10:31 AM: I feel confident. I ended Day 2 on a high note, and now that I finally know who “A” is in Pretty Little Liars, I have high hopes for the day.
10:44 AM: Again, @nnanpei informs me that he cannot do a lunch burger with me. What gives?! For another day, I must embark on my quest alone.
11:00 AM: Crunch time. Originally, I was going to hit up All Way, but my schedule flopped, and I only have time for a quick burger in the neighborhood. I decide on Kell’s Irish Pub. I have Irish roots on my dad’s side, and perhaps I should explore and connect with that culture in burger form.
11:32AM: I drive towards my destination. "You can do it" by Ice Cube plays on the radio. It is the perfect pump up song for burger week, as he repeats "Gon do it… Gon do it… Gon do it, do it, do it" in the chorus. You are correct Ice Cube, I AM going to do it!! (“It” being burger week, obviously).
11:38 AM: There is a minor accident in the intersection right before Kells. I am SO CLOSE, yet so far. Two women argue outside of their barely-damaged vehicles. A bus tries to turn and struggles to fit between the two cars. Everyone shakes their fists and honks. Other cars try to drive around the accident, almost causing more accidents. This is MAYHEM. I fear for my safety. All I want is a burger!
KELL’S IRISH PUB
11:50 AM: I walk inside. All of the tables are empty, both inside and outside.
Waitress: "Hi! Is it just you or are you meeting someone?"
Me: "It's just me..." (Ugh)
11:52 AM: The hostess directs me to a table outside. I explain my burger odyssey to her. She feigns interest, but I know she is only humoring me. My life is sad.
11:57 AM: Burger arrives. Fastest service yet! But I’m also the only one in the restaurant...
11:58 AM: The burger comes with a knife in it. I assume this is to ward off passersby trying to steal a bite.
11:59 AM: The Kells’ burger is a savory lamb patty with feta and basil mixed into the meat. Baby arugula, tomato, and pickled red onions, and rosemary aioli sit between a potato bun. The flavor is intense. You can really taste the basil, and it’s seasoned perfectly. The lamb patty is nice and juicy. While feta-filled bites are few and far between, it's a great addition, and adds a lot to the overall taste. The pickled onions are a really great touch.Without the pickled onions, this would have been a really subpar burger. They really upped their game with this one and it shows. My only complaint is that the bun isn't very exciting and there is an overwhelming amount of aioli. Otherwise, it’s a flavorful burger. I rate this an 8.
12:02 PM UGH. I forgot to snapchat it. I’m already halfway finished.
12:04 PM: Waitress came back outside to ask me about the best burgers. Now I know she’s truly interested in my quest. We discuss all of the burgers from Day 1 and Day 2. I feel much better about being the freak sitting alone with a burger. She will receive a large tip.
12:13 PM: I feel full and I haven't touched my fries. The waitress comes back out with a box before I even need to ask. It's like we are a married couple, finishing each other's sentences. We surpassed the space/time continuum and have established a deep burger bond. She KNOWS me now. Burgers truly bring people together. (I hope she doesn't read this and file a restraining order. I thought we had a good thing going?).
12:16 PM: OMFG the box for the fries blew away in the wind!!! As if sitting alone wasn't embarrassing enough, I just had to run into the street to save my box. People stopped to watch. I hope I don't end up on YouTube. Newspaper headline will read: "Psychotic Woman Halts Traffic, Flees After Empty Take-Out Box"
12:18 PM: I hastily shove fries into the box so that it has enough weight to stay on the table. I WIN, WIND!
12:21 PM The waitress brings my check. Her parting words are "Have fun eating all of that meat.” Oh, I will.
TROUBLE IN (CHEESEBURGER) PARADISE
5:34 PM I don’t think I can put myself through another solo burger experience, so I request the assistance of fellow burger appreciator @hi_ame. However, this throws a wrench in all of my plans. Unlike the nondiscriminatory nature of seasoned burger week pros, first-timer Amy “has a weird thing with textures” and doesn’t want to join me for my previously planned Knock Back burger. I must compromise or subject myself to social suicide (again).
