Sunday, August 2, 2009

Being Flexitarian - Losing My Meer-ginity

I must be one of the few people who have never had a Meersburger. This I feel certain of because yesterday at 1:30pm half of the world was in line to be seated in this goldmine themed, one-off restaurant where they serve burgers on tin goldminer pans (question: are tinpans "food safe"?). Heck, even Bon Appetit magazine (one of my personal favs) has ranked them as having the 3rd best hamburger in the USA.

The line for a table serpentined, in an ad hoc and disorderly fashion, through the large waiting area crisscrossing itself at least twice,stretching down the steps, out the door and ending on the sidewalk two shops away. Reportedly it was TWO hour wait...for a hamburger! I don't get it. Well, I did get it, but "to-go" and still had a 30 minute wait. This is a place where the staff doesn't rush the patrons or themselves or apparently the kitchen. During the 20+-minute stretch I waited for my order to be prepared only a party of 4 and a party of 3 were seated.

On to the construction of the cheeseburger ($7.35): The bun was run-of-the-mill plain white bread bun, barely toasted. On the bottom was a conservative swipe of yellow mustard, one piece of green leaf lettuce, two (just two) small dill pickle slices, one thin slice of red onion, one silver-dollar sized slice of tomato (wtf), a thin well-seasoned 1/4 lb. patty was cooked perfectly to medium, slice of American cheese and topped with the other half of the bun and smashed (intentionally) together.

Let us now analyze these components from the base upwards.
1. The bun wasn't discernibly toasted, to me toasting is beyond a necessity, it's a requirement
2. A perfect amount of the proper mustard
3. The lettuce was a bit ancient (slimy around the edges) and shouldn't have been served
4. Two miserly dill pickle slices? luckily I don't much care for'em
5. The red onion was the perfect amount and the perfect thickness
6. Since it's during the peak of tomato season the thin tomato slice (singular) was an embarrassment
7. As previously stated, the meat patty was griddled and seasoned perfectly
8. Serving only American cheese was no surprise (given they're adjacent to an Army training base), it's melting ooze seeped deep into the patty (does that sound like food porn?)
9. And they proudly "smash" the burger parts together explaining it allows the flavors to "mingle". I suspect it's smashed in an attempt to make the burger hold together. And there begets a problem.

Given that watery produce is the foundation on an untoasted bun, it makes for a soggy, sloppy, slippery burger which could more easily be remedied by wrapping the burger (and toasted bun of course) in traditional paper (but who wants to waste 3 seconds to do that? aside...its a skill any line cook can learn in 2 minutes). The paperwrap would also make a more "user-friendly" burger. The to-go burgers were simply placed in a Styrofoam clam-shell container.

Sorry Bon Appetit{epic failure}...not 3rd best in the USA. This burger wouldn't make the top 50 in Dallas. And I'm not sure it would make the top 20 within a 10-mile radius.

Now for the sides: Freedom Fries ($1.69) - do people really still call'em this? Let it go, puh-leez. Flacid fastfood fries fried from frozen. Limp. Greasy. And not one grain of seasoning. A worse order of fries could not be made. Ever. Of the sizable order I ate 3 fries, Rosco turned away from my FF offers after the first taste...not worth the calories or the greasy fingers...especially since only one napkin was given per to-go order and I foresaw having to use it on the burger.

Actually in hindsight, if they'd've just taken the money and said, "Hey, our fries suck so bad we're just going to charge you, but also do a favor and not put'em in the bag." I would now think more highly of the Meer's crew.

Onion Rings ($2.58) - these were the highlight of the meal, grease-less, thick cut, crispy battering and seasoned just right. Perhaps the best I've ever eaten. No, I take that back...these were the best onion rings I've ever eaten!

Despite the spot-on onion rings and the well-prepared meat patty, I felt let down, cheap and used after my Meers experience. It was nowhere near as pleasant, euphoric or climatic as expected, promised and dreamed.

On a 1-10 scale with 10 being Valerie Bertinelli, and 1 being Monica Lewinsky, I'm rating Meers a 2 or Pre-Jenny Craig Kirstie Ally.

I see no reason for a return visit.

6 comments:

  1. Haven't been out that way since they got rid of Prairie Dog Town. What a disappointment.

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  2. Too bad you didn't save yourself for me. I could show you a trick with the onion rings.

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  3. BurgerChick you make me LOL out loud.

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  4. dude, lol doesn't need a outloud at the end.

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  5. Back in the 80's (eeewww) the burgers used to be the size of the miners tin pan, it was a challenge to see if you could consume the whole burger....Meers is noted for WHAT it is not the food! When you can walk in and see the number of small earthquakes that plague the area and that the building has not been condemed by the health department is part of its appeal!

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  6. Point taken.

    Your comment reminds me of the time (back in the 70s) when my parents and two other couples went there in the winter for a dinner. They were seated by one of the walls with a two inch crack...it snowed on their table that night. How funny!

    However, I still think Bon Appetit failed by rating their hamburger as 3rd best in the USofA.

    BTW...they still have the large burger.

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