Monday, March 28, 2011

When is a burger not a burger? (Rub BBQ)

Monte cristo burger (Rub)

A few weeks ago, when I was in NYC yet again, I had a mini pow wow of the burger brain trust with Robyn and Damon (the roving contributor of AHT). The destination of choice... Rub BBQ. The reason... the "Monte Cristo" burger that was being served as their weekly special on Monday, a sandwich consisting of a beef patty, layers of smoked barbecue turkey, more layers of barbecue ham, and Swiss cheese, all sandwiched between two thick pieces of French toast. Oh and you get raspberry preserve and some mustard to dip it in. Basically it's a heart attack layered with heart disease sandwiched inside another heart attack with some diabetes for you to dip it in. Sure it's bad for you, but do you care? It sounds delicious... unless you're vegetarian or something crazy like that... but I'm pretty sure only two vegetarian people read my blog, so we'll go on with the assumption that it is PILES OF DELICIOUS.

Layers of assorted meats!

Piles of meat = piles of delicious. Because meat = delicious. Trust me, I'm an engineer... it checks out. This sandwich is exactly as advertised... a charred and smoky burger patty (which isn't cooked to order - everything comes out medium according to them) stacked with alternating layers of shredded ham and smoked turkey, all of which is tucked neatly in between two oily pieces of moist French Toast. Which is to say it is awesome. I ended up ignoring the mustard and slathering raspberry preserve over the entire thing, so it ended up tasting kind of like the Wawa Gobbler, meaty goodness interrupted by pockets of tart sweetness. The French toast was fantastically moist (yet light), the turkey and ham kind of melded into a glorious avian-bovine blend of meat, and the beef patty lent a certain smokiness to accent the overall flavor profile. This sandwich is borderline overwhelming (it was a fork and knife affair for me), but it works. like Robyn said in the AHT review - it's a mountain of meat - there is no reason why it should taste bad.

Piles of overflowing meats...

But this brings up the question, can you really call this a burger? This question actually really bothered me the entire time I was eating. To me... eating a burger should not involve utensils. It should be a beautiful construction of beef and bun such that my hands and mouth are the only things being utilized (yep, not even my brain).

Wiki seems to think so with its rather loose definition of ground meat inside of bread, but if you showed me a picture of the monstrosity known as the "Monte Cristo" burger, I'd call it a sandwich. A sandwich that happens to have ground beef inside. While I'm kind of sad I'll never get to have this meat-mountain sandwich ever again (it's not on their standard menu), I'm glad I no longer have to torture myself with thoughts on how to classify this... thing.


Anonymous said...

"only two vegetarian people read my blog"

And one vegan. I take perverse delight in reading about people playing Russian roulette with their arteries!

Anonymous said...

Make that two vegans! I live vicariously through others. :D

Nicholas said...

Anonymous - x2 holy shit, VEGANS READ MY BLOG? Honored.

That said, I don't really feel like I'm living dangerously with my gastronomic escapades. My heart has never been healthier (as of Dec 2010 at least)!

Anonymous said...

How to tell if a person is vegan.

They will tell you.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Vegan 2 here. Your blog is very amusing and chock-full of food porn. A double win! I stumbled on it when I was looking for pictures of Taiwanese street food a year ago to torture my little sister with. It was a good time showing her all these pictures of xiao long baos and watching her mouth drool. We visited our grandparents in Taiwan during 2009 and she was hankering for those goodies she can't eat. I'm sadistic that way.

Mr. Train, how else are we suppose to thrust our lifestyle down the throats of our omnivorous fellows through the anonymity that the Internet provides, and where no girls exist? (In actuality, I have no intention of trying to do any converting. It's simply my lifestyle choice that works for me, and if it doesn't work for others, that's cool.)

Stephanie said...

i love that your blog serves as fodder for torturing veganism-converts, and maybe even the force that persuades them back to the dark side.

god, you're controversial. :D

Danny said...

monte cristo is usually a fried sandwich right? so all they did was add the burger patty to it. I feel like if it's 80% like a sandwich with a patty shoved in the middle, it's a sandwich. but why quibble with nomenclature? if it's good, then fuck it!

Nicholas said...

John Train - haha, or they look at me in horror as I shove ground beef in my mouth.

Anonymous - yeahhhh, sometimes I look back at my posts and I get nostalgic. I miss the food enough that I contemplated getting a job there...

It's cool that you're one of those vegans that doesn't try to convert peeps. Different strokes for different people. I could never pull it off, but if someone does it for the sake of health (or any reason really), I can respect that.

Stephanie - I am not controversial! I just like eating meat a lot (I mean that in the straightest way possible).

Danny - I guess that makes a whole lot of sense, but Wiki wants to disagree. Wiki is smarter than myself, so I don't know what to think anymore. Yeah it was good, too bad it's gone... FOREVER.

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