My Pilgrimage from LA to NY to eat the New York Pizza Burger (pt 2)

Get caught up with Part 1! You will want to at least look at the picture for comparison.

Everyone knew that the Pizza Burger was the main attraction of my visit (besides the man-dates with Pete) so the general feeling was one of unspoken respect, although in hindsight I may have mistaken disgust for respect. We didn’t really talk about it the first day and when we did it was all jokes trying to convince ourselves that what we were about to do was going to be fun and exciting. The first mistake we made was scoping the joint that afternoon. We already knew the pizza burger would be my last hoorah in NY but since we were in Times Square for the MoMa and the Museum of Sex we had to stop by and see the fabled BK Whopper Bar with our own eyes.

In my mind this bar was a posh, dimly lit place with well dressed individuals sitting in overly comfortable chairs drinking martini’s served by a hot but sophisticated looking female waitress all while eating BK burger as unique as an individual snowflake. It was a magical land of fat and cholesterol that many dreamt of seeing and few ever did… I shot for the stars with that day dream and unfortunately fell upon Uranus. What the inside of the BK Whopper Bar really looks like is a slightly darker colored burger king with a second level for extra seating. Pete and I were disappointed to say the least but decided to try a burger anyways because the menu only consists of items unique to the location. Again in my mind I pictured a chef in the back with the big sus hat whipping out a huge chunk of fresh ground beef, spicing that baby up, and flame grilling it over an open coal fire. Once again I was let down. The frozen patties made for a terrible 2:1 bun to burger ratio (every burger eater knows the generally accepted industry average for a good burger is 1:1) and the extra mayo prevented me from finishing the entire thing for fear of not being able to go out that night (and go out we did!). We took the glass half full approach by convincing ourselves things could only improve. Sometimes I hate being positive.

Pete spent the entirety of the next morning claiming he had converted back to vegetarianism in a fruitless effort to get out of eating the Pizza Burger with me. I will admit that I definitely lacked the intensity and drive I had originally felt when boarding the plane but I knew that I would never be able to look in the mirror again if I left New York without eating the PB. So, with Kathryn to cheer us on, Pete and I reluctantly left the safety of their apartment to ride the subway to the depths of indigestion.

We’ve all heard the saying fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me (or in GW Bush’s mind, fool me once shame on… uh…. Shame on…. See fool me once you can’t never fool me again) but I often enjoy ignoring sound anecdotal wisdom so again I let my imagination got the best of me. Here’s how my PB dream went.

I would walk in to the BK lounge only after having a young squire announce my name and signal the trumpets which would then blast gallons of confetti over my head with their epic roar. Everyone in the Whopper Bar would turn and whisper to each other “it’s him! He’s here!” and begin a slow chorus of applause. I would stride up to the counter as cool, confident and collected as the Fonz in his prime. The beautiful female employee manning the cash register would greet me with a smile and say “are you ready?” to which I would reply “I was born ready.” She would then giggle and hand me the most perfect combination of a Pizza and a Burger that man had ever created, along with her number. After high-fiving everyone in the restaurant on the way to my reserved table I would be greeted by my personal cheer squad and motivational speaker. From there I would easily demolish the Pizza Burger and be crowned and robed as the new “Burger King” and make my living as the lead actor in the Burger King commercials. I have a good imagination don’t I?

What really happened was the male employee didn’t as much as blink when we ordered so Pete, Kathryn and I were left on our own to find a suitable place to sit and watch the PB be made. I knew what to expect, my cousin Lisa had provided me with a food review of the worst burgers in America (the PB topped the list if you were wondering) which I read before I left LA.

The PB rests on a gigantic foundation of sesame bun; we’re talking bigger than your face. Rather than mix up the distribution channels and decrease efficiency by making one big burger patty, BK employed the cunning strategy of placing 4 frozen burger patties like a bad game of backgammon on the big ass bun (henceforth known as BAB). Red sauce (which I would like to believe is marinara) is then poured over the patties and acts as the glue on which to stick the pepperoni. The pepperoni is then kept warm by a white alfredo’ish looking substance and the whole shabang is tucked neatly into place with another BAB. Unfortunately the PB is more exciting to explain than to watch being made. The disgruntled employee whose sole duty it is to make my PB stood in the back off the kitchen slamming down frozen burger patties and splashing industrial size canned sauce as if he believed he could beat and drown his hatred of his job. When he finally finished his not-at-all spectacular preparation of our food he packed it in a plain white box and walked it to the front. After receiving the box without even a glance from the not-good-looking female employee I stood there holding it for a while. This was it, a month of anticipation and a distance of nearly 2600 miles all packaged neatly inside one of the most boring boxes I’d ever seen. It was as if BK spent all of their energy inventing this nutritional disaster, then got high and said fuck it, put it in a white box and serve it at a normal BK that we’ll call a Whopper Bar. The marketing department did it’s best to correct the mistake but I now saw the world without the goggles they so sneakily blinded me with. I wanted lemonade and Burger King was throwing us apples. Take my advice, when that happens, don’t try to make appleade.

