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What Do Paula Deen, Luther Vandross, & the Wisconsin State Fair Have in Common?

August 18, 2010

I truly had no idea when I wrote that Paula Deen post two days ago.    I thought they – the doughnut burgers – were a stunt, a peculiarity, a theoretical mutation, a gastronomical version of Schrödinger’s Cat.  Alas, I was gravely mistaken; it’s real and it’s been around for quite a while.  There’s even a Luther Vandross creation story attached to it.  Which is too bad, really, because I wanted to pin this whole thing on Paula.  But she came late to this party:

  • Doesn't "halal" mean "healthy"?

    Crave Shack, the Lebanese burger-joint down in Queens, offers a version – made with halal turkey bacon, instead of the pig-based variety.  Even owner Firas Zabib admits that it “sounds pretty gross”.  SOUNDS pretty gross?  Look at that thing, you moron!   Has the grease rendered you blind?  (Someone please tell me they thought that line was funny.  I just laughed out loud at myself).

Gateway Grizzlies Burger. A starving bear wouldn't eat this thing.

  • The Gateway Grizzlies (independent baseball franchise in Sauget, Illinois ) teamed up with Krispy Kreme in 2006 to create what they call “Baseball’s Best Burger,”  consisting of a burger topped with sharp cheddar cheese and two slices of bacon. The burger is then placed in between each side of a Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnut. (Cowards. Paula used 2 whole donuts – none of this “cut it in half” bullsh*t.)

The burger was an instant hit, and continues to be sold at their stadium.  The vomit-inducing delicacy was even featured on a recent episode of “Man vs. Food”.  Man loses.


The Wisconsin State Fair's Krispy Kreme cheeseburger (photo by Brad Vest, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL)

  • The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal reports that the most popular new food addition at the Wisconsin State Fair (which closed on August 15) was the Krispy Kreme Cheeseburger.  Perhaps inspired by the monstrosity served to Gateway Grizzly fans in neighboring Illinois, the $5 Krispy Kreme burger features a beef patty topped with melted cheese and a Krispy Kreme doughnut for a bun. And, as if their vascular system wasn’t already begging for mercy, those with a death wish adventurous eaters could top the burger with chocolate-covered bacon on a stick.  For only one dollar more!  That’s excluding emergency room copays.

And – chew on this – they expected to sell up to 10,000 burgers over the ten-day fair.

What’s the damage, calorically?  About 1,000, according to Nathan Morrissey, executive chef at the pavilion where the miscreation was proffered to fair-going cheeseheads.

But, I think the bigger question is: WHY, OH GOD, WHY?

“Well, let’s see,” Dave Owens of Appleton, Wis., said at the fair’s opening day this month. “It’s a doughnut with chocolate-covered bacon and a cheeseburger put together. How could you go wrong?”

Well, Dave, perhaps that’s a question better suited for your cardiologist.

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