Stop The Tall Hamburger Epidemic


The other day, I read an article about a 10,500 calorie burger offered by a pub in the U.K. (picture for reference).

Some of you are probably thinking, “I want that in my mouth.” Others are probably thinking, “Why?” You know what I am thinking? How the hell is someone supposed to even eat that thing? I realize the U.K. is not part of America, but it illustrates my point. This goliath obviously cannot be consumed like a normal hamburger, and it is part of a growing and disturbing trend of giant hamburgers, sandwiches, and traditionally handheld foods that could in no way be reasonably eaten by hand.

In my case, the straw that finally broke the camel’s back, causing me to have a small mental and emotional breakdown, happened last weekend when I went to Slater’s 50/50 in Pasadena to finally try one of the restaurant’s burgers. For those of you not wealthy or beautiful enough to live in Southern California, Slater’s 50/50 is known for its 50 percent ground bacon, 50 percent ground beef burgers. I will start by saying that the 50/50 patty definitely met the hype my friends had put behind it: strong bacon flavor but with the juicy texture of a quality burger. The toppings were just was delicious, both flavorful and fresh. The execution, however, was terrible. I didn’t take a photo — I prefer to eat my food, not document it — but here’s one from the company website.

For perspective, there’s the handle of a six-inch steak knife peeking out from the top. Needless to say, after one and a half labored bites, half the toppings fell out, the patty was slipping around like a dropped bar of soap in a San Quentin shower, the structural integrity of the bun was severely compromised, and my hands were covered in sauce and grease. Not wanting to eat my meal like an animal and have my hands smell like bacon, beef, and ketchup the rest of the day while I engaged in irresponsible day drinking, I quickly gave up and ate the rest of the burger with a fork and knife.

The worst part is that it’s not just small chains like Slater’s and one-off restaurants that are contributing to the problem. Nationwide fast-food chains like Carl’s Jr. (or Hardee’s for those of you east of the Mississippi) have been increasing the height of their burgers for years, and at casual dining restaurants, these extra tall burgers seem to be becoming the rule, not the exception. I’m all for this renaissance of an American staple replacing what used to be plain and mass-produced factory-grade food with new and higher quality ingredients, but at what cost? I want a burger I can hold in my hands and eat without dislocating my jaw as I watch half the toppings fall out. I know people will tell me to just go to McDonald’s or Burger King for a regular sized burger, but I’m an adult with a retirement plan — I don’t want that garbage. Is it so much to ask that someone makes a delicious burger with quality ingredients that isn’t half a foot tall?

Restaurateurs across America, I’m calling you out. Shave down the buns, makes the patties thinner, smash down the toppings — I don’t care how you do it, just make it happen. In the meantime, you can find me at Slater’s eating a hamburger with a fork and knife, because that 50/50 patty was delicious.

Image via Shutterstock

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I'm a hard seven swimming in a sea of fives and sixes, life is good.

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