- THE VINE
Paul and Luke eat a Douche Burger
LUKE: Has any foodstuff undergone
so comprehensive a renaissance as the humble burger? For so long the scorned
culinary province of teenagers, single dads and the humorously obese, over the
last half a decade the burger has witnessed a return to zeitgeist perhaps
rivalled only by skinny jeans and the music of Nile Rodgers. I mean, shit, it
was only nine years ago that Morgan Spurlock raised the McDonald’s diet to the
realm of human rights violation with the movie ‘Super Size Me’. At that point
professing a love for burgers was kind of like professing a love of Idi Amin’s
ethnic cleansing policies – not something one should ever do in polite society
and really just a bad choice all round. But perhaps this was just the excuse
enterprising chefs needed to show how a burger could be done right.
The, uh, film, not the ethnic cleansing.
PAUL: Yes, the burger truly is the pizza of foods. Only rounder. Although now that I come to think of it, when viewed from a top-down view the pizza is quite round. Regardless of roundness or its similarity to the humble, round pizza, the burger is undergoing an epic resurgence; loved by foodies and heroin addicts alike, the burger is a trojan horse, though less Greek, unless there’s lamb on it. It allows a humble, affordable food conveyance vessel to smuggle lovingly prepared, hand-picked ingredients into the mouths, and eventually, bowels, or food-lovers everywhere.
PAUL: Perhaps there’s something
of a ‘slumming it’ appeal here; after eating McDonalds burgers throughout one’s
childhood, and being forced to eat your best friend’s mother’s clearly inferior
homemade burgers as a teenager, we’re now surprised by this culinary ambush.
The burger is a wolf in sheeps clothing, only unlike wolf meat wrapped in wool,
it is often delicious, and rarely leaves you picking bloody wool from between
LUKE: In Melbourne the burger
scene is helmed by one monolithic force: Huxtaburger. While there’s plenty of
other figures jostling for supremacy, Huxtaburger was the first place to really
take the “so-bad-for-you-but-so-goddamn-delicious” American burger-making model
and run with it. It’s basically just beef, cheese and housemade mayo on a
buttery, shiny bun (with a few variations thrown in for good measure), but
these burgers are discussed in almost holy terms by inner city Melbournites.
Indeed, if there’s any phrase that could generate more of a virulent response
in Melbourne than “You know what? I really like the Collingwood football club –
and its fans!”, it’s almost definitely, “You know what? I reckon Huxtaburger is
PAUL: Which pretty much brings us
to the logical conclusion of that line of reasoning. What if you took the much
lauded Huxtaburger, and douched it up a notch? No, we’re not suggesting you
clean your burger with a decidedly French water-spout positioned creepily in
your guest bathroom. We’re talking about an idea by Huxtabuger head honcho
Daniel Wilson to supercharge the insanity of the burger’s constituent parts
with a liberal amount of assholery. From the meat to the sauce to the relish,
everything within the trademark buttery buns (snarf) of this burger will be…
well, douchier. And incredibly bad for you.
The patty is a pure, unminced fillet of wagyu beef, topped with a solid disc of foie gras and slathered in three different sauces – jalapeno, lime, mayo. Every layer glistens menacingly. I can still remember the sound our arteries made as they abruptly stiffened midway through this insane culinary endeavour.
LUKE: So, basically, this is a
burger designed to give offence. A status symbol for people who can afford to
splash out $20 on a piece of food barely bigger than a human fist. An ethically
and nutritionally unsound wad of meat and sauce that screams “I’m so rich I can
afford to eat badly - and pay top dollar for it! Also I made my money through
real estate and my plasma TV is bigger than your house – that way I can really
see every detail while watching Dancing with the Stars on repeat.”
PAUL: Take note of what Luke said
there: fist-sized. This burger might contain ingredients twice as good as a
regular Huxtaburger, but it’s also twice as small. Think of it as a snack-sized
window through which to peer at your extremely well-fed corpse. The beef was
incredible, though a tad stringy; I tend to disassemble my burgers with the
precision Dexter would a victim, but Luke struggled somewhat, his bun collapsing
sodden halfway through.
LUKE: I have often been told I
should never eat in front of a girl until at least the third date.
PAUL: I don’t blame you, though,
Luke. You might eat with the panicked, shaky movements of someone living
through an earthquake, but a burger this small oughtn’t be hard to down without
making a mess.
LUKE: Perhaps that’s the point though. The person buying this burger doesn’t need to care about eating politely any more. I mean, shit, it’s taken foie gras – that ultimate symbol of refined, repulsive French decadence – and jammed it in a burger. It’s like exhibiting a Matisse in a trailer park. The rules of polite society no longer apply. The whole thing is pretty much a big “fuck you” to the pretensions of foodie culture. It doesn’t so much exist as a foodstuff as it does a savage piece of culinary comment. One eats it as parody, but by doing so becomes parody themselves. And that parody is mind-meltingly delicious.
PAUL: Exactly. There was a moment where I spilled a hunk of foie gras - the lethally rich and expensive liver of a duck or goose, torturously force fed - and mopped it up with my burger bun. The sensation of doing so was deeply unsettling; like seeing a commoner in rags fell a king, in all his finery, with a rake. In that moment, I truly felt like a douche eating a burger. Mission accomplished. The Huxtaburger, this burger proves, is not a Douche Burger. Only the Douche Burger is a Douche Burger. It was goddamn delicious and now I don't know what to think.
LUKE: Although, with all this
said, Daniel still has a long way to go to match New York's own 'Douche Burger' which comes with lobster, caviar, truffles
and a burger patty wrapped in six sheets of gold leaf. Price: $666.
You know, suddenly, I don't feel
If you have the driving urge to eat a Douche Burger yourself, it can be found at the Taste of Melbourne festival this weekend. If nothing else, we can promise the most morally complex burger experience of your life.
- THE VINE