Doesn’t look much like the picture in part 1 does it? Ahhh marketing

We took the stairs to the second level of the Bar (same as the 1st level, don’t let it fool you), sat down, took a few pictures in preparation, formed our strategy (Napoleonic divide and conquer, Pete with 2 slices and me with 4) and off we went. My first impression was mmmmm! For a fast food burger, it was pretty good. The pepperoni definitely added an extra taste and flavor that was enjoyable to both my taste buds and my hungry stomach. I was able to ignore the quality of the ingredients for the first 2 pieces as hunger played the trump card over my nutritionally inclined brain (thanks a lot Boulder). The real problem reared its head when hunger faded away. I realized pretty quickly that when you are eating just for the sake of eating, the quality of the food is key. The one pound burger was easy all the way through because it was made with quality beef and cooked to perfection making each bite taste like burger heaven. This was not the case with the PB. I was in burger limbo quickly making my way down to burger hell. Anyone who’s eaten a fast food burger knows the familiar cardboard like taste and styrofoamy texture of a frozen burger patty. These patties were no different. By the time I was through my 3rd slice, the challenge was quickly becoming a strugglefest. It was a literal battle of the stomach bulge where mind forcefully tried to conquer body, stomach, and soul. Pete and Kathryn stared at me as I started on the 4th and final slice; their faces conveyed a mixed feeling of awe and disgust. I did my best to ignore the nausea that was slowly making permanent residence in my throat, but the now cold patty was making it very difficult. The only appetizing item at this point was the pepperoni and it was then that I realized how stingy they were with the taste saving meat. I was left battling a cold coagulating sauce that barely covered a hardening slab of fake beef. After a few bites I could no longer stand the taste or texture of the patty and was forced to move each small mouthful to the outermost parts of my cheeks in hopes that the saliva would break it down into some sort of BK mulch which I could then swallow quickly without having to taste or feel. I sat there with bits of burger in each cheek looking like a chipmunk having a heart attack brought on by a sudden bout of gluttony inspired by a fresh pile of garbage. At this point I didn’t think I would make it. My slowed reflexes made my chipmunk strategy more difficult as the food had to be moved strategically in a way where it could never come into contact with my tongue. This caused problems. At some point I relaxed too much and fumbled a piece of patty directly onto my sensitive taste buds. I recoiled in taste shock and choked on the small but deadly piece of un-chewed burger. Pete and Kathryn were quick to jump out of the way as I played Russel Crow from Gladiator battling the untamed beast. I poured every ounce of my being into not hurling that fucking Pizza Burger right back at its maker but I swear if the Burger King himself were there in the flesh I would have puked all over him out of spite. Luckily my pre-game prayers to the Roman goddess Edesia (goddess of feasting/banquets) paid off as she allowed me to regain control of my body and crawl back into my seat.

Oh how I wish I would have just puked and ended it there. After my recovery I knew that I didn’t have the strength of mind or stomach to fight for much longer. I had only one choice. It took all of the will-power I had left to suppress my desire to quit and my pure instinct to survive. I slowly picked up the pace and force-fed myself the rest of the slice, crying to myself inside with each bite. There I sat. Two thousand five hundred miles, 1,687 calories, 96 grams of fat and 2,520 milligrams of sodium later*, I achieved my dream of eating the Burger King Pizza Burger at the Burger King Whopper Bar in Times Square, New York.

*numbers adjusted to accurately portray my 4/6 serving size

Like this? Check out my cross-country trip to compare Chicken & Waffles.

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Afterward:
After I finished the burger all I wanted to do was sit. I tried going to the bathroom but the grease had apparently spent the better half of the hour solidifying itself in an effort to plug up my entire bowel system which it did successfully for the entirety of the following week. I prayed for a bed to fall from the sky (which strangely felt like a possibility in NY) but it was to no avail. Instead I had to do the unfathomable, sit in the smelly, looney filled, margarita shaker that is the NY subway. I only have vague memories of how I kept it together (aka kept it in) as I rode the train back to Pete’s and then to JFK, and an even more vague recollection of what happened the rest of the night. All I know is that I felt nauseous every morning for the next 7 days and every time I tried to write about it I semi-puked in my mouth. I barely recovered in time for an awesome thanksgiving with the entire Kluck fam (the first time we’d all been together since the addition of my 3 year old godson Bode) so I had to at least wait until after that to post this story! To this day I have to suppress a gag everytime I try to say Pizza Burgaaampfh, Pizza Burguechkt, Pizza Burgelllump, you know what I mean.

(see the spaghetti & meatball rash episode of “Bleep My Dad Says” for an example)

***Author’s Note to Pete and Kathryn***: Thanks so much for being such gracious hosts and making this epic weekend so… epic! Can’t wait to see you guys in June………………………………….. kidding I know it’s in July.

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Comments
11 Responses to “My Pilgrimage from LA to NY to eat the New York Pizza Burger (pt 2)”
  1. Moe says:

    I think I just puked

  2. Lisa says:

    Good post. Disgusting. Unsurprising. Glad it wasn’t me! 🙂

  3. tsonoda148 says:

    Ewwwwwwwwwww, what an adventure. I was going to open a bottle of wine, but my stomach’s gurgling somewhat, so I’d better wait awhile.
    I need to read this every time I’m thinking of cheating on my diet! I’ll get to my goal weight in no time!

    Gross but fabulous post. Entertainment value excellent, as usual.

    Thanks Kluck!
    Terri

  4. tsonoda148 says:

    (and thanks for the Tweet button)

    🙂

    • kluckmeister says:

      Of course! Wait on the wine, but after you drink it maybe we can think about a way to market this as a diet technique. Whenever you’re hungry watch a 5 min video on something I ate? Might work.

  5. Bronan! says:

    Dude, you ought to sign up for Yelp.

  6. sweetman says:

    That was so grossly awesome I don’t know how to feel–nauseated? Amused? Happy you completed your epic quest? Thanks for the great post.

  7. Grey Goose, Dirty says:

    hmmmm, gross ……… not your writing, of course, but that thing on a bun ……… *barf*

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