Friday, 9 December 2011

Cheeburger Cheeburger Classic (NYC)

$5.99 buys you a big but mind-bogglingly bland burger. Colonel Mustard just filed the following dismal, one-star report from New York City...

Regular Burgerac contributor Colonel Mustard remembers visits to Cheeburger Cheeburger as a student with some fondness. So when she recently stumbled across a branch of the US fast food chain in New York's JFK airport, she popped in for old times sake...

I first came across Cheeburger Cheeburger when on the classic college vacation we Americans call Spring Break. While staying at my friend's parents' home in Naples, Florida, a group of us frequented this souped-up diner on several occasions. In fact, on one of these visits, I succumbed to the restaurant's big-ass burger challenge: to finish their "famous pounder." The Pounder has a stonking pre-cooked weight of 20 ounces and if you can down this bona fide whopper in one sitting, you get your name posted on the Wall of Fame.

While this seems like a doozy of a prize for such an awesome feat, even way back then I had a lot of confidence in my appetite for burgers. I felt sure this was a challenge I could rise to with victory being the only possible outcome. And, hey, ask any American: who doesn't like to score big on Spring Break? However, about three quarters of my way through the burger, with roughly four ounces remaining, I just couldn't handle any more meat in my mouth, and had to shamefully admit that despite the burger's juicy goodness, I could not finish the challenge.

That was quite a while ago. I haven't had a Cheeburger Cheeburger burger in nearly ten years but while traveling recently I spotted a Cheeburger branch in none other than JFK Airport in New York City. Despite the breakfast hour, I decided to take it on again — admittedly I chose the weak route this time around and only opted for the bog-standard Classic, which weighs in at a mere half-pound before cooking. I cannot explain the excitement that overcame me as I waited for what memory served was a very handsome burger. When winter semester's harsh conditions got me down, thoughts of a Cheeburger Cheeburger rendezvous on the horizon always kept me going.


Turns out I've been recalling happier days with no small amount of nostalgic whimsy. I can only describe this recent visit as a major let-down. I will readily admit I was reconnected with my Spring Break flame at JFK airport, a place not typically known for high quality food affairs. Regardless, there was no saving this burger. Despite it arriving wrapped in attractive silver foil with its traditional olive on top held in place by a cocktail stick, these sorts of gimmicks couldn't charm me.


The Classic burger consisted of dry, tasteless buns with a similarly insipid patty shoved between them. I wondered was it because it had been prepared by careless airport cooks? One can't be sure, but based on this experience I can definitely say I likely won't be bothering to find out if it was a location issue any time soon. One thing I do know about burger chains in the States is that they tend to deliver the same brand of meat, buns and condiments to every venue so the experience is the same no matter the location. Chances are all CC burgers are shit.

The crazy thing is that I will always relish in those former Cheeburger moments with the same enthusiasm I held before this JFK escapade and I would still encourage burger fans out there cruising Southern Florida and beyond to give it a go (a look at their online map shows Cheeburger's become a bit of a beefy slut in recent years). But for this particularly stale experience, I have to sum it up by saying "Hey hot buns, who's the loser now?"

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JFK Airport
Terminal 5
Jamaica,
NY 11430

Tel: +1 718 656 6210

1 comment:

Pavel said...

Makes me feel better that I'm no longer the only one star reviewer :^D

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