The following is an actual account of the Burger Odyssey Day 2.
8:12 AM: Alarm goes off. Feel like I might be dying. Can’t function or open eyes. I have a bad burger hangover from Day One. Hit snooze.
8:22AM Alarm goes off again. Wake up in a fit of meat sweats. OMFG Did I really eat 3 burgers last night? Scroll through phone and see evidence of all 3 burger exploits. Ugh. Hit snooze and cry myself back to sleep.
8:32 AM: Alarm goes off one more time. Sheer panic ensues as I remember I also ate 3 Kit Kat bars and 2 cups of pudding when I got home. I AM A MONSTER!!!
9:14 AM: Arrive at work. @nnanpei regretfully informs me he will not join in for lunch. I feel let down, and wonder if I’m ready to take on this challenge alone. It’s sort of like how Dumbledore died in the 6th book and Harry had to destroy the rest of the horcruxes without his guidance (*SPOILER ALERT*). But like Harry Potter, I, too must destroy my own horcrux: Portland Burger Week. “Neither can live while the other survives”
12:15 PM: Meeting runs late. Have internal freak out about not getting the burger. WHAT IF THEY SELL OUT?!?!?!
12:17 PM: Meeting ends. Speed to Elephants Deli. Parking lot is hectic, and this is just the beginning…
12:22 PM: It’s a F&%KING FRENZY in here. People yell out lunch orders left and right. There are like, 20 different lines. WHAT LINE DO I STAND IN? I pick a line near a “PIG LEBOWSKI” sign. Some teens who look like they just returned from a music festival cut me in line and order a burger. I keep my cool, yet I can’t help but judge them on their burger week etiquette. THIS IS A SOCIETY WITH RULES, PEOPLE!
12:24 PM: “I’ll take the Burger Week Burger,” I say confidently. A bystander taps me on the shoulder, points to the “PIG LEBOWSKI” sign and says “Haha, they only make it if you call it by the name!” I fake laugh, but feel very uncomfortable. I am too awkward to order items with novelty names.
12:28 PM: They hand me a slip that says: “Kelsey -- PIG”. Should I take this as a hint? Oink oink. 😞
12:29 PM I try to find the next line so I can pay. There are so many lines, and I pick the wrong one. I am now in line for cookies. I choose a new line. I may have cut 13 people, I’m not sure. This is chaos. I now feel sympathy for the pierced teens.
12:31 PM: Somehow, I get to a cash register and get a stamp that says “PAID”. Good try, Voldemort but I’m about to Avada Kedavra burger week.
12:35 PM: A woman named Pamela basically orders the entire restaurant. She is having a birthday party in the garden room. For the next 10 minutes, they keep calling out “PAMELA” and she gets multiple trays of food. A panicked husband exclaims, “JERRY CAN YOU HELP ME OVER HERE? I HAVE LIKE 50 TRAYS RIGHT NOW!” My invite must have gotten lost in the mail…
12:45 PM: Burger arrives. This is where I tell you that I’ve never actually seen the Big Lebowski movie. I feel like a failure because I’m sure there are a lot of really great references I could make. But you know what I have seen a million times? Harry Potter. *Flies away from the haters on Nimbus 2000 broomstick*
12:46 PM: SNAPCHAT. THAT. BURGER.
12:47 PM: The Pig Lebowski is a ground pork patty with kielbasa sausage, a bit of bacon, caraway and thyme. It also has stoneground mustard and mayo with red cabbage slaw and pickle pieces. Honestly, I’m not sure how to feel about this one. I like it, but I am also immediately confused by burgers that aren’t made with beef. Do I compare it on the same burger scale, or is it something completely different? Is a burger still a burger if it’s not made with beef? Is it a bun that makes a burger a burger? Would this not constitute a sandwich? Where do we draw the line?! There’s a lot of flavor and a great ratio of mustard in each bite. The patty itself is nicely done. But the red cabbage slaw feels like a soggy afterthought, thrown on in the midst of the lunch drama. The bun is a bit lackluster. I rate it a 7 overall.
12:52 PM: All of the babies at Pamela’s party are crying. It’s time for me to leave.
6:08 PM: Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” plays on the radio. This is either a sign from above or a bad omen. I say bad omen because this song is the worst.
6:11 PM: Confirmed: It is a bad omen. The traffic is TERRIBLE.
6:35 PM: Finally arrive at Church. Ready for my ~Holy Meatrimony~
6:36 PM: I thought I left the insanity at Elephants, but it is pure chaos here. The line begins to form outside of the door. I decide finding a table takes precedence, and wait for @Nnanpei and our other burger enthusiast, Maki. Everyone circles the tables like vultures awaiting prey.
6:40 PM: @Nnanpei and Maki finally arrive. I tell them to wait in line while I continue to save the table. It is 91 degrees outside and I am sweating. I worry they will sell out of the burger before they make it to the front of the line. My phone overheats. I feel dehydrated. So. Much. Drama.
6:48 PM: Good news -- our burgers are on the way. We are safe.
7:02 PM: Burgers arrive. PICS OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN!
7:08 PM: The Church burger is called “Chow Chow”. While the name stirs mental images of “puppy chow” for me, this is one burger that does not disappoint. The Chow Chow burger features an angus patty with a corn, diced celery, red bell pepper and serrano relish. Melty pepperjack cheese melds together perfectly with an avocado crema sauce. I could drink this avocado crema sauce, and I don’t care how disgusting that statement is. Every single bite was delectable to the point where I never wanted this burger to end. Sadly, the experience was over in about 5 minutes because I wolfed it down. I rate this burger a high 9.5/10. After 4 burgers that come in at an unimpressive 6.5, this was finally the burger I was looking for that truly epitomizes the creativity of the Burger Week experience. This was definitely the best burger thus far, and it will be hard to top. It’s kind of like that time Harry Potter won the quidditch match against Slytherin.
7:31 PM: They sold out of burgers. We see large crowds of sad burger lovers leaving the premises. I truly feel like I was ~touched by an angel~ for experiencing this miracle.
7:43 PM: My friends are worried about me. Perhaps they are not my real friends if they don’t understand the importance of burger week.
7:48 PM: I realize that I must leave immediately if I want to catch the finale of Pretty Little Liars. WE WILL FINALLY FIND OUT WHO “A” IS AFTER 5 YEARS. For any 13-18-year-old (and one burger lovin’ 25-year-old), this is a VERY BIG DEAL. As the PLL girls discover A’s secrets, and Harry destroys Voldemort, I leave feeling like I can conquer Burger Week.