Behold the one-pound burger from Cheeburger Cheeburger, a Bluffton restaurant apparently operated by a workforce similar in size and age to the underground mines in Temple of Doom. It’s large, for sure, but, as the Hsieh later told us, it’s kind of a fucking pansy.
So the deal is, you eat a one-pound burger, they take your picture with a giant stuffed cheeseburger toy, make a big stink announcing your accomplishment to the nearby high schoolers and you live on in gluttonous immortality on the wall of the restaurant — at least for a week or so until the wall is too covered with pictures that they need to take some down and start again. This challenge must not actually be that hard for true carnivores, as we saw three man-boys accomplish this feat in the hour or so we were there Friday night.
And for Hsieh, the challenge was laughably easy and, he told us, frustratingly unfilling and anti-climactic. He topped the burger with an impressive collection of available condiments, from artichoke hearts to black olives (perhaps hoping to offset the heart-hardening effects of 16 meat ounces), yet still walked away hungry and unhappy. They didn’t even make a to-do and announce his name to the restaurant, and he had to ask for his picture to be taken.
This is a pretty lame food challenge anyway, as you don’t actually achieve anything for all your waistline-sacrificing mastication. I always thought food challenges were designed so the victor would end the meal holding high some trophy of his or her conquests: a T-shirt, a free meal, a Grammy, etc. But all you get here is the Polaroid on the wall and a cursory round of applause from the nearby table of kids who look like rejected applicants for MTV’s Made. Like Pete and Elda’s, in Neptune City, for instance, if you finish a whole extra large pie, you get a free T-shirt (whose design changes every so often to reflect changing pop culture trends and usually infringes on any number of copyrights). It’s not really that hard to do since the pizza is super thin crust. But they at least acknowledge your commitment to epicurean domination with a significant offering.
We got up and went into the movie to see Iron Man, and Hsieh proceeded to emphasize his dissatisfaction by guzzling half a bag of popcorn. Inside Hsieh’s stomach is either a physical anomaly black hole or a tape worm the size of the anaconda that ate John Voight. Either way, at least he’s putting it to good use by sending restaurant contests to a place of shame and ill repute.