Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Know a Challenge When I Read One

Late last week, The Detroit Free Press published a list of "Metro Detroit's Best Burgers". As a lover of Metro Detroit and also Best Burgers, I am fairly convinced that someone at the newspaper read my blog, wrote an entire massive print and online feature specifically for me, and in doing so, laid down the gauntlet.

In 2004-2005, my brother, girlfriend (now fiancee), and occasional participants (sister and Craig) embarked on the greatest adventure of our lives, aptly named the Tour de Nacho. It was our intent to purchase and consume nachos from every single establishment in the city of Ann Arbor that sold nachos, rate the nachos on several different criteria, and then identify the champion nacho provider. In the end, we were not able to declare one universal "winner" because many of the nacho offerings simply could not be compared. We did pick several favorites such as "highest quality+quantity divided by cost ratio" and craziest nacho order, like the $15 behemoth Super Nachos sold at Tios. It was a life changing dining experience and I would like to think that we are all better people from this noble cause. Frankly, I would like to think that the world is a better place.

Similar to the great nacho tour of 2004-2005, I am propelled by this article in The Free Press to eat almost every single burger that they call out on their burger list and bring as many people as possible along with me for the meat-eating ride - my apologies to vegetarians. There are a few criteria that I will apply to this majestic quest - for example, several of the burgers on the list are defined as "High End" burgers, such as the $12 burger from Fiddleheads - and I do not know if the economic times merit this kind of extravagance. Perhaps I can convince Maureen or my parents (or both) to take me to one of these fancy-schmancy high-end burger eateries for my birthday. Based on this dining bliss, I will return to my website, and possibly with the help of participants, develop some reviews and insight as an addendum to this predefined list. On top of this, I will do my best to eat the specific burgers called out at each establishment. I do not care much for Mushroom and Swiss burgers, but if The Free Press tells me that I need to eat a Mush&Swiss burger at The Goodburger, I will eat that burger.

The goal here isn't necessarily to identify the best burger or set of burgers on the list, but rather to identify places where there is consensus disagreement with the list and contribute additional feedback to the information provided by The Free Press - i.e. scariness of the meat, unhold-ability of the burger, toll the burger takes on the stomach later in the night, etc. Your money is valuable to you, and we do not want you to waste money on a $10 burger when you could buy 20 burgers from White Castle for $10. We are here for your benefit, and to make sure that your money is spent in the optimal fashion.

This is a daunting and significant task, and I pledge to you that I, and those who will be participating along with me, do not take it lightly. I am excited, anxious, and thrilled to embark on this exciting period of my life, and I call on you to come along with me. The door is open to any and all interested in changing their lives for the better, and really, wouldn't Jesus want you to come along? I think the answer is clear and meaty.


Dan A. said...

I've been flipping through the locations and pictures preparing a list for a December visit, much like I did in the past w/ the sandwich list.

Personally I like to get them almost plain w/o the gimmicky add ons (I don't like trying new things).

Joseph said...

Even though you openly admitted to not being a huge fan of mushroom and swiss varieties, I suggest we have a Portabella burger at the Hamlin Pub. I love avocado.

shazzerxo said...

I remember hearing about the Tour de Nacho! If you're going to be doing any burger-off's the week of thanksgiving, I'll be around the Metro Detroit area & would love to come!

Love your blog, Ken. Keep it up!

BobA said...

I would think that, for such a grand adventure such as this, you would be the one to finance your entourage.

Ken said...

If only I could finance my entourage, I would. Perhaps the best I can recommend at the moment would to go halfsies on a burger. Maybe, if I'm feeling quite generous, I will purchase one person's burger if he/she agrees to write up the burger evaluation. It is also likely that I would purchase a person's burger if that person happens to also be Maureen.

Dave said...

Best Burger in Town is Red Coat.