New England: home of the diner…and the Triple Murder Burger
Ben Whitmarsh tells us more about his foodie adventure in New England.
This blog post was going to be about the ‘5 best food experiences in New England.’
It was going to begin with a brief explanation of where New England is (it’s a region of half a dozen states in the north east of the USA) and then I’d dig into my thesaurus, find a collection of synonyms for ‘tasty’ and describe the breweries of Connecticut, the lobster of Maine, the cranberries of Massachusetts, pumpkins in New Hampshire, the chowder of Rhode Island and finally Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Vermont.
Readers with a firm grip on mathematics will have calculated that I just mentioned 6 foodie highlights. Yet the reason I have provided you with a whopping 20% increase on the traditional ‘5’ of the best is not down to an overwhelming desire to give all Flight Centre readers tip top value. Oh no. It’s actually because as soon as I began to think of eating in New England I started salivating uncontrollably and my mental arithmetic went all wobbly. These Pavlovian flashbacks were triggered by one particular epicurean escapade – and I use the word ‘epicurean’ advisedly, because what is a ‘Triple Murder Burger’ if not a breakthrough in world cuisine?
That’s right. A Triple Murder Burger. A single is for lily livered dieters. A double is the choice of serial underachievers. But a TRIPLE? I have heard seasoned trenchermen refer to it as the dining equivalent of climbing Everest without oxygen. It is that momentous.
If you do fancy donning your culinary crampons to make an attack on this mountainous mouthful then the place to head is Providence, Rhode Island. Make your way down to the Providence City Hall and you will see a shiny beacon of stainless steel beckoning you through its doors. This is Haven Brother’s Diner, one of, if not THE oldest mobile diner in the USA. Back in 1888 it started out as a horse drawn wagon serving up its fare to hungry workers. 125 years later they are still doing the business. Those who work the griddle at Haven Brothers are the inventors of the TMB and they are justifiably proud of their creation. After all, America didn’t become great by feasting on tofu and cress.
I have spoken to legions of top psychologists and we agreed that a suitable way of describing the eating of this gargantuan burger would be through the ‘five stages of grief’. This hypothesis states that when a person is faced by an extreme fate he or she will experience a series of emotional stages. And what is a Triple Murder Burger if not an extreme fate? So here goes:
Stage 1 – Denial
“I am never going to eat this burger. It is even bigger than anything witnessed on Scooby Doo. It is not going to happen.”
Stage 2 – Anger
“I am eating this burger. I am going to cause my jaw irreparable damage. I am livid with my eyes for controlling my stomach.”
Stage 3 - Bargaining
“Do you want a bit of my burger? There’s $10 in it for you if you don’t tell anyone. I won’t make you eat the gherkin”
Stage 4- Depression
“Why have I never eaten one of these burgers before? I have wasted my life.”
Stage 5- Acceptance
“The burger is finished. It is at one with my stomach. I accept that I could easily eat another one. But not right now.”
In short, I came through in one piece – unlike the burger - and survival has never tasted so good. Indeed, a wise man once told me that ‘If you’re not learning, you’re not growing’ and my gut certainly grew a few inches that day, so I must have ended the meal a little wiser. And heavier.
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