Sunday, July 11, 2010

Of Beer & Burgers

It’s like your lunch and 2 other people’s lunches are having a 3-way in your mouth” - Stephen Colbert.

Mr. Colbert was referring to Friendly's Grilled Cheese BurgerMelt. 8 oz of ground beef nestled between two grilled cheese on white bread.

1500 glorious calories. I don't know what surprises me more: The 4 grams or sugar (could I get the insulin on the side please), 2 grams of salt (that is a teaspoon of salt, your entire Recommended Daily Allowance in one serving) or 9 grams of dietary fiber - Where does it come from, the Iceberg lettuce and tomato are there for color contrast - having surrendered all their nutritional value when they climbed under the beef patty.

Friendly's is a chain of restaurants located along the Atlantic seaboard in these United States. There are roughly 500 of them but if you live west of Ohio, you are out of luck and will have to find your own local variation of the literal grilled-cheese-burger. Consumer Reports, the magazine known for encouraging people to create spreadsheets in order to buy a freaking toaster, is often viewed as humorless, but on their blog side, the consumerist.org, adroitly notes, "The Grilled Cheese BurgerMelt appears to be inspired by similar "Fatty Melts" and "Chubby Melts" that have been served in the South for a few years now". Beat the subtle humor out of the intern before its too late...

Here in Portland, there is a similar entree, The Cheesus Burger available from the Grilled Cheese Grill, a cart or more accurately, a school bus. The Cheesus Burger is only to be ordered ironically (even if you sincerely enjoy it) and not too often or the skinny jeans will cease to fit the hipster. And speaking of skinny jeans, hipsters and appreciating things ironically - Pabst beer was sold last week to C. Dean Metropoulos.

Metropoulos, both a person and a company, takes over Pabst from Kavlmanovitz Charitable Foundation, which makes sense because the flavor of Pabst always felt like you had to be doing someone a favor by drinking one. Unfortunately, the IRS ruled that a charitable group could not run a for profit business - A shame too, Pabst's a half-billion dollars a year in sales, sweetened their endowment quite nicely.

Pabst whose brands include Old Milwaukee, Stroh's and Old Style is a company that doesn't advertise, unless of course that is its advertising strategy, in which case they are total marketing Ninjas. They also don't make beer: having closed their breweries between 1996-2001, turning the brewery buildings into lofts (cool right, they are located in Milwaukee, available to renters) and contracting the actual work of brewing to MillerCoors - who will continue to do so contractually through 2014. Although Metropoulos is indicating MillerCoors can keep on brewing while they hope to do for the Pabst brand what they have done previously in takes overs of such iconic foods as Chef Boyardee, and there is a bastard who needed a complere makeover.



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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

some segue! (to PBR from PDX-version hip grilled-cheese truck). i thought the pabst brand was well-served by dennis hopper's (rip) line in "blue velvet." (starts with ... "heineken?! fts, pabst blue ribbon!")