A few weeks ago, an old friend of mine from high school — let’s call him Jack — told me that he would no longer be eating burgers on a regular basis.
Aghast, I asked him why.
He told me that, after a profound moment of self-reflection (he looked at himself shirtless in the mirror and found himself flabby), he had decided that burgers were too decadent.
Upon further questioning, I learned that Jack had read an essay titled, “The Fate of Empires and the Search for Survival,” which theorizes that, as a civilization reaches the height of its wealth and power, its citizens begin losing the warrior virtues that the older generations had possessed. This causes society to devolve into decadence and moral degeneracy, and the civilization heads toward an inevitable collapse.
Jack said that by consuming burgers we were violating the virtues prescribed by our founding fathers (he’s a big fan of Jefferson and Agrarianism) and accelerating the decline of American civilization. To stave off decadence, he said, he was thinking about becoming a vegetarian.
Needless to say, I don’t consider Jack an old friend anymore.
Here at The Burger Column, I don’t buy into this stupid theory. Dissecting it, you realize it’s highly problematic. It’s imperialistic, chauvinistic and xenophobic. It celebrates violent conquerors and denigrates cerebral thinkers. It suggests that the past is always better than the present. And worst of all, people use it as a reason not to eat burgers.
So on this edition of The Burger Column, I want to highlight an especially decadent burger. I present the Bacon Cheeseburger from The Dizz, a pub in the neighborhood of Remington.
The Dizz is located half a block away from R. House, the trendy food court frequented by Hopkins students, hipsters and some combination thereof. On an average April day, with the sun out and a cool breeze in your hair, the short walk to Remington might very well be regarded as pleasant. Unfortunately for me, my journey to The Dizz was anything but.
You see, the night before, I was — as Jack would put it — more decadent than usual. It was a Friday night, and my friend had a little get-together at his apartment. Since I don’t want anyone getting in trouble, let’s just say my friend hypothetically served some intoxicating beverages. Hypothetically, I consumed more than my fair share and became rather garrulous. And hypothetically, I was kicked out of the friend’s apartment for annoying everyone by reciting Shakespeare and Tennyson at the top of my lungs.
When I woke up the next morning, I wasn’t exactly in the best physical condition. I was suffering from flu-like symptoms, euphemistically speaking. In fact, my mind was so blurry that I don’t even remember how I got to The Dizz. One moment I was in front of my dorm; the next I was in front of a red brick rowhouse with three neon signs flashing the name of the restaurant.
Seated at a small table with a menu in my hands, I flipped to the page that held the only thing I knew would make me feel better. I saw four beautiful words: “The Dizz’s Famous Burgers.”
Under this section of the menu, 19 different burgers were listed, ranging from the familiar to the outlandish. The burger I found most intriguing was the Espresso Burger, which is served with, you guessed it, an espresso rub. However the word intriguing really isn’t a compliment when it comes to food; I don’t enjoy looking down at my plate and being intrigued by what’s on it. Needless to say, I went with a more conventional choice. I ordered the bacon cheeseburger.
About 10 minutes later, out came my order and boy, oh boy, was it a wonderfully decadent burger. A thick patty, melted provolone, toppings of bacon, onions, lettuce and tomato — what more could one ask for? True, the burger wasn’t exactly an aesthetic masterpiece — the bread, in particular, had a humble, homemade appearance — but its wonderfully balanced flavors and textures more than made up for it. The patty was juicy but not greasy, the bacon salty but not overbearing, the onions sharp but not acerbic. With each bite of the burger, my physical discomfort seemed to get just a little better.
If you’re looking for a deliciously decadent burger, then the Bacon Cheeseburger from The Dizz is absolutely the way to go. And no, eating it will not contribute to the collapse of American civilization. Here at The Burger Column, I offer my seal of approval.