by someone who is obviously trying to practice their ability to throw balls at stacked jugs at the state fair. Either that or they are now doing this job because they failed at their dream of becoming a famous poker dealer in Vegas. It is standard practice nowadays to make sure that all the lettuce is not on your burger but is surrounding it like a halo of leafy moss on a hilly moor.
My personal favorite is when all the pickles and mayo are on one side of the burger, the lettuce is scattered in the food wrapper somewhere and the cheese is only attached to the patty by 1/4th so that the remainder is now grafted to the paper and you have to scrape it off in order to eat it. (Actually, "cheese paper", is sort of fun to mess with don't you think? Sort of like a mini game in the middle of the larger video game.)
And might I ask, why doesn't anyone pre-season before cooking anymore? Yes, I know we have to be sensitive to those that cannot consume salt, but if you are on that restrictive a diet then I'm sure that you are not suppose to be eating burgers in the first place. Often the difference between a great hamburger and a good hamburger is just a touch of sodium.
My husband and I often order burgers first at any new restaurant we try because if they cannot even make a decent burger, then I'm not so keen on sampling anything else they make either. We also joke about what we call, "The Patty Scale." If you could eat the burger with just the patty alone and be happy, then it's a great burger. If you have to load it up with every topping on the market to make it edible...well...then it's just mediocre.
Why is there a sudden flood of hamburgers topped with habanero/ranch/mayo, 6 slices of pepper jack cheese, about roughly 60 jalapeno slices, squirted with chipotle BBQ sauce on top of a jalapeno bun? I don't see that as food. For me that is a phone call thirty minutes later for an ambulance when my stomach acid starts to eat through to my ribs! I'd really like to shake the hand of any person that can eat something like that and live. I'm sure that person would have to be some 19 yr. old guy in college with a brain and intestines haven't been quiet as beat down with experience yet.
I'm waiting to see what the next burger topping craze is going to be. Perhaps pork rinds instead of onion straws and a hearty slathering of mango chutney. Or maybe balsamic/wasabi sauce with artichoke hearts, walnuts, black olives, plus a dollop of ranch.
So my friends, as I stood there one day at lunch waiting on my burger, I could see with a touch of sadness the guy at the grill that was making mine slapping on about a sparrow-sized wad of pickles and squirting ketcup everywhere but at the bun. Sort of more around the burger like a red tomato moat. He actually looked up at me as he was squishing my food with the heel of his hand before he wrapped it, which was sure to guarantee that the bun would be a soggy mess even before he folded the last corner of foil shut.
I secretly have always suspected that fast food employees just sort of step on your burger before the bag it, but now I know that they just punch it instead.
I don't know why he felt he had to do that last bit. Maybe he just thinks that lettuce halos are pretty. Or maybe he's just tired of the job misery and has to get his kicks somehow.
But maybe I'm tired of burger punks like him squishing my food.
Well your not going to intimidate me you food service sadist! I'll still eat your ill made burger even if I have to reassemble it at the table myself!