Just 10,000 More Calories to Heaven

Posted in Fast Food, MEAT POLITICS with tags on October 26, 2009 by chomposaurus

Holy Mother of God.

“LEVEL ONE: A bun, grilled with cheese and bacon. It supports a 7 oz. cheeseburger, chicken fried bacon, chili cheese dog-burger, 7 oz. cheeseburger, and chicken-fried bacon.

LEVEL TWO: Grilled cheese with bacon, a 7 oz. cheeseburger, chicken fried bacon, chili cheese dog-burger, 7 oz. cheeseburger, and chicken-fried bacon.

LEVEL THREE: Grilled cheese with bacon, a fried egg, cooked to order, topped with onion rings and garnished – no, crowned – with Faribault Creamery cheese curds.”

Calories: Approximately 10,000. Cost: “$25, not counting medical care. By the way, we are not liable for injury,” warned Emerson. “You WILL be asked to sign a waiver” (see below).

This is all from Burger Jones, a Minneapolis burger bar seeking a bit of online attention. Well, after that photo I’m happy to give it to them. While some might find this burger to be an example of American consumptive extravagance, I see it more as a conceptual art piece designed to lay bare the fattiest contents of our diet without judgment. If you eat this in one sitting, you could die. But how many sittings would it take to eat it normal portions? Probably only a couple dozen. There’s something more here than a humorous, “fuck-you organic hippies!” sentiment. People are eating this every day, piece by piece, and we still don’t really know whether to celebrate or despite it, even though greasy foods are a center of our cultural experience. The war on saturated fat hasn’t lowered heart disease, and the war on obesity hasn’t made Americans skinnier. So do we need to do more, or sit back and enjoy our caloric arts?

Quality Fast Food: Original Seafood Restaurant, Dennis Port, Cape Cod, MA

Posted in Original Seafood Restaurant, QUALITY FAST FOOD with tags , on September 30, 2009 by chomposaurus

When I walk into a counter-service fast food restaurant and I see the “Lobster Bomb” listed on the menu, I know I’ve walked into the right place. The unoriginally named Original Seafood Restaurant offers this explosive 1-pound lobster roll for the completely reasonable sum of $25, as it is more than enough crustacean for two people, especially when it’s accompanied by soft, hot, salty fries.

The lobster itself comes in massive red chunks, bathed but not drowned in a coat of mayo. The whole pile tastes so fresh that you could swear it was the fruit of some sort of magical lobster plant, grown and picked in the garden that day. Even if you opt for the more reasonable $13.99 lobster roll and fries, you will get a satisfying heap of tender meat. And of course, since it’s New England, all rolls are served in those controversial “Top Loader” hot dog buns. Perhaps, after years of failing to support my relish-laden Fenway Franks, these rolls have finally found a purpose in hosting light lumps of lobster and lettuce.

Unable to try just one thing, we also got a basket of fried clam strips, which were remarkable for their lack of grease. Instead, they were tender inside and out, from the creamy batter to the friendly and forthcoming meat inside.

The only item that received mixed reviews was the chowder, which tasted more like a hearty potato soup with clam chunks in it. But what it lacked in authenticity it made up for in scarfability, especially at $2.99 for a rather generous “small” bowl.

So, when you’re in the mid-cape area and can’t defend going to Sundae School for dinner a third night in a row, don’t try and be unique: follow the crowds to the Original Seafood Restaurant. Perhaps you will be bold enough to order the 8-person “Seafood Frenzy” listed ominously at the bottom of their menu…

“[T]he real tyrant is a man who sacrifices a whole nation to his ideal”

Posted in MEAT POLITICS on September 23, 2009 by chomposaurus

The NYTimes goes in-depth about what Mayor Bloomberg’s obsession with his own weight has done to the mind of the city.

Under his watch, the city has declared sodium an enemy, asking restaurants and food manufacturers to voluntarily cut the salt in their dishes by 20 percent or more, and encouraging diners to “shake the habit” by asking waiters for food without added salt.

But Mr. Bloomberg, 67, likes his popcorn so salty that it burns others’ lips. (At Gracie Mansion, the cooks deliver it to him with a salt shaker.) He sprinkles so much salt on his morning bagel “that it’s like a pretzel,” said the manager at Viand, a Greek diner near Mr. Bloomberg’s Upper East Side town house.

Not even pizza is spared a coat of sodium. When the mayor sat down to eat a slice at Denino’s Pizzeria Tavern on Staten Island recently, this reporter spotted him applying six dashes of salt to it.

A health tip sheet from the mayor’s office tells New Yorkers to “drink smart” by choosing water, even though Mr. Bloomberg has a three- to four-cup-a-day coffee habit.

“I can count on two hands the number of times I have seen him drink water,” said one dining companion, who spoke on condition of anonymity, so as not to offend the mayor (who likes his coffee weak, and with milk).

It’s a slippery slope:
Calorie Counts on menus? Excellent.
Telling people what they can eat? Pretty Scary.
Ads on subways making people feel horrible about their body first thing in the morning? Just plain cruel.

For a totally alternate take on fat and body image, one that would make Mayor Bloomberg gasp, check out:
America’s Moral Panic Over Obesity

(The subject line quote is spoken by Caligula in Camus’s play of the same name)

A New Record for World’s Largest Meatball

Posted in STUFF ABOUT MEAT with tags on September 8, 2009 by chomposaurus


It may be a publicity stunt, but it sure is one spicy meatball. When I see it, my only instinct is to pick the metaball up (if I could lift a 110 pound meatball) and throw it at the first person I can find wearing a tux.

CANCÚN, Mexico — To promote their upcoming film “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”, Sony Pictures asked the chefs at The Ritz Carlton to cook a 109 lbs (49.5 kg) meatball-setting the world record for the largest meatball.
after the record for the largest meatball was confirmed, the meatball was cut up into normal-sized portions and served to everyone at the record-setting event.
The Hotel’s Executive chef Rainer Zinngrebe along with banquet chef Aldo Novoa accomplished the appetizing feat, surpassing a previous Guinness world record for the largest meatball set in 2008 that stood at 32.93 kg, or 72 lbs., 9 oz.

Story from World Records Academy. More pictures here. Note that no one mentions what type of meat was actually used…

Dream Wedding

Posted in Fast Food on July 14, 2009 by chomposaurus

Yeah, I could totally see myself doing this.

EuroChomp SausageFest 2009: Knödelsuppe

Posted in EUROCHOMP with tags , on June 24, 2009 by chomposaurus

And here is the crown glory of my adventures in euromeatland: Knödelsuppe, a ball of the most mouth-watering, soft, succulent meatloaf you’ve ever tasted floating in a buttery broth of spicy goodness. The meat itself, who cares what was in it? It tasted like someone had rubbed your favorite roast in just the right amount of lard and butter and then grinded it up before cooking it in a pot of boiling broth. I have to admit, I don’t remember it too precisely, because I was so consumed by consuming it that my memory is a bit hazy. But as they say back home: it was real good.

We ate this wonder at the biergarten in the Viktualienmarkt, Munich’s outdoor meat and produce market. It’s an absolutely fabulous place to eat on a spring or summer night, and it attracts a nice mix of locals that gives you a fine and friendly view of the people of Munich. Sit at one of the tables WITH a table cloth if you want wench service; otherwise you have to navigate the separate beer and meat stands yourself.

EuroChomp SausageFest 2009: Leberkäse

Posted in EUROCHOMP, KNOW YOUR SAUSAGE, Leberkäse on June 23, 2009 by chomposaurus

Leberkäse literally means “Liver Cheese,” although it contains neither liver nor cheese. Instead, it contains delicious: corned beef, bacon, onion and spices finely ground, then baked as a meat loaf. Then served alongside copious beer and mustard, as though you needed anything to speed passage of this deliciousness from the table to your belly.

Here, my friends, is the pure elemental form of bologna, the way the gods ate it on Olympus before the devil Oscar Meyer stole it from them and brought it down to us filthy humans. Come to the south of Germany or Austria and try some before the realize we’re not worthy.