Less a meal and more a religious experience
Here’s as good an opportunity as any to test out my new icon, the Hungry Roger! Yes, I need to talk food, because I may have just eaten the best thing I’ve ever eaten.
I saw a segment on a Travel Channel show about Food Trucks a week or so ago. The segment featured a truck called Baby’s Badass Burgers.
I mentioned it to my partner Vic, who said “We’re goin’, right?”
Hence, today, we made the trek to the burger truck. It was not a dissapointment.
Finding where the truck would be, and getting to it, gave me flashbacks to the movie Krull. When I showed up at Vic’s house, this morning, I felt like I should be holding a handfull of red sand and shouting “At eleven thirty, the truck will be in West Hollywood!”
(Yes, I just made a “Krull” reference in a foodie post. I’m nothing if not eclectic. Yay, Burger Krull!)
It was not a short drive, nor a fast one. The 405 is a harsh mistress at the best of times… at between 9:00 and 10:00 AM mid-week it’s downright anti-social. Still, we made it with nearly an hour to spare, found the truck, and waited for them to open.
The smell alone was enough to make our stomachs try to leap up our throats and demand service. It was beef and bacon and grease and black pepper, and the longer we waited, the better the smell got. There was a point where I was thinking that it was becoming so intense that it might actually become a little unpleasant, but it only kept getting better. We had a lovely place to sit in the shade on one of the most temperate days we’ve seen this year, so there was no reason not to sit back and simply enjoy the day and the smells of cooking meat.
When they opened, I went for broke and ordered “The Cougar.” $15.00 seems pricey for a burger (that’s just the burger, no fries or drink), until you see that the Cougar is made with aged beef and is covered in St. Andre’s cheese and, honest to God, black truffles. Because frankly, if I’m going to drive for an hour to get to a burger place, I’m getting the best lookin’ thing I can get. I wasn’t dissapointed… no, not in the least.
The Cougar is about the most expensive thing on the menu. Their fries, which are amazing in and of themselves, come in at two bucks an order, and most of the burgers range from seven to ten dollars. The burgers are all made from a half-pound of quality beef and served on King’s Hawaiian buns, and they are cooked to perfection. I don’t mean “they are cooked really well” or “they are cooked the way I, personally, enjoy a burger,” I mean they are cooked to perfection. The beef is seasoned with just the right amount of seasoning, retaining the flavor of the meat, and cooked-through in a thick patty that is toothsome, tender, and juicy all at the same time. The softness and sweetness of the bun accentuates the burger ideally.
These folks are voted the best burger in Los Angeles (by the Travel Channel) and I have to agree. After I’d eaten my burger, I had to ask to talk to the cook. I had to tell him what he’d accomplished.
I told him that my grandfather had worked as a short order cook in one of the only diners to make a profit during the Great Depression. I had to tell him that my grandfather’s hamburgers, famous in my family, were the best hamburgers I had ever eaten. Until today.
Sorry, Grandpa George; your burgers are still one of my favorite foods of all time, and I’ll still try to duplicate their amazingness in my own kitchen, but it was like these people started where you left off, and took it to all new heights.
I’ve been having little aftershocks along my tastebuds in the hours since I had my burger, today. I can compare the eating experience to a lot of things; it was almost like a religious experience for my Foodie soul. It was like an entire meal served on a bun. It was like a memorial to my grandfather and all of the best hamburger chefs I have ever eaten the work of, all at once. But I’m beating around the bush. There is one comparison that is the only adequate comparison I can make.
Eating this burger was like sex, and good sex at that. I had to really concentrate to slow down, so I wouldn’t finish it too fast. I needed a rest afterwards, maybe a nap, but I had to get in my car and go home. Ever since I ate the burger, my mind has been replaying the sensations of eating it to the point where I can almost taste it again, can almost feel the sensation of the meat breaking apart in my mouth or the bun tearing under my teeth, and those sensations give me a little involuntary shudder. I just had another one, describing it. I wished that I was in good enough shape to have another burger immediately afterward.
This is Vic and me in the afterglow of eating one of the best things I’ve ever eaten, if not the very best thing. I eat a lot of good things, so it might still be hyperbolic of me to say that the half-pound burger covered in St. Andre cheese and black truffles was the very best… no, sorry, scratch that. The burger I had today was the best thing I’ve eaten to date.
That’s Anna, the lovely lady who took Vic’s and my orders. She was not only polite, but personable, friendly, and she made us feel like valued customers. The customer service was excellent; it only made the burger experience, on the whole, that much better.
If you visit their website (above), you will see where their truck is going to be. You too can play “Burger Krull,” and plan an expedition to rendezvous with the big pink truck. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, as a resident or a visitor, you really can’t afford not to. I’m serious, this shouldn’t even be a choice. A burger from this truck should be mandatory for people who eat.
If you visit me, we are going. Just accept your fate. Search your hunger, you know it to be true.
While thanking the cook and other staff, I informed these folks that they had not merely made us customers, today… they made us regulars. I figure Vic and I can have a Burger Krull adventure a couple of times a month… more than that, and it’d eat into both the gas budget and the weight-loss plans.
Not that it wouldn’t be worth it.