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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Confession of the Greatest Hamburger Critic in History

I don't need to tell you my name.  All I must say is that I am the most famous hamburger critic in the world, the one who wrote the recently released 800+ page book on hamburgers, the one which has been featured in all the papers and news talk shows.  Now you know who I am.

I never wanted to be a hamburger critic.  I started writing reviews of various hamburgers to make extra money while attending medical school.  Soon, I found I was being offered huge sums of money to write on the burger at this fancy Manhattan restaurant or the burger at that cafe in Brooklyn, and the money and prestige was too much to pass up.  I left medical school and devoted myself full-time to writing about burgers.  I became quite the famous character, mentioned in all the society papers.  I bought an apartment in the West Village.  And as for women - well, let's just say - well, let's just leave it at that.

Charlie Rose once said "no man has ever so clearly and purely put the bliss of a fine burger into words" like me.  It is true, I became obsessed with my craft, obsessed with painting a picture of a burger that was nearly identical to the burger itself.  It is true, I could often tell the geographic origin of the cow whose ground-up musculature provided the basis for the sandwich I was eating.  I could tell how long the meat had been aged, what the proportion of fat to meat was, the vintage of the cheese, etc.  It is true people stopped me on the street to thank me for helping them on their quests for the greatest burgers.  Women smiled, men nodded, children stared in wonder.

I guess I was living a lie for many years.  Recently I visited a fabled tavern in the West Village - Minetta Tavern - which serves a $26 burger (don't worry, the $26 includes fries).  The quality of the meat is apparent upon first chew; it's an enjoyable burger.  Not long after that I visited Five Guys and had a burger with fries and a refillable cola for $13.  Perhaps the meat is not as complex, but it's an enjoyable burger, too.  Then I realized it was ridiculous to obsess over the difference among burgers, and there normally isn't that big a gap anyway.  I now knew I had spent years writing thousands of words which were not really necessary.

Effective immediately I am resigning my post.  It's been real.