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Nationwide Freezer Meats Burger Bust!
NationWide Freezer Meats
1930 H Street/20th
Sacramento, CA
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3/8/03

Some time ago, a group of bay-area based volunteers helped Rick move to Sacramento. After a long day of physical labor, these volunteers happened upon Nationwide Freezer Meats, and lo, their bodies were replenished by the remarkable burgers vended there. Furthermore, their imaginations were captured by certain Polaroids posted on the wall which showed Nationwide's more robust patrons consuming multiple patties. A discussion, of a rather competitive nature, ensued. There might even have been some scoffing, or so the legend goes. In the days that followed, the matter was not dropped. In fact, facilitated by email, tensions escalated. Challenges were issued, stakes were raised. Astonishing claims were made. Finally, the only option left was decisive action. The Nationwide Burger Bust was officially convened.

The day dawned warm and lovely, as many days do in Sacramento. By lunchtime we had gathered at Rick's apartment, which is really nice and much bigger than mine and also cheaper, damn him! There was some nervousness among the participants, at least those who had committed to multiple patties. The exception, of course, was Jay, who was shockingly nonchalant. His air of confidence seemed incredible, given what he proposed to do: eat a whopping 5 patties. I've seen very capable eaters hesitate to get a double, and panic at the thought of a quad. I wished him well, of course, but I must admit, I doubted. Steve, the most familiar with Nationwide, refused to state how many patties he would attempt to eat, reserving the right to make a last minute decision when placing his order. Actually, ordering was delayed a few moments, because the regular cashier wasn't sure how to ring up super colossal burgers. The manager was summoned to do some math. Even with plenty of time to think, Steve stepped up to the challenge and went for 5, as did Chris, who calmly added cheese to his burger as well. The Nationwide staff exchanged anxious glances. The cook came out to size us up. We sealed the deal with payment, and staked out a sizable table, next to a group of Girl Scouts who were making sales from inside a fort of cookie boxes. "Ewwwww gross" they squealed, when they saw our order arrive, but I really don't think they were in any position to judge our nutritional choices.

And so it began.

Those of us with the regular French Ground Steakburger (single), and even those with doubles (Jenny Reno Rocks!) of course finished first, so we were free to unnerve the Big Three with relentlessly close observation and constant photos. For the most part, they didn't falter. Steve had a close call when Jenny Reno made him laugh, and he turned a bit red and threatened to break into a sweat, but he played through it and completely regained momentum. Jenny was warned to stop being funny. Chris, silent, worked his way through cascading cheese. Jay, incredibly, augmented his meal with an order of fries, most of which he even ate. Unruffled in the extreme, he chatted casually, occasionally bouncing his baby (Peter) on his knee. I started to realize that he was a very talented eater, perhaps championship material. I will not underestimate his prodigious capacity in the future. Will we ever know its full potential? It was a riveting performance, which he topped off by eating several Girl Scout cookies, Samoas, I think.

All burgers were finished completely, and when it was over, there were a few moans and groans, but everyone agreed that they didn't feel as bad as they should, given what had gone down. Stay tuned for the sequel - there has been talk lately of six patties!

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Contact Magistrate Louise at lasqueeze777@yahoo.com

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