DAY 5: Burgerless sadness
11:19 AM: As previously mentioned in Day 4, I am unable to consume a burger week burger during Day 5 due to some schedule conflicts. To cope with the knowledge that I won’t get a burger, I eat a gummy version of one and decide to rate it with my burger week standards.
11:21 AM: The mini burger is a delightful little treat that doesn’t taste like a burger at all, but completely wins as a novelty. The lettuce, tomato, cheese, and patty are individually separated, giving you a realistic burger experience. I rate this a 10/10!
11/10 if you put a lil’ gummy bear next to it and pretend like the gummy bear is eating the burger (come on, use your imagination).
11:45 AM: As luck would have it, the office has catered burgers for lunch…GREAT. I can’t escape burgers, even when I try. Burgers have become the devil sitting on my shoulder, constantly prodding me to eat one.
12:00 PM: I decide the only way I can trick my body into thinking I’m NOT eating a burger is if I opt for the vegetarian option: a portobello mushroom patty.
First of all, this should not be a thing. Why would you ever substitute a vegetable for a burger? Blasphemy. Second of all, I actually hate mushrooms, and so this is a very painful eating process for me. But alas, this is my life now. The life of a washed up, burgered-out burger week-er.
12:03 PM: I take my first bite of the portobello mushroom patty and it bleeds black juice all over the plate. WTF (what the fungus)?! This is not okay, and this is why mushrooms should not exist.
6:38 PM: @Nnanpei and I are the last ones to leave the office because we get caught up in burger discussions. Nick has decided to sell a few of his belonging to financially cover the cost of his remaining burgers. This is what dedication looks like.
6:45 PM: I eat a granola bar for dinner. :( :( :(
DAY 6: THE END IS NIGH
9:03 AM: It’s getting down to the wire and there are still so many burgers I need to eat. I frantically text friends to see if they will get a burger with me. Nick says that he is poor. His money hasn't gone through yet after he returned a pair of pants so he could buy burgers. The trauma of eating a burger alone during Day 2 still haunts me, so I tell him I will buy him today’s burgers. He obliges. At this point, I am literally buying someone's friendship.
9:15 AM: I fast all morning so I can fill myself with more burgers. I haven’t had a burger in 21 hours -- my longest burgerless streak yet. My body may shut down if I don’t get a burger soon.
11:07 AM: Triple Nickel has just opened their doors, and naturally I am one of the first to arrive. The waitress asks me to repeat my order because she’s still waking up. I ask if I am the first one to order a burger, and she replies “yeah, we literally just opened the door… You’re our first customer.” Of course I am. This is the level of intensity required for burger week.
11:15 AM: The burgers are ready before I even walk outside and find a table on the patio.
11:16 AM: The Triple Nickel’s Trip Nicktacular Fondue Burger is a beef patty covered with a smoked gouda and heineken fondue, sautéed onions, banana peppers, and a barbecue potato chip. The pictures in the burger week preview made it look delicious. The result? Absolutely terrible. This was the worst burger I’ve had yet. Even with the fondue sauce, the burger was dry and the bun was rock hard. I think I only had 2 banana peppers on mine, and I barely noticed the potato chip. The fondue sauce was really good, but overall this burger just did not work. I couldn't even finish it. I’m not really sure why I had such high hopes for a place that typically reeks of B.O. and is reminiscent of a Eugene Co-op houseparty, but this was quite a disappointment. I give it the lowest rating of burger week: a measly 2. Sorry, Triple Nickel. I’ll let you stick to the fun dance parties. :-\
11:30 AM: We still have 30 minutes until the next spot opens up, and it’s only one block away, so we have a lot of time to kill. Luckily, there is a Wunderland arcade across the street! I didn’t even know these still existed… We cash in for some nickels and game on.
11:54 AM: After about 24 minutes of gameplay, we’re already out of nickels. Nick won 10 tickets, which we exchanged for 3 flavored tootsie rolls.
$$$ BALLIN’ $$$
Rockin’ Robyn’s Sassy Burgers
12:00 PM: We arrive at Rockin’ Robyn’s Sassy Burgers, and there is already a substantial line. I am excited about this one because it has fried mac and cheese, and I’m a real sucker for anything fried and/or involving cheese. I also give this place props for being the only food cart brave enough to take on Portland Burger Week.
12:15 PM: After placing our order, we try to find a place to sit. Rockin’ Robyn’s is a food cart, and so there’s a real hodge-podge of seating arrangements, including 3 kids picnic tables and a piano. We sit at a table with a warning label that says “WARNING: I’m wobbly - sit at your own risk”. We risk it. It does not wobble.
12:35 PM: The burgers arrive. Rockin’ Robyn’s buffalo burger features gouda, bacon, roasted red pepper, raw onion, and yellow with a mozzarella stick, fried pickle, and deep fried macaroni and cheese. It is like a burger kebab -- a slider size with various fried things on top of the skewer. The bun itself is pretty thin, making it kind of difficult to navigate. The entire thing fell apart and became a bit soggy. It’s a lot of stuff happening all at once. I’m not sure if I’m just jaded from burger overload, but I felt pretty “meh” about it. I appreciate all of the effort put into this one, but I rate it an average 6.
6:07 PM: My dog is at the groomer. They are taking much longer than I anticipated. Don’t they know I have burger plans?! The familiar anxiety of not getting a burger before they run out looms.
6:30 PM: They finally finish his haircut and I speed over to White Owl.
7:01 PM: There isn’t too much of a line. I ask my newest catchphrase: “Do you still have burger week burgers left?” The bartender pauses -- a pause I think lasts far too long. Long enough for me to think he is trying to figure out a way to let me down easy.
7:02 PM: To my surprise, he says “Yep, you got it!” As simple as that, I am adding another burger to my track record.
7:15 PM: My burger arrives. It’s really dark in here and I can’t seem to get good lighting, even with the flash. *sigh*
7:31 PM: White Owl’s double lamb burger is not one but TWO lamb patties with lettuce, american cheese, and herbed mayo on a potato bun. It tastes exactly like a gyro. It’s seasoned well, and the meat is really flavorful. The bun is surprisingly good for being so simple. There’s a perfect amount of sauce, which I appreciate because they could have easily overdone it and made it messy, but they got the ratio down flawlessly. Yet, I do feel like @nnanpei overhyped this one a little bit. It’s good, but to me it’s nothing spectacular, likely because it just tastes like a gyro. I feel like it’s lacking the true burger week creativity. Still, I think it deserves a solid 8 rating.
7:46 PM: Oh no… Something isn’t right.
7:48 PM: I start sweating. This is not my typical meat sweats. This is real sweats, like fever style. I feel faint and dizzy. My intestines are rejecting the last burger.
7:52 PM: My body begins to shut down. I’ve reached burger capacity. I rush to the bathroom and start dry heaving. Nothing comes out, but I feel terrible. WHAT HAVE I DONE?
8:15 PM: I’m feeling a little better after drinking a lot of water and thinking about organic superfoods and airy meadows, but right now burger week is kind of like a slight twist on Christina Aguilera’s Genie in a Bottle: “OoOooOoh my heart is sayin' let's go... OoOooOoh but my body's sayin' no.”
8:39 PM: *FOR THE RECORD* I do not blame this on White Owl. I blame this on my own poor life choices. I definitely don’t have food poisoning, I just can’t seem to handle 13 burgers in a week. (Who knew??).
10:34 PM: It happened. I threw up. But hey, I feel waaaay better now. I could definitely go for just one more burger…