The Eight Stages of the Burger Sads

There is a steep let down from a disappointing burger. It's one of the harshest drop-offs in the world of food excitement. It begins with the phrase, "Want to get a burger?" Upon hearing these words, the eyes dilate, the pulse pounds, the pants expand, and the hands often tighten into a burger-holding grip (make the letter "C" with both hands).

I'd been sonaring the Mesero Miguel burger for a while. Their polished twists on Mexican food are often great, including ceviche that's like an electricity zap and rich tacos. Food Critic Guy says they have a great leches cake, too. But the Mesero burger, like a recent burger at the newly-opened Green Door Public House, caused the many stages of burger sads. Here are the eight stages of burger disappointment :

Stage One: The Menu Stare The first stage boils up as you stare at the description of the burger. You doubt everything, thinking, "A burger is a bad idea, isn't it?" Or nervously asking, "Hey so, should I get the burger?" to friends, family, silverware or strangers in the restaurant. Stage one ends when you let "I'll have the burger..." barely slip out in puttering trickles of no-confidence to the waiter.

Stage Two: The Instant Regret This is when you immediately regret getting the burger. You wish deep in the marrow of your bones that you had ordered those meatloaf circles or the tower of bacon your table mate got. Note: despite the regret, you do nothing to change your order. You choose scared silence over the awkward entree change 5-6 minutes after you placed the order. At this stage, you tell yourself: "At least there will be French fries." Then, you'll pick up the menu, nervously thinking, "Oh fuck, do they come with French Fries?"

Stage Three: The Burger Curiosity You straighten your posture, gaining some confidence, as you see other burgers shuttling around the dining area. The burger-orderering customers appear happy, so you relax and order a drink. At this stage, you may or may not fill up on appetizers to avoid admitting burger defeat later (You'll declare the white lie: "Man, I can't believe I filled up on chips and salsa!")

Stage Four: The Burger Vanity This stage is one of the most confusing. Once the burger arrives, it may visually appear delicious. There are probably rivulets of juicy meat gravy, thick slices of cheese and sly, fresh toppings. Pre-eating, you may experience bouts of positive visual burger hallucinations.

Stage Five: The Direct Burger Sads It happens fast, and there are several subtle indicators. The patty can instantly slide out of a shitty, paltry bun, or it can be overcooked. Overcooked burgers usually result in maximum anger. Burgers may arrive previously sliced down the middle, which completely ruins the juice explosion you were expecting. Blown apart, dry tomatoes that taste like McDonald's trash can are also a problem. Tiny, shitty buns can result in Stage Five burger sads as well.

Stage Six: Denial by Fries This is when you just start tossing fries, one after the other, unfeelingly into your mouth. You're barely enjoying food at this point. It's not even eating, you're just putting food items in a different place.

Stage Seven: Angry Check Signing Stage Seven is when the check comes, and the any previous eagerness to pay for a $11-$18 burger washes away in rage wave. You often consider "just going to In N Out Burger" for a "fuck you" second dinner.

Stage Eight: The Rant This is the final stage. You will often rant to a significant other, family member or pet about how much was money was exchanged for an inferior product. It's also known that you'll keep your significant other up in bed with RLLGBS, or Restless Leg from the Lack of a Good Burger syndrome in the evening. It's common and natural.

A bad burger usually goes away after three-to-four days. If you experience burger anger for longer than three-to-four days, visit Off-Site Kitchen on 2226 Irving Boulevard.

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Nick Rallo
Contact: Nick Rallo