I woke up this morning thinking it was going to be like any other day. I was scheduled to go to Ballebino with Jessica so I set my alarm for 5:30am. I would need to a cup of coffee with breakfast to stay awake that early since I still hadn’t recovered from Thursday’s German Festival party. Dressed in my long shorts and sneakers with my “Check Point Charlie, Berlin” t-shirt covered by my scruffy fleece, I was ready to get messy throwing the girls donkey meat after a cold morning of observations in the bakkie.
Jess and Alicia drove up as close to 6:00am as they could but when they both got out of the bakkie and slinked through the kitchen slider, I was a bit curious.
“How do you feel about going to a parade rather than going to Ballebino?” Jess asked with an excited inquiring undertone. Two nights before at the German Festival we had a nice conversation with this boy named Pieter who knocked on our window looking for Trix as we were leaving the parking lot. Aside from wishing us a save drive home, he invited us to come to a parade on Saturday morning, which, by strange coincidence, was today!
After about 5 minutes of contemplating how much trouble I would get in and how to prevent that trouble from happening, we made our way over to the office and wrote Lorraine a nice note saying we are going to a parade. After a quick stop at Boskop followed by a short bakkie ride we found ourselves at a very empty Ojiwarongo.... We decided our best bet was to venture aimlessly around Otjiwarongo looking for a party. We figured it would be easy to find a bunch of drunken Germans building floats. I mean these people do have a special word for beer before breakfast.
Right now, I am in Africa trekking through the African wilderness, so, for this month's Throwback Third Thursday (#tbtt) I am throwing back to July 16th, 2005 when I experienced an unexpected side of Africa and upgraded to a Pretty Pretty German African Princess (see #tbtt February 2014). This is an excerpt from the journal I kept while at CCF:
Jess, Alicia and I were never able to find Pieter and his friends but we were able to make new friends with the 'King' and 'Queen' of Windhoek who invited us onto their float with open arms and plenty of beer. We rode through the streets of Otjiwarongo dancing, singing, drinking and cheering until we reached the party where we danced, sang and drank some more. It was a side of Africa I wasn't expecting and a day I will never forget!
And the winner is....
Slater's 50/50 (duh)
Let’s set the obvious reasons aside for the moment (bistro versus fast food) and look strictly at the patty. The addition of ground bacon to a burger introduces a new flavor profile as well as a different source of fat to the burger. Fat is an important part to a good, juicy burger. A lean burger is typically a dry burger so adding bacon to a leaner beef mix should, in theory, make the burger nice and juicy. And, lets be honest, everything is better with bacon!
I enjoy the occasional fast food burger. But, in your typical fast food burger, the patty isn’t the star. Without the cheese and sauces, fast food burger patties are quite dry and blah. Since becoming gluten free, I typically go for chicken sandwiches at fast food joints because they still have something going on in the absence of the bun. The one thing that the Bacon Insider had going for it, was that the burger tasted delicious even though it was VERY dry! The Bacon Insider has chunks of meaty bacon you can see in the patty which makes it salty and smoky but also results in a hockey puck. With the brioche bun and bacon mayo (and maybe the addition of some cheese) it might have been a pretty good burger. But something that kind of bothered me… the floral shape of the burger. It wasn’t a round patty. It was scalloped. It might be something gimmicky they’re going for, but it makes it seem that much more processed.
I am a medium to medium-rare burger girl. I don’t want it bleeding but I don’t want it grey. The problem with fast food burgers is that they HAVE to cook the hell out of every single one of their burgers due to too many salmonella scares. Bistros have a bit more control over their product and can, therefore, customize their preparation and is a major factor in why Slater’s 50/50 patty is so much better. The 50/50 burger is 50% beef, 50% bacon and cooked to perfection. It’s the kind of burger that causes juice to drip down your hands when you bite into it. It’s not obviously bacon-y but you know it’s better than just beef. The bacon adds a little something special and even though you can feel your arteries clogging with every bite, you keep going until there aren’t any left. Coupled with a maple bacon milk shake and fries, it’s an indulgence I am happy to have to have a couple of REALLY hard work-outs to make up for.
The moral of this story is, if you’re simply jonesing for a fast food burger, go ahead and order the Bacon Insider. It’s pretty good. But, if you’re jonesing for a phenomenal burger masterpiece, go to Slater’s 50/50. It’s the kind of burger you dream about. (Those of you who aren't in Southern California and can’t go to Slater’s… get yourself to Southern California already! You’re missing out!)
But, you know, I might be biased because Slater’s has gluten-free buns so I can get the whole experience... and I know the executive chef (Hi Brad!).
I am a biologist and my life is crap!