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.

LUKE: Indeed.

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 your teeth.

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 overrated.”

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 so bad.


Luke Ryan (@lukeayresryan) and Paul Verhoeven (@paulverhoeven)

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.


2 comments so far..

  • Myke's avatar
    Date and time
    Saturday 16 Nov 2013 - 12:38 PM
    Does It Come With EGG?
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  • Whopper's avatar
    Date and time
    Sunday 17 Nov 2013 - 6:56 PM
    Ummm sorry but thats a steak sandwich. Anybody who mistakes a steak sandwich for a hamburger is indeed a douche.
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