(Despite being a food lover this would be my death row meal. And where you can find the best.)
Earlier this week the state of Texas banned “last meal” requests for inmates on death row. Why? Because a state lawmaker found out that one of its fine prisoners ordered the following for his last meal:
– 2 chicken fried steaks with gravy and sliced onions
– One pound of barbecued meat with a half loaf of white bread
– Three fajitas
– A meat lovers pizza
– Triple patty bacon cheeseburger
– A cheese omelet with ground beef, tomatoes, onion, bell peppers, and jalapenos
– A bowl of fried okra with ketchup
– A pint of Blue Bell Ice Cream
– A slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts
– Three root beers
And here’s the mud on their boot, the guy didn’t eat any of it. Now, I know what you are thinking:
- Who would have thought a convict would lie?
- He should have been executed as soon as he ordered fajitas.
- Did Jose Reyes really bitch out of the Mets game to get the batting title?
I’m not sure if the state of Texas was more pissed about the obscene cost of the food or that there was no one there to eat dat dere shit ton of food y’all.
I’ve always known what I would want for my last meal but luckily I have yet to be convicted of any crimes. Despite being a food lover (I hate the term “foodie”) as evidenced by the Great Paris Macaron Hunt of 2011, my gastronomic assaults on Tuscany, or respect of the fine craftsmanship of Omakase at Sugarfish, my all time death row meal would be (drum roll…as if you couldn’t already tell by the above photo) a bacon double cheeseburger, fries, and a chocolate shake. Now we can go into detail about nuske bacon, kobe beef, disco fries, and how the shake must be hand mixed (fuck you and your blender) but I’ll save that for the judge. I consider myself an All-American boy (mostly because I’m culturally ambiguous) so I have no shame in reporting my love for burgers.
Above is a photo of the burger at the Corner Bistro in the West Village of NYC. That was a day in 2009 where I took the train in from Connecticut to try 3 different burgers then head back home (there’s like nothing to do in New York after 5). I’ve driven across our great country two times and the second time I brought a little book with me called “Hamburger America”, a list of 100 of America’s greatest hamburger stands.
Here is a list of my 5 favorite burgers and 5 overrated burgers:
GRADE A BEEF
Ted’s Steamed Cheeseburger (Meriden, CT) – My possible favorite burger ever is in a shack in the tiny town of Meriden that claims to have invented the steamed cheeseburger. Tiny trays are used to steam meat and cheese into the perfect ooey gooey combination of a succulent burger. I usually sit at the bar and skip the fries so I can eat two.
Laurel Tavern (Studio City, CA) – A disrespected burger from Angelenos. Wash it down with a craft beer while you are surrounded by beautiful humans that murder your self-esteem.
Wayfare Tavern (San Francisco, CA) – The Wayfare Burger aka “Le Grand” is Tyler Florence’s homage to local Nor Cal cuisine and I will gladly pay homage to him by shelling out another $21 for a burger.
Fatburger (Various Locations) – Maybe it reminds me of 4am drunken nights at UCLA but there are times when nothing hits the spot like a fatburger with egg, no onions, and an oreo shake.
Father’s Office (Culver City, CA) – Chef Sang Yoon’s burger toes the line from manic to harmonious at times but overall it works. Despite the frustrating order at the bar and then deathmatch for a seat system I never mind when this place is suggested by friends.
GRADE E BEEF
Louis Lunch (New Haven, CT) – Claims to have invented the hamburger itself although purists argue that white bread disqualifies it from the running. Inventive cooking technique but doesn’t distinguish itself.
Oaks Gourmet (Hollywood, CA) – Burger good not “great”. More like a rave than a symphony.
PJ Clarke’s (NYC) – I don’t even remember this Average McAverage.
In & Out (Various locations) – Yea, I said it bitch. While I do love the simplicity and business model, you can take your In & Out and I’ll take my Fatburger any day. Now if I only I can get Fatburger to sell at In & Out prices.
Rustic Canyon (Santa Monica, CA) – Had a fighting chance to be the champ but overall just fell apart in the ring.
Send me your favorites. In my quest to go to all fifty US states in my lifetime (14 to go) I may hit up your suggestion soon.
[Photo: Corner Bistro in Greenwich Village on my burger tour of New York City.]