(Wo)Man vs. Food

by Sarah on July 27, 2010 · 13 comments

I’m Sarah Pember, a food fanatic who’s held NO jobs in the restaurant biz
And now, I’m on a mouthwatering journey to find America’s best (healthy?) pig-out spots
[“Oh my God, Happy Birthday to ME!”]
Take on the country’s most legendary eating challenges (or not)
I’m no competitive eater
[“This is history in the making!!!”]
Just a regular girl, with a serious appetite
[“Go, Sarah, go! Go, Sarah, go!”]
This is my ultimate hunger quest
This is WO-man versus Food.

Watch out, Adam Richman[Click on his name to provide some context for my intro above, should you not have a similar obsession with Man vs. Food.]
There’s a new kid in town! (Fighter in the ring?)
What are you talking about, Sarah? So you ate a hamburger. Big deal. Hamburgers are delicious and not a bad thing if made healthfully.

Yeah, I know. Trust me. Remember those burger cravings at 8 in the morning I was getting for awhile? (Clearly my body was like, “FEED ME MEAT WOMAN!”)

But that is no ordinary burger I’m eating. Not even close to ordinary. Sure, it was a simple beef patty, with plain old American and Swiss cheese on it. And I guess, yes, the bacon made it a little bit more special. [What doesn’t bacon improve though? Let’s be real. I feel like there is a place for a little accent of bacon in a healthy diet every now and then.]

Here in Austin, at a bar called Gibson, where there is a trailer on the patio in which all the bar food magic happens…
…they take an “ordinary” burger…and they stick it inside a Round Rock doughnut!
You are probably thinking one of three things right now.

  1. Sarah, you have fallen off the deep end.
  2. That’s disgusting, and the fact that they even serve that is the reason for our nationwide obesity problem.
  3. I thought that being “smart” and having a “Smart Kitchen” was about eating HEALTHFULLY. How does sandwiching saturated fat, covering it with more saturated fat, and then sandwiching it between more saturated fat and a heavy dose of SUGAR qualify as healthy?

Well folks, to start with number 3. It doesn’t. There is nothing healthy about it. But when someone challenges you to eat the burger, and you happen to love novel food items, the out-of-the-ordinary, and the never-seen-before…well, you are going to take up the challenge and investigate the absurdity.

There is also something to be said for careful indulgence. Which brings me to number 2. Eating a hamburger that happens to be in a doughnut is not the reason for health problems in America. Eating one (or more) every day is.

As for #1, perhaps I have fallen off the deep end…because OH.MY.GOLL.Y’ALL. It was goooooooooooooood.

Yes, this burger is the cousin of the one sold at the stadium of the Gateway Grizzlies in southern Illinois, made famous on Man vs. Food when it was featured in Adam Richman’s ballpark tour, and called in the press either “the best burger in America,” or, alternatively, the unhealthiest, but I just had to try it…despite my constant protestations that I was going to collapse into cardiac arrest mid-bite and/or be up with intense stomach pains all night.

Did I mention it is served with a side of ‘Tater Sticks,’ that are essentially french fries dipped in batter and then fried? Or the Trailer Sauce that is some sort of delicious mayonnaise that I cannot even describe in words?
Please note that the burger does not normally come with lettuce and tomato, and that I was forced to remove it from the bun after first bite.

It is a good thing I have intensely strong willpower. I only ate 1/2 of the burger, because despite it being AMAZING (seriously, y’all…I would not lie to you…the sweetness of the doughnut—and I don’t even like doughnuts—crisped on the grill, paired with the salty bacon and the juicy burger…along with the creamy melted cheese….), I knew that should I eat more than half, I would be sick. My body just can’t take that kind of food in heavy doses. [Same thing with the fries…three—ok, maybe four—was all I needed.]

Here is our lesson in temptation for the day: if you are eating healthfully, indulging every now and then is A-OK. However, your body grows accustomed to fruits, veggies, and leaner foods, so much so that you may have a physical reaction should you go overboard. Therefore, know what you can handle, and enjoy every. single. bite.

While I was indulging in food, I might as well have a little drink indulgence, no? Some might say burgers are best washed down with beer…but I happen to believe burgers are made for bubbly!

(That’s only a mini-bottle…don’t worry.)

So maybe I’m not quite up to Man vs. Food caliber, but do I want to be? I strangely love you Adam Richman, and I will continue to watch every single episode (most of them more than once), but I think the fact that your biggest corporate sponsor is Zantac says something, no?


How did I prepare for this extreme eating challenge?

A huge salad at lunch, for sure:
Romaine, cucumbers, yellow bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, and celery, along with a scoop of cottage cheese…all covered in Penzey’s Northwoods seasoning and an impromptu BBQ vinaigrette made with a little BBQ sauce, Worcestershire, and apple cider vinegar. Also a toasted EarthGrains multi-grain thin bun. Yum!

I also had a pre-dinner snack (which helped me to hold back a little on the burger) of this Strawberry Guava Wallaby organic yogurt. [I had tried these many moons ago, but am always deterred by the price. On sale? Must buy.]
Topped it off with a little of my Trail Mix Granola
And ate it with a baby spoon! [I’m not sure if it is actually for babies…or just little.]
Have I ever told you how much I love to eat with tiny silverware? I swear I am regressing in age and/or maturity.
I raise my baby spoon to you, Adam Richman, yet I will always return to healthy food in the end. But it was fun to play your game…even for a little while. [And even if I only ate half…]
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Cara July 27, 2010 at 11:27 am

Oh man that was good. Just those two bites. Mmmmmmm.

And i love baby silverware too. I have no idea where to buy it though, without the plastic stuff protecting babies teeth. Do you know what I mean? I am describing this badly.

Brittany @ A Healthy Slice of Life July 27, 2010 at 11:54 am

That burger looks pretty amazing… and if you're going to induldge, Go big or Go home! 😉

atastelife July 27, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Yum!!! I would so try that…but like you, I think I'd stop after eating half – though I'm sure I'd want to keep chowin' down.

molly July 27, 2010 at 12:28 pm

pembs, i LOVED this post! so funny and entertaining! that burger on a donut looked AMAZING! i'm super jealous of your austin foodie opportunities & so happy that you are taking advantage of them to the max. hope to make it out to austin to eat my way through the city with you sometime!

Maria @ Oh Healthy Day July 27, 2010 at 1:35 pm

I could not agree more with your points about indulging! Hilarious and entertaining post!

p.s. Wallaby yogurt is amazing!

runnINSTYLE84 July 27, 2010 at 2:39 pm

I love eating with baby silverware too!!!

Kittie July 27, 2010 at 3:13 pm

I love baby spoons! I just bought some more this weekend.

Brandi July 27, 2010 at 3:31 pm

that burger sounds crazy! I love Man vs. Food :)

Ellen@FirednFabulous July 27, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Wow, now that is some serious food porn if I ever saw any. Even the veggies! Yummm!

Monique@She's Going The Distance July 27, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Burgers and champagne?!? Did I die and go to heaven?!?! :)

Rebeccammendations July 28, 2010 at 10:16 am

Sarah, you're so hard core. That is all. We must rendezvous in real life soon. Pretty please?

Anonymous July 28, 2010 at 10:44 pm

I love eating with baby spoons and forks. I bought this Baby Snoopy set fromt he dollar bin from Target and use them everyday! :)

I do want to try one of those Round Rock donuts, they were on Man vs. Food too! (They have that ginormous donut right?)

idelgado July 30, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Haha i like the post. We'll do the very healthy eastside pulled pork trailer sometime.

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