5:40 PM: After much discussion and research, she decides she will try the Widmer Urban Cowboy burger.
5:42 PM: Our plan gets complicated when we realize the Broadway Bridge is closed and we are in the midst of rush hour. We formulate a new route, and thwart most of the traffic.
5:50 PM: “Animals” by Maroon 5 plays on the radio. I envision myself singing “Baby I’m preyin’ on YOU TONIIIIIGHT” to a cheeseburger. What is wrong with me? Has burger week caused me to hallucinate? Or worse… Has it made me like Adam Levine? How do I even know the lyrics to this song?
5:52 PM: We arrive at Widmer with stars in our eyes. Those stars soon turn into tears when we see a sign plastered on the window saying “SOLD OUT”.
5:54 PM: I hassle a nearby waiter to ask for more details. Are they REALLY sold out? Are they sold out for the week? Just for tonight? I have so many questions. He just responds with “We don’t have it.” and walks away. This is what heartbreak feels like.
5:55 PM: Downtrodden and extremely hangry, we search for the nearest Burger Week hot spot. The closest burger on the radar is at Hop and Vine.
HOP AND VINE
6:05 PM: There’s no line. I nervously ask the waitress if they still have burger week burgers left. She assures me they do, and I order one promptly. HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF!
6:08 PM: We take a seat outside on the patio. I’ve never been here before, but I highly recommend the atmosphere. They’ve got a nice garden-like set up. We can see our burgers getting smoked, which adds to the excitement.
6:09 PM: I notice there are Widmer branded umbrellas on this patio. I feel sad again for the things that never were. Amy reminds me: ~when you love something, you have to let it go~ (tear).
6:15 PM: The burgers arrive. The Hop & Vine BBQ Pork burger is a pork patty with white cheddar, pickles, onions, and BBQ sauce on a brioche bun. They are much smaller than they look in the pictures, and I would say it’s really a slider and not a full burger. *cough cough* false advertising. Sadly, this was my least favorite burger thus far. I feel bad saying this because everything else about the experience was great: the service is awesome, the atmosphere is wonderful. But since this is a burger blog, I have to give the honest truth. The white cheddar cheese is the only thing this burger has going for it. The bun is pretty good too, but the burger is dry, and I barely taste the BBQ sauce. It’s nothing spectacular. I rate it a 5.
6:39 PM: Feeling slightly let down and still hungry, we decide to hit another burger week spot nearby to see if it can raise our spirits.
6:41 PM: We begin walking towards the next destination. This walk (less than 0.4 miles) is my only exercise of the week thus far.
6:58 PM: We arrive at Pause. Again, I timidly ask the waitress if they still have burger week burgers available. I’ve learned I can never be too careful -- Burger Week is an emotional rollercoaster, and I don’t want to get my hopes up again, only to be disappointed.
7:02 PM: The Pause Steakhouse burger is a beef and pork italian sausage patty hybrid, tomato jam, red peppers, aioli, mozzarella, and caramelized onions on a french onion kaiser roll. It’s slightly spicy and has a kick to each bite. At first taste, I wasn't sure if I liked it, but as I progressed I began to appreciate this burger more and more. It was a pretty solid mix of flavors that worked well together. The bun was good, but the tomato jam was the real key that tied it all together. I rate it a 7.
7:09 PM: Amy and I are now meat drunk. At this point, I’ve eaten so many burgers I feel like I am made of meat. I AM a burger. Meta meat, if you will.
7:10 PM: I think about legally changing my name to Patty. When introduced to new people, they will say “Meet Patty!” and we’ll all have a nice laugh because it’s like MEAT patty, but you’re really meeting me! *cue laugh track*
7:10 PM: It’s clear my mental state is becoming unstable due to an overload in burger consumption. I still have 4 more days of this. Alas, I must trudge forward. I feel inspired by my favorite F. Scott Fitzgerald quote: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the burgers.”
And onward, we eat.