Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ridiculous Eats VII: East vs. West

Ready for another artery clogging round of Ridiculous Eats? Hope you’re hungry, because this is a double portion!

First up is a food anomaly from the Land of the Rising Sun. Japan is already home to scads of bizzar-o eats, including bars that specialize in nothing more than serving the strangest parts of the freshest critters (read as: killed just before being served to you) and fugu, raw puffer fish that must be trimmed in such a way as to remove most—not all—of the fish’s highly toxic flesh. Although prepared by highly trained chefs several people die each year from improperly prepared fugu.

But that’s not why we’re here today. If you want to hear about poison fish and guts go watch Andrew Zimmern. Today is dedicated to that most American of sandwiches, the almighty hamburger. And it seems these days that Japan might be out-America-ing America with this monster: the Mega Tamago! So what would this song sound like? “Three all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, egg, bacon, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun?” Not quite the same ring, but—goddamn!—that’s a serious sandwich. I’m not entirely sure I could even take a bite of the whole thing, let alone want to, but it’s impressive nonetheless. The gauntlet seems to have been thrown, America, and the McZilla stands poised to take the world burger crown, at least in sheer size and ambition.

Ha! As if. Japan may be on the forefront of technological and automotive innovation, but when it comes to killing yourself with food, nobody does it like the good ol’ US!

In fact right here in Ohio an unassuming burger place in Columbus’ German village may have created the ultimate murder-burger. The Thurman, available at the Thurman Café, is a monster mouthful. And how is one of these mastodons of meat assembled? Well, roughly in this fashion: a ¾ pound, all beef patty is topped with ham, mozzarella, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, sautéed onions, pickle, peppers, and mayo. Not enough? It also comes with a pickle spear and a handful of potato chips.

Impressive, no? No?!?? OK, tough guy, you want the big guns? You got `em! The Thurmanator is an off menu specialty whipped up by the folks at the Thurman, and very popular with the attendees of the Arnold Classic Bodybuilding competition held in Columbus every year. Yes that’s Arnold as in Schwarzenegger, get it? The Thurmanator takes everything you thought you knew about restraint and gives it the finger. Essentially a double Thurman, here’s the break down: one-and-a-half pounds of beef , a half pound of bacon and ham, and the rest of the Thurman gang, American, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, sautéed onions, pickle, peppers, and mayo. Again with a pickle spear, but fries instead of chips.

As I recall W.W.E.I.L. contributor Justin Hemminger has tackled the Thurman, perhaps he can elucidate on the experience of eating this epicurean enormity. Or anyone else in Laughableland who has tangled with either of these monsters please, share your tales of gut-busting eats.

Ridiculous Eats will continue with more local heroes just as soon as I can dig them up!

And!!!1!! Now you can follow W.W.E.I.L. on Twitter @laughableblog.


justin said...

The sea was angry that day my friend.

I've never gone as far as the Thurmanator, but the original Thurman burger is quite a challenge in and of itself. It's usually more squished than your picture, but still huge. Cutting it in half or quarters is recommended. Also, if you intend to eat the whole thing in one sitting, you'd better be hungry. Last time I tackled one was after not eating for a whole day. Usually half of any Thurman burger ends up in a box for later. Don't be ashamed of this.

jon said...

the one time i went there i knocked out their bbq bacon burger. i also didn't need to eat for a week after that.

Dustin said...

Be sure to check out "The Sasquatch" at Big Foot Lodge in Memphis, TN. This monster is 4 pounds of hamburg with all of your standard toppings on a 1 pound bun nestled next to 1 pound of fries. If you finish the burger, it is free. If you are still hungry after that order the Yeti off the desert menu. It consists of 18 scoops of ice cream and every topping imaginable. You won't leave hungry.

Keara Hays said...

This blog is great! I am actually working on a book of acclaimed burgers in America, and the Thurman Cafe is in my book. Any chance you guys would be willing to share those photos?

Keara Hays

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