“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.”
So begins our introduction to one of our favorite burger joints. The Big Kahuna Burger. We really like this one, thing is, it doesn’t exist. Well, it does, but only in movieland. Quentin Tarantino’s movies to be precise.
Formally known as Jake’s Wayback Burgers, the chain was launched in 1991 in Delaware. Additional locations were opened, until the beginning of franchising started in 2000. By 2013 the chain began an international expansion into 28 other countries.
By 2016 the chain counted 95 locations in the US, with international outlets bringing the total upto 133 stores.
The chain stands out amongst other similar offerings with some of its weird and even controversial offerings.
Bug Powder Milk Shakes
In 2015 the chain offered ‘protein milkshakes’ made using powder derived from crickets. Not as strange an idea as it sounds at first glance, many nutritional experts claim that insects are not only high in protein, but could provide the answer to feeding the world’s population in the future. Their Oreo Mud Pie milkshake contained 24 grams of protein from the blended cricket.
The Royal Silencer
Everyone has an opinion about Prince Harry, you know the one, James Hewitts boy. I haven’t read his biography, but the excerpts I have seen, he seems rather bitter and sad.
Wayback burgers brought a special out to commemorate the release of his book, you know, Heir and the Spare. They sold their usual two patty burger, with an additional ‘spare’ burger added, and remarked that the Royal Family could do worse than sit down with a burger and bury the hatchett.
Thee Mustang Burger
This one is a doozy. I have wrote before about the time a company had to stop selling its 1/3 pound burger, because people thought it was smaller than a 1/4 pounder because obviously 3 is a smaller number than 4.
This time they held a competition for their customers to get the naming rights to a burger special. This time the gentleman who won drove a Mustang car, so he called the burger a Mustang burger.
All good right? Well not exactly. Seems that any burger called Mustang, had to be made from wild mustang horses. Right, it is so obvious. It led to calls for boycotts of the Wayback stores till they mended their evil horse selling ways.
Ultimately it led to the chain withdrawing the name and issuing an apology on Facebook.
The Triple Triple Challange
Their next entry in the Wayback hall of fame, was a special one day challenge. Whoever could eat their triple triple burger the fastest would win the prize pot of $3,300. Just look at it, one commentator wondered if it was possibly a secret plan to curb world population growth.
Kim Kardashian Free Burgers
They offered the celeb free burgers and milk shakes for the duration of her pregnancy. I don’t know if she actually took them up on this, but hey, the offer was there.
Today’s hero of the burger world is one Wilber Hardee, who launched his namesake restaurant in Greenville, North Carolina on 3rd September 1960. He had viewed the first McDonald’s in the area and been impressed by the money it was taking when he clocked up $168 in an hour. As he exclaimed, at 15c a burger that was some sales. He already operated a successful restaurant called ‘Silo’, but wanted a slice of the burger market.
His first years trading was so successful that he looked into expanding. A meeting with James Gardner and Leonard Rawls led to the opening of the first ‘Company’ store in Rocky Mount.
Change Of Ownership
Wilber didn’t stay in charge of the company for long. Selling his share in Hardees Burger Chain to his other two partners in 1961. There are conflicting accounts of how this arose. Wilber claimed that he lost a controlling share of the business in a poker game to his two partners. Realising he no longer had control he sold the remaining stock.
However in a short book he self published in 2000, Wilber told a different story. The other partners evidently plied him with alcohol, getting him drunk enough to begin signing legal papers without understanding what they were, leading to him signing the rights for franchising away to the other men.
However in a later interview he claimed that he had just been basically stupid, and agreed to set up a company where each partner had equal voting rights, leading to the situation where the other two could always out vote him on decisions.
The chain expanded rapidly, not just with the franchising operation, but they also bought two other chains, Sandy’s and Burger Chef. By 1984 it was the fourth largest chain in America, for a brief period surpassing Wendy’s to become the third largest.
1997 saw the chain being acquired by CKE restaurants. Standing for Carl Karcher Enterprises, owners of the famous Carl’s Jr. chain, this created a group of 3828 stores in 40 states and 10 countries.
The chain however was struggling, problems with the menu, service and quality control meant sales were declining. 2003 saw a new management team planning a turnaround, and a massive sales campaign, coupled with the reinstatement of charbroiling (Wilber Hardees secret weapon) which had been abandoned years earlier. New menu items such as the thick burger saw an upturn in the groups fortunes.
Since then the group has grown to over 5000 locations worldwide.
The current chain pretty much replicates the Carl’s Jr. menu, just with different names. Their flagship offering being the Monster Burger. With two 1/3 lb patties (though knowing Americans they might be better calling them 3/9 lb patties).
Wilber Rides Again
Not one to rest on his laurels, Wilber launched another burger chain, called Little Mint. The name referring to the fact that he considered burger joints should be little, and the chain was going to make him a mint. Though not reaching the heights of Hardees Burger Chain over the next seven years he grew the chain to 50 locations.
When the company went public his shareholding made him worth $2 million dollars’.
Sadly by 1971 competition and other adverse factors meant the chain started to struggle and after falling out with the other board members he eventually sold out for $90,000.
Ever a tryer Wilber opened three ‘Hot Dog Cities’ and a seafood restaurant over the next couple of years. None lasted more than a couple of years, and eventually he was forced to sell his house, eventually filing for bankruptcy.
His low point came when he planned to kill himself by driving his car into a tree. happily his nerve failed and he never carried the plan through.
Beef & Shakes Burger Chain
1978 saw him raising the capital to start ‘Beef & Shakes’ expanding to three outlets, before selling two and rebranding the remaining one Biscuit & Chicken, before eventually settling on the name Biscuit Town.
This was to be his final success, he franchised a couple of stores, before his wife died suddenly. Despondent he sold the chain to his old outfit of Little Mint.
you would have thought that was the end of his story, but he used the money to open three Burger Castle stores. Sadly these failed, and though he opened another five ventures over the next few years, his final one at the age of 75, none of them were successful.
It was reported that Wilber was always bitter about the lack of recognition in the group. Though it carried his name, the company recognised Rawls as its founder. And the second store was considered the start of the brand, not Wilber’s original.
This changed when Carl Karcher took over. He honoured Wilber as the founder of the hardees Burger Chain, naming it’s most prestigious franchising award after him.
Sadly he died in 2008 from a heart attack, just short of his 90th birthday.
When the Diamond Reo truck manufacturer went into liquidation. Four young engineers left and set up a business of their own. Mortgaging their houses and borrowing what they could they formed Spartan Chassis to manufacture specialist vehicles such as fire pump trucks and military vehicles.
Within thirty years the fledgling company had become a leading builder of custom chassis.
Custom Fire Apparatus
On the fire truck front they tend to build incomplete chassis for other manufacturers to add the body and equipment. Companies such as Kovatch Mobile Equipment take the Spartan chassis, cab and driveline, and add all the extra parts to produce the finished product.
They ted to leave the Spartan works looking like the truc above.
And come out of the second works looking more like the above.
One thing about the American fire trucks is that they look sexy. Acres of diamond plate decoration, big air horns, air raid type sirens and V6 or V8 engines, whats not to like?
New Food Truck
Why, you might ask are we waffling on about American fire trucks sexy or otherwise? Simples, we have just acquired a 1982 Spartan Monarch pumper to turn into a fire engine food truck. Watch this space for more details of John W. Sanders II. (That’s the name of the truck, named after a sadly deceased young firefighter.)
Here is a little look at the new truck. A full post will be up shortly.
We are continually tinkering with services and ingredients. That’s the reason that where we once offered doughnuts in sugar, we now do a full range of toppings such as Biscoff, Orea, melted chocolate etc.
Since lockdown, burgers have become a big part of our workload. We tried a number of different options before settling on a range of pre made patties. These have had great reviews everywhere we have been, and for some of the larger jobs where we have served upto 4000 guests they have been the only option realistically.
Enter The Smash
We have however always hankered at adding smash burgers to our lineup. For smaller events such as weddings or private parties these would be fine. Instead of pre formed patties we would be using loosely packed minced beef. To take it to the ultimate we could use a mincing machine and use joints of beef, can’t get much fresher than that.
But what, I hear you ask is a smash burger. Well, it is quite simple to make. You take a loose ball of minced beef. Not packed too tight or it doesn’t work the same. You plop it down on a super hot heating surface. Then smash it flat with a weighted iron. Oh, and you need beef with a pretty high fat content, around 20%.
What happens is that the heat and the pressure combine causing the amino acids and sugars in proteins to react. This forms a deep, caramelised, rich crust, which takes the taste to new heights. The higher fat content melts in the burger stopping in from drying out and adding to the taste.
you can generally tell a smash burger from the uneven shape and height of the burger. Pre processed patties tend to be a uniform size and shape.
The second Friday (or Frie Day) in July is national French Fries Day. Where? you might ask, good old America, where no doubt they think they invented them despite the name.
Introduced into Ireland in 1589 by Sir Walter Raleigh, the humble potato spread to become a staple crop in many lands. Hopefully in the great cosmic distribution of Karma, this may alleviate the deaths caused by his other introduction ‘tobacco’. Perhaps we might have been better smoking potatoes and eating tobacco!
French Fries Aren’t Just Potatoes
Fries can also be made with ;
Parsnips sliver fries
Baked carrot fries
Parmesan-Crusted Asparagus fries
so even without Sir Walter we would still have had fries of some sort.
The good ole Americans consume 4.5 Billion pounds of fries, that works out at about 30 lb each. That’s a helluva lot of fries per person.
Whichever way you like your French fries, add some condiments and there is something for everyone.
A bit of a misnomer this one, as Kenny Rogers Roasters actually sold wood fired rotisserie chickens, rather than burgers. But hey, I am a Kenny Rogers fan so what can i say.
The famous country musician teamed up with John Y. Brown Jr., a former KFC C.E.O. Having been the governor of Kentucky, Brown decided to return to the restaurant business, and got together with Rogers in 1991 to open the first location in Coral Springs, Florida,. Their selling point was that rotisserie chicken was a healthier option to regular fried chicken with a tagline of “less fat…less salt…less calories” .
They gradually expanded the menu to include Turkey, ribs and numerous side dishes. Growing to around 350 locations in the US, Canada, Asia and the Middle East by 1995. In 91 ‘Cluckers’ a minor chain of chicken restaurants sued them for allegedly copying its menus and recipes. They dealt with this by buying a majority stake in the chain.
The original team of Brown and Rogers expanded the chain to some 425 stores, before selling out to Malaysia-based Berjaya Group in 1996. They announced plans to open in the UK, even going so far as to purchase land, but in the end nothing came of it.
Decline And Change Of Ownership
by 1996 they had reached an annual turnover of $300 million. By 1998 they were in chapter 11 bankruptcy. As not only other chains had added similar products, but many supermarkets and other stores offered rotisserie chicken. Nathan’s Famous Inc, bought the chain out of bankruptcy for $1.25 million, and within a short space of time they had been reduced to some 90 outlets, 40 in the USA.
In 2008 ownership changed again when they were sold to Roasters Asia Pacific (Cayman) Limited, the Asian franchise owner. This proved a good move, as the chain continued to flourish in the Asian market and grew to over 140 stores by 2011.
A Scandinavian feel to this weeks Burger joint. Oh, and a pretty unique name. Bastard Burgers. I wonder how long before a parents organisation are picketing it to stop the kids being corrupted.
Throwing its hat into the ring in Luleå in Sweden in 2016, this is a relative baby in the burger world. The chain has seen rapid growth and now numbers some 70 outlets across Scandinavia, and one in New York City.
The recipe is similar to other high end burger joints. In NY they use meat from Pat LaFrieda a celebrated high end Butcher. In Sweden the meat comes from farms in Norrbotten, and is freshly ground each day. The dips are all made in house and the bread baked fresh daily. They are also proponents of the ‘smash’ technique. Taking a ball of meat and smashing it flat on the hot griddle. This causes something called the Milliard reaction, which locks the flavour into the meat and adds a lovely caramelized browning to the meat..
They are also big on vegan, with the chain promoting two signature burgers each month, one Vegan and the other meat. A collaboration with Gustav Johansson a celebrity food blogger, and vegetarian chef, has seen him create the vegan offerings for the past twelve months.
The outlets are a sort of mix of graffiti culture, street foedy, pop theme fusion. Hip Hop music and great burgers, what’s not to like.
The New York store has a tie up with a local brewery, the Bronx Brewers. Offering their range of beers in house, whilst Bronx offer Bastard Burgers on their menu. The two businesses look a pretty good match culture wise, and this chain is going to be one to watch.
Oh, and in case you are wondering, Bastard is not a swear word in Sweden!
Over the past 12 months we have added a number of food trucks for brand activation to our portfolio. We also have some exciting new additions that are coming soon. These are great for corporate use such as brand activations, sales promotions etc. They take a service and add a touch of style to it, so the guests not only get free food or drink, the actual truck becomes a promotional item in its own right.
Our classic Citroen HY van was used by Birmingham Bears on a tour to promote their new strip. Which was made from Recycled coffee beans. It was partially wrapped by our friends at HG Graphics, and custom printed coffee clutches provided. We opened it at a number of locations around Birmingham and Coventry. Resulting in long queues of people waiting for their free tea and coffees.
We offer a range of different quirky trucks to choose from all of which can be branded and tailored to your specific requirements. For longer term events we can acquire and build a custom set up just for you. This could be another example of something like our HY van. Or it could be something totally quirky such as building a coffee cart on a WW2 tank. Or an ice cream dispensary on a Helicoptor fuselage!
Contact Us for details on how we can work with you.
Everyone loves a burger. Well almost, there are some people who replace the beef with patties made from green stuff. Whether that is still a ‘burger’ is open to debate.
Looking around the internet we across this monstrosity below;
Containing almost 1800lb of beef (Thats over 700 quarter pounders) this was built to get into the Guinness book of records. It needed a custom built over creating out of a shipping container to fit it in, and comes with 300 pounds of cheese, tomatoes, onions, pickles, and lettuce, sandwiched in a 250lb bun.
It is actually on the menu at Mallie’s Sports Grill & Bar in Detroit, and costs nearly $8000.
Realistically this was a one off burger. Created for a specific purpose.
But what else is out there, on regular menu’s and considered a normal burger, but comes with enough calories to shorten your lifespan for you pretty smartly. The Heart Attack Grill company make a number of burgers, with names such as triple bypass that contain upto 16000 calories. But this is a gimmicky burger joint, where the whole premise is you are eating unhealthy burgers. What about the regular chains. we are taking a look at what they place on the table;
Made with 3 of their famous square patties, it comes with jalapenos, crispy fried onions, cheese and bacon (though being American cheese and bacon we use those terms in the loosest possible sense) and cheese sauce, lots of it.
Weighing in at 1330 calories, it also packs a ridiculous two grams of salt, and 4.5 grams of that lovely, heart strangling trans-fat.
Carl’s Jr. Triple Western Bacon Cheeseburger 1380 Calories
Clocking in at an extra 50 calories is Carl’s Jr. offering. Famous for their adverts featuring skimpily clad models. Carl’s als have a stake in the feed your customers to death stakes. This has almost three grams of fat, though is does cut the trans-fat score down a little, yay!
Three charbroiled patties, two strips of bacon, ‘American’ cheese and crispy fries onion rings add to the experience.
Hardee’s Monster Double Thickburger 1400 Calories
Tipping the scales at 1400 calories, this again has nearly three grams of sodium, but it has upped the Trans-fat score to level with Wendy’s at 4.5 grams.
2/3 of a pound of beef, four strips of bacon, three slices of American cheese, and mayonnaise. To put it into perspective its recommended that you consume no more than 2300mg of sodium in a day, this has 2750mg.
The iconic Wendy’s square pattie makes a second entry in our list. Three patties, bacon, honey mustard, beer cheese sauce, fried onions, pickles and muenster cheese wrapped in a soft pretzel bun.
This manages to break the 1500 calorie barrier at 1520 calories, though surprisingly, the sodium comes down a little to under two grams.
Steak ‘n Shake 7×7 Steakburger 1660 Calories
We are jumping up the ladder rapidly now, with a 1660 calorie offering from Steak’n Shake. Seven beef burgers, along with seven strips of orange/yellow plastic stuff, sorry American cheese. Added to the calories are 3,800 mg sodium and a whopping six grams of trans fat.
This one just looks a mess
Whataburger Triple Meat Whataburger 1885 Calories
Climbing ever closer to the magic 2000 calorie barrier, this one looks positively clinical at the side of our last burger. Three patties, layered with the ubiquitous American cheese, topped with a bit of salad. This nudges the 1885 calorie mark, but is surprisingly low in sodium at 2080 gm and only 3 grams of trans fat. (By low we are speaking relatively. It’s low in the burger world).
As they say ‘Whataburger’!
Burger King Bacon King 2020 Calories
The first of our contenders to break the 2000 calorie barrier. Though the UK version of this is only about two thirds the size.
two ¼-pound beef patties, a hearty portion of thick-cut bacon, American cheese, ketchup, and mayonnaise on a sesame seed bun,
A full half pound of beef, thick-cut bacon, American cheese (again), ketchup, and mayo on a sesame seed bun,
Over four grams of sodium and seven of trans fat. This is a whopper indeed.