Day Three and I got my second wind back with five more burgers down the hatch.
Today is the last day of Burger Week and my sentiments can only be described as bittersweet. Unlike the previous Burger Weeks, this is the first time that I don’t feel like I’m dying. Perhaps I’ve become a seasoned pro, or maybe it’s my new Burger Week morning ritual of starting the day with a probiotic gut shot and ginger tea. Whatever it may be, I feel a tinge of sadness that it’s ending. Or maybe that’s just heartburn.
I'm forced to skip my lunch burger due to that inconvenience called "work". Ughhhhhhhhhh. I order something with kale for lunch and feel like an imposter. My body is confused – why are we introducing vegetables into the system? This is a red-meat-and-carbs-only zone. My insides will likely stage a rebellion until meat returns.
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.
3:41 PM: When I was a kid, I was very intrigued by the idea of riding in the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile. However, hot dogs don't even come close to the miraculous wonder of a cheeseburger. To ride in a cheeseburger car is a dream come true, to say the least. I feel like every second of my life, everything I've ever worked for, every burger I've ever consumed, has lead up to this moment.
Pizza Week vs. Burger Week: A Taste of Infidelity
~A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR~
While my initial concept was to create a one hour long visual film simply titled: Burger, Beyonce’s lawyers said they would sue me for $100,000 trillion dollars. As you read, you will just have to imagine a burger wearing a fur coat, smashing car windows with a bat, and singing: “I can taste the dishonesty / it’s all over your [pizza] breath…”
* * *
Sometimes my friends and I like to play a game called “Do, Dump, or Date.” The basic premise of the game is one person names three different people, and you have to decide which one you will do (a one night stand, and not the type of furniture ifyaknowwaddimean), dump (tell 'em boy, bye!), or date (you’re locked down with this choice forever).
Since I’m only attracted to food, my rules for this game are limited to various categories of cuisine.
Recently, we were playing my version of this game, and a friend asked: do, dump or date – pizza, burgers, tacos.” Without hesitation, I obviously picked date burger, do pizza, and dump tacos (apologies to Taco Bell, we’ve just had too much of a tumultuous relationship...).
The truth surfaced. The secret I’ve quietly kept to myself was finally revealed: I’ll fux with pizza.
Facebook was poppin’ with event invites. Amateur DJ shows left and right. Someone’s having a birthday party and they invited 800 people. Then I saw it: Portland Pizza Week 2016. After Burger Week 2015, TMZ quoted me saying “I want all weeks to be dedicated to food.” Bless you, Portland Mercury, for making my dreams come true. Curse you, Portland Mercury, for making me choose between burgers and pizza.
Eyes darting left and right, I clicked “going.” It’s official – I’m cheating on burger week.
They post the list of participating pizza places online with bios and photos of the slices. I meticulously research and identify the pizzas that interest me. I’m a little sick to my stomach. This is the exact plan of action I take when deciding on Burger Week burgers, but this time it’s with pizza. It doesn’t feel right.
Meanwhile, Burger wears a fabulous dress amidst flames, swings a string of lights over its head and ferociously screams: “WHO DA FUQ DO U THINK I AM / YOU AIN’T MARRIED TO AN AVERAGE BURGER, BOY.”
Pizza week begins. I give every excuse in the book.
“I’m just doing it to compare with burger week.”
“It would be wrong for me to pass up $2 slices.”
“I only want to try a few of them.”
I disguise my guilt by telling myself it’s all for the blog, and my post will be about how pizza week will never be as good as burger week. As the week progresses, I’m losing sight of why I started. I’m trying all of these different pizzas and I’m feeling a little more satisfied than I’m comfortable with.
I start with the loaded baked potato pizza from Roman Candle and it’s like nothing I’ve ever tasted before, but I try to downplay it. I move onto Atlas’s whiskey soaked smoked brisket pizza. It’s tasty but very heavy, and leaves me feeling disgusted with myself.
The next day, I try the Nacho Porko from Pizza Schmizza. It was good but it just didn’t excite me in the way I expected it to. A few days later, I visit Sizzle Pie for their slices: Yin Yang Theory and vegan Dagger Moon. I’m surprised to find that I like the vegan pizza better than the regular pizza. Vegan? Really?? I don't even know who I am anymore?!
I would NEVER date pizza. Baby, this is just a one time thing! I promise it won’t happen again…
Burger brazenly retaliates: “Better call pizza with the good cheese.”
My stomach is full, but my heart is empty. None of this feels right. I haven’t felt the rush of speeding to an establishment before they run out of supply. Pizza doesn’t give me meat sweats like a fine, juicy patty does.
I appreciate all of the Pizza Week participants but they just lack that special spark I have with Burger Week. Putting arugula or Italian sausage on some crust just isn’t doing it for me. Where is the creativity?! Where is the PASSION???
I want burger week back.
I decide the first meal I’m going to have after pizza week is a burger. After all, we have a child together (named ihadtheburger.com) and our brand is built on burgers NOT sidechick slices. This will set things right in the world again. Maybe…
Ashes to ashes, dust to pizzas.
I eat my last slice of Pizza Week pizza. It was the Reubenesque from Blackbird pizza, which was essentially a reuben on crust, carefully loaded with sauerkraut, thin-sliced pastrami, swiss, mozzarella, and a hint of mustard. I hate myself for saying this, but it was amazing. I try my best to forget about it as soon as I finish, and focus on the burgers ahead.
Okay burgers, now let’s get in formation.
After giving Pizza Week a chance, I ultimately feel unimpressed with a majority of the pizzas. I decide I need to redeem myself and stick to my original plan: only talk about how burger week is much better than pizza week.
I eat a burger. It’s nothing fancy, just a quick no frills fix from a random restaurant. But it feels pure.
I only had 6 slices of pizza throughout the week. I had 14 burgers during Burger Week. That’s saying something about where my allegiance lies, right…?
Was it worth it? NO.
Well, yes. Sorta. Ugh.
But ULTIMATELY NO!
The conclusion is that nothing can ever beat Burger Week. Pizza Week was great. We had some fun times, and good slices. A few places got creative with it, which I can respect, appreciate, and admire.
But just like Beyonce, nothing in this world can ever compare to the greatness of a cheeseburger. Burger Week has an incomprehensible level of excellence that consistently raises the bar and leaves all of us at its mercy. Nothing blew my mind the way a burger does on the daily.
So, for the rest of my days I will attempt to redeem myself in the form of public unrequited devotion to burgers.
If you want to read the rest, you can stream it on Tidal.