DAY THREE: A SAUSAGE ROLL STATE OF MIND
I wake up earlier than usual, hesitant and uneasy. I’m officially halfway finished with Burger Week, but it still feels like an uphill battle. I have a hard time getting my mental game in gear because today is the day I get the Delicious Donuts burger. I’ve been putting this off out of pure fear, but it’s time to buck up and burger on.
The Delicious Donuts burger nearly killed me last year. Last time, I spent the entire day in a burger haze, my brain soft like a ball of raw ground beef. Trying that burger again this year is kind of like that scene in Blue Crush where Anne Marie gets traumatic flashbacks of her head smashing against coral each time she sees a big wave. But like Anne Marie, if I want to get on the cover of Surf Magazine and win the big competition (i.e. Burger Week), I have to work through my mental block and eat that burger once more.
The Delicious Donuts burger is an intimidating combination of sausage patty, fried egg, hash brown, ham, bacon, and cheese between (wait for it) TWO. GLAZED. DONUTS. It’s called “Three Pigs” for a reason – it’s filled with meats and you feel like a pig while you’re eating it. It’s a full-fledged heart attack waiting to happen. Ironically enough, this year’s burger is very similar to last year’s burger, but the only difference is that now it features ham, and they swapped out the beef patty for a sausage patty. I nervously order it and hold my breath. Here goes nothing.
I get the “Three Pigs” to go because I don’t want anyone to witness my gluttonous downfall, and this is a shameful eating experience that should be done in private. Since this is not my first time at the Delicious Donuts rodeo, I decide for my own safety, I should only eat half.
Surprisingly, it isn’t as overwhelming as last year. Maybe I’ve developed a new immunity, but I don’t feel like I’m dying this time. Everything holds together well, and most importantly they have grilled the donut slightly so it has a nice crystallized sugar crunch. You can taste the maple in the sausage patty, which compliments the savory aspects nicely. I’m very pleased with this burger, especially in comparison to last year. It seems like they’ve really improved, so I give them a rating of 8.5.
Kell’s has always been a sleeper success during Burger Week, which is why they always make my Burger Week list. This year’s burger sounded like a bust, but I quickly realized it was because I didn’t truly understand what I was getting myself into. For this Irish immersion, I brought along my coworker Cat.
Kell’s Ballycastle Sausage Roll Burger is one of the most creative burgers thus far. It’s lettuce, onion, tomato, sharp cheddar, and a sausage patty within a pastry crust between a ciabatta bun.
You heard me... A patty WITHIN a pastry WITHIN a bun! Mind-blowing innovation.
Per usual it’s an unexpected thumbs up. It’s like eating a high class Hot Pocket between a bun. But with that comes a warning: eat with caution. Since the sausage patty is contained within a flaky, pastry crust it’s easy to burn your mouth. Overall, this gets a high rating of 9.
Cat and I find the burger so delicious, we begin dreaming of a simpler life as a sausage roll:
After the Kell’s burger, I crawl into a dark corner of my office, and get as close to horizontal as possible, hoping to aid my digestion until the next burger.
I’m pressed for time during dinner, so I hit up New Seasons because they have a quick and easy takeout option. I’m not sure what it is about grocery store parking lots, but the scene is chaotic. Cars are speeding through the entrance, reversing out in all directions, and everyone feels the need to honk. I finally find a spot and order my burger.
The New Seasons “The 84” burger is about as classic as it can get. It’s a beef patty, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, and special sauce on a pub bun. As I guessed, it’s not a standout – it’s exactly what you would expect. As a simple burger, it’s hard to screw it up but my complaint is the patty is a little too dry, and it's the least creative of all the Burger Week burgers. I rate it a 6.
8:45 PM rolls around, and I feel the competitiveness of Burger Week seeping through my body. I’ve reached the point of no return, and I decide I must have one more burger. Amy, my burger-enabler friend you met in Day Two, agrees to join me at Tryst. But unbeknownst to us, we must go through hell and back to get there.
On our way to Tryst, a train whistles as we drive past, and we suddenly have to Final-Destination-style speed through the railroad crossing before the gate arms go down. We can't find parking. Then, a drunk woman yells at us about how we should never go to the Shanghai Tunnels. The people in front of us in line are indecisive about what drinks they want and take 15 minutes to order. They don’t have air conditioning inside, so it’s blistering hot. Through all of these hurdles, we finally manage to get our burgers.
The Tryst “Sisig” Burger has a pub bun with lime aioli, banana ketchup, garlic, cabbage, serrano peppers, umami beef, and pork cracklins. By appearance alone, it looks horrible. But to quote the burger proverbs, it’s what’s inside the bun that counts. In this case, that inside is umami beef, and it’s delicious. This burger packs some serious flavor. I’m always afraid of peppers, but these aren’t too hot for me. The cabbage compliments with a nice crunch. But the best part is the bun. It’s very soft with a sweet flavor to it, and it melts in your mouth. It’s a good burger, but based on the rest of the competition, it ranks at a relatively average 7.
There are only three more days of Burger Week left, and I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface. In the past years, I've slowly deteriorated by this point, aghast with meat sweats and burger haze. But after today, my stamina feels strong and I'm excited for what's to come. Perhaps it’s my growing fan base (i.e. my mom) that’s keeping me going. She read this blog and claims I am better than Guy Fieri. That’s just the push I need to finish off Burger Week. #KelsLoveTheFans