How To Wreck A Burger

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Michael Hoffman
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How To Wreck A Burger - Fri, 07/23/10 5:51 PM
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I was down in southeast Ohio today and on my way home I stopped at a small diner along Route 33, just north of Logan named, strangely enough, the 33 Diner. (I'd been there before, about two years ago, but it had shut down and now had new ownership.) I went in, sat at the counter and ordered a cheeseburger -- no lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles -- anything. Just the burger, medium rare, with some mayonnaise on the side. The waitress asked if I wanted fries. I said no.
 
I watched the cook throw this machine-formed patty on the grill, and saw him salt it enough to help out the ocean. I then waited and waited and waited. He cooked it on one side for just over seven minutes, then flipped it and cooked it for another ten minutes before adding the slice of cheese, and cooking it for three or four more minutes.
 
When it was finally served to me it was accompanied by fries. I had to ask the waitress for mayonnaise, and she gave me one of those little plastic squeeze packets. Needless to say, the burger was well, well done and as dry as sawdust. I ate a couple of bites, finished my glass of sweet tea and went to pay the check. Turns out the cheeseburger was eight dollars and the tea was two dollars.
 
Oh, and they had a little card in a stand in front of me on the counter showing how much to tip for various amounts.
 
At least I know now why I hardly ever see any cars parked there when I go by.
 
I should have stopped at Dee's Diner near Nelsonville. The food would have been just as bad, but it would have been a lot cheaper.

the ancient mariner
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Fri, 07/23/10 6:00 PM
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Hey Michael, I am surprised you didn't complain.  $8 for
shoe leather is crazy.  Well the old 33 Diner will be closed again
THAT'S FOR SURE.  oN THE LAST NIGHT THE HELP WILL WONDER WHAT HAPPENED---RIGHT ON THE HIGHWAY, SHOULDA-COULDA----sorry bout the caps---i didn't did it---it did it itself.  Blame it on the humidity.

Michael Hoffman
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Fri, 07/23/10 7:02 PM
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I didn't see any point in complaining. I don't think it would have done a bit of good.

edwmax
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Fri, 07/23/10 7:26 PM
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When complaining doesn't do any good, i have just canceled the order and walked out.   But watch 'em cook the burger that long, ... refuse the order.

Greymo
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Fri, 07/23/10 7:39 PM
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The cook's  last job  must have been  at "Five Guys".

Wabbit
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Fri, 07/23/10 8:02 PM
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Mr. Hoffman, after watching someone do that to my Burger. I would not have had the patience you showed. I would have refused it, asked for another or just a refund. I think if you order a Burger cooked a certain way, and what is served is not a bit close to what is ordered, I have the right to ask for a replacement, or refund. Burning a burger like that is just wrong... The over kill with salt... not edible ..JMHO.  Did they give it last rites before the sacrifice?

saps
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Fri, 07/23/10 9:33 PM
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Greymo


The cook's  last job  must have been  at "Five Guys".


5 Guys may be somewhat well done, but they are pretty juicy somehow.  They make a good burger, and their fresh cut fries are good as well.  What Michael is describing sounds nothing like a burger from 5 Guys.

Michael Hoffman
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Fri, 07/23/10 10:17 PM
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Wabbit


Mr. Hoffman, after watching someone do that to my Burger. I would not have had the patience you showed. I would have refused it, asked for another or just a refund. I think if you order a Burger cooked a certain way, and what is served is not a bit close to what is ordered, I have the right to ask for a replacement, or refund. Burning a burger like that is just wrong... The over kill with salt... not edible ..JMHO.  Did they give it last rites before the sacrifice?

Frankly, I was tired. I'd just spent some time on a couple of trails in a rather hilly state forest and didn't have the energy to fight.

db1105
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Tue, 07/27/10 10:14 PM
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I hate burger abuse. If I can't get a rare burger, I won't get one. I think I would have walked out watching him kill my meal like that.

baughman
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Wed, 07/28/10 1:57 PM
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I LOLed at the mention of DEE's places. I feel the same about the place. I do alot of work in the area and have had a bad time finding anything respectable. The Coffee Cup came recommended, but the 2 times I have been there its been real slow service and the food was just ok.  Seems reviews of the coffee cup have droped the last cpl of years.
  When you find a good burger in the area let me know. For now if I am in the area I hit O'bettys for a hot dog in Athens or Millers for chicken.

leethebard
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Wed, 07/28/10 4:47 PM
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saps


Greymo


The cook's  last job  must have been  at "Five Guys".


5 Guys may be somewhat well done, but they are pretty juicy somehow.  They make a good burger, and their fresh cut fries are good as well.  What Michael is describing sounds nothing like a burger from 5 Guys.


I agree...5 Guys gets a bad rap around here by some...but ,at least speaking about our local one, the burgers are juicy, and have great flavor..not burned and salted as you descibed at that horrible place!!!

buffetbuster
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Wed, 07/28/10 4:55 PM
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Michael-
I passed Dee's Diner in Nelsonville over the weekend.  Didn't stop in, because everything I read about it was negative.

Sorry to hear about your bad burger experience.

Michael Hoffman
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Wed, 07/28/10 5:07 PM
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baughman


I LOLed at the mention of DEE's places. I feel the same about the place. I do alot of work in the area and have had a bad time finding anything respectable. The Coffee Cup came recommended, but the 2 times I have been there its been real slow service and the food was just ok.  Seems reviews of the coffee cup have droped the last cpl of years.
  When you find a good burger in the area let me know. For now if I am in the area I hit O'bettys for a hot dog in Athens or Millers for chicken.

I've not stopped at The Coffee Cup in several months, but I've always found it to be good. Granted, sometimes the service leaves a bit to be desired in terms of qujickness, but otherwise I've enjoyed my visits there. Have you tried Bush's Family Restaurant in Logan? I've enjoyed their country fried steak, among other things. And in Nelsonville, don't forget the Sonic.


Michael Hoffman
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Wed, 07/28/10 5:09 PM
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buffetbuster


Michael-
I passed Dee's Diner in Nelsonville over the weekend.  Didn't stop in, because everything I read about it was negative.

Sorry to hear about your bad burger experience.



And yet, I stop at Dee's Diner several times a year -- each time hoping it will be better than the last. This has been going on for at least 15 years. I am, of course, an idiot!

chewingthefat
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Wed, 07/28/10 5:42 PM
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Before I hire someon to work in my kitchen, I make them cook one of our hand pattied 1/2 lb, locally raised and butchered, 80-20's. rare, med. rare, medium, med well, and well. the staff eats them on a dibs basis, I can eat rare or well , so the point is, if the burgers aren't perfect, or the potential employee presses down with the spatula on burger, they are told, see ya. That's one of a few hoops they need to be able to jump thru, to be considered for a job here. I have fired on the spot a few who made the cut then decided it's a swell idea to press down on the burger with said spatula, to "help along" the cooking process.
People who just don't give a damn, shouldn't be in business, and in most cases usually aren't after word gets out about them.
LOL, Greymo!

Davydd
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Wed, 07/28/10 6:56 PM
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Bush's Family Restaurant in Logan gets my  . I noticed on the menu they had fried chicken sandwiches and a grilled pork tenderloin entree. Out of curiosity I asked if they could make me a deep-fried breaded pork tenderloin sandwich (not on the menu). They readily worked one up for me, and being true tenderloin and not pork loin, it was one of the best I've had.



The Coffee Cup in Nelsonville serves a decent above average breakfast. Never tried them for lunch or dinner.

Michael Hoffman
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Wed, 07/28/10 7:01 PM
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chewingthefat


Before I hire someon to work in my kitchen, I make them cook one of our hand pattied 1/2 lb, locally raised and butchered, 80-20's. rare, med. rare, medium, med well, and well. the staff eats them on a dibs basis, I can eat rare or well , so the point is, if the burgers aren't perfect, or the potential employee presses down with the spatula on burger, they are told, see ya. That's one of a few hoops they need to be able to jump thru, to be considered for a job here. I have fired on the spot a few who made the cut then decided it's a swell idea to press down on the burger with said spatula, to "help along" the cooking process.
People who just don't give a damn, shouldn't be in business, and in most cases usually aren't after word gets out about them.
LOL, Greymo!

I remember when my youngest was in the management training course for Max & Erma's restaurants more than 20 years ago, and she had to work every kitchen station. One of the things in her manual -- in all caps, bold letters -- was to never, ever, press down on a hamburger patty when cooking.


Michael Hoffman
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Wed, 07/28/10 8:10 PM
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Davydd


Bush's Family Restaurant in Logan gets my  . I noticed on the menu they had fried chicken sandwiches and a grilled pork tenderloin entree. Out of curiosity I asked if they could make me a deep-fried breaded pork tenderloin sandwich (not on the menu). They readily worked one up for me, and being true tenderloin and not pork loin, it was one of the best I've had.



The Coffee Cup in Nelsonville serves a decent above average breakfast. Never tried them for lunch or dinner.


Although I'm not a fan of pork tenderloin sandwiches, that one you got from Bush's looks really good. In fact, it might change my mind.
 
My grandson used to love the chocolate chip pancakes at The Coffee Cup.
<message edited by Michael Hoffman on Wed, 07/28/10 8:11 PM>

Grits-N-Gravy
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Sat, 08/21/10 11:10 AM
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Let me see If I understand...people here like Sonny's BBQ, but think 5 guys burgers suck? wow.

the ancient mariner
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Sat, 08/21/10 11:42 AM
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Grits---Since I am on record as not liking Bar-B-Q--
"Weather" it is
Sonny's
Rainy's
Cloudy's, etc, etc-------I will agree with you 100%---Wow.

I have wrecked many a burger in my day, and any of them would be better than Bar-B-Q.
In my 'umble opinion, of course. 

Michael Hoffman
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