The Story of the Bad Burger

Imagine if you will… it’s the PERFECT BURGER…

And it’s JUST FOR YOU, (and you made it yourself)!

It is Friday night. But not just ANY Friday night…

It is YOUR Friday night… and what could be more important than that?

  You are out at a restaurant, and it does not matter at all which one you are at.

Maybe… its a…Tier I chain restaurant?

Or fast food…

Possibly a classic trendy hipster burger shack?

Or maybe, just maybe, you found the place in the city or town you live in that is the well known “best kept secret” and you ordered the house special burger. 

It does not matter where you are – wherever you are you can hear the “oohs” and “aahs” of satisfied customers as they eat their burgers and fries, and you can hear the sizzle of cooking beef…

…you can see the perfectly melted cheese peeking out from under the top bun, still moving slightly because of the seared beef beneath it still warming it…

…you can smell the perfectly prepared beef all around you, and it makes your mouth water as you prepare for this luxury…

Yes, you came out to eat, and yes, it is Friday night.  You had to wait 45 minutes for your table, you had to read through the menu and realize that with tax and tip your burger (and your beer, because you gotta…) you were going to spend around $32.00.

Well, the burger is perfect right?  So, the perfect burger is easily worth $32, right?

So, you wait, you anticipate, and you just know that this burger is going to be as perfect as it is in your head, maybe even better.

Because, you deserve this after all.  You work hard, its Friday night, and you are going to have that burger…

The burger that the waitress just set on the table in front of you.  You look at it, and you need it, so you pick it up…

No preamble, no ketchup, and no waiting.

You sink your teeth into the bun, through the toppings, and into the beef… and as your teeth break the substance something else breaks, as well:


As you start chewing that first monstrous bite you cannot help but feel the agony of defeat…

You ordered the perfect burger, medium rare, mushrooms and onions, no pickles, extra mayo, and cheddar cheese… because that was your taste.

That was your dream…

And that dream has become a nightmare as you chew, and that nightmare becomes one that you will not awake from.

The cheese is not melted, the meat is medium well, and the bun itself is cold and stale.  Not to mention, there are pickles on the burger, and you are not sure what the sauce is, but it is definitely not mayo.

Your perfect burger, your perfect night, and maybe now your entire weekend are shattered as you make a psychological facepalm…


Well, you could send it back… but you saw the movie Waiting, so you are not doing that.  You also know it will take another 30-45 minutes for the new burger, and you cannot wait.

So, you, begrudgingly, eat away at the substandard burger.  Suddenly, the beer does not taste as good as it had tasted, you have lost all of the desire for the fries, and you eat half of the burger.

You signal to the waitress and ask for a box to go, to not appear rude.  You finish your bill, pay the tab, and then as soon as you get out of eyesight you dump the unappetizing spectacle in the trash bin, it not even being worth the carry to the car.

This is not the last you will think of this burger, but we will come to WHY later on…

Why did this have to happen??

            Sometimes, the S#!+ just hits the fan, and bad things happen.

            You just spent $32.00 on what is the most disappointing meals that you have ever had… and you are now questioning all of your decisions, and wondering what you could have done to make this better.

            A simple solution… think about the 45 minute wait to get a seat, and think of the 30 minute wait for your food (and the fact that a single beer costs you $4.00)… that is an ONE HOUR and FIFTEEN MINUTES that you could have saved, not to mention the drive time to and from the restaurant.

            In this time, you could have made your own burgers…

            That is right, burgerS, plural…

            And you could have done it faster, and cheaper.

The math is simple…

·       A sixer of decent imported beer - $11.00

·       Two pounds of premium ground beef - $12.00

·       8 burger buns - $3.00

·       Bag of French fries - $3.00

·       Oil for frying - $3.00


            You have just spent the same amount of money and you can now make eight *perfect* quarter pound burgers (plus your fries and beer… cuz c’mon)…

            But what about time?

            OK, this is simple – you heat the oil and dump the fries in while you mix up the meat and the seasonings… nothing fancy, just salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce (seriously, don’t doubt us on this).  Press the meat into eight equal-sized patties. Remove the fries from the oil when they are done so that they can cool a bit and let some of the oil dry.

            Now, proceed to cook your burgers.  On your heated pan (medium heat) all you have to do is cook as follows:

·       about 2 minutes on each side for a medium-rare burger in a cast-iron skillet

·       about 3 ½ minutes on each side in a standard non-stick pan

            Seriously, that is it!

            Toast your buns if you want, add some cheese if you want… but this is high quality meat, so please do not add any sauces… and now you and three friends (cuz you are both having two burgers!) can enjoy a meal for the same price as eating out.

            Just… realize there might be a fight to the death since there are only six beers… two of you will only get one beer!

            The last is a math equation we cannot solve, but we can suggest that you come over to Wayside Market.  Here, we can offer you some truly awesome ground beef, and we can offer it to you at a good price.

            Well… a good price for what it is… we sell premium quality, so you do pay a little more than you would at the grocery store, but this is how you get your dream burger.

            Remember that dream burger that came to mind early on when you were reading?  I am sure you do, because I remember mine…

            The quality of the meat is what makes the difference between the dream burger and the standard, run-of-the-mill burger that anyone can make… including the restaurant that gave you your horrible experience.

            Seriously, the worst that can happen?  You get eight tries to make a better burger than the restaurant that failed you horribly… but the trade-off?

            …you get to partner with your cast-iron skillet, the high-quality meat at Wayside Market, and that sixer of beer you picked up to prepare your perfect burger with less time and expense than you ever thought possible!

To you, to your tastes, and to your perfect burger!


In Food and in Health,

The Wayside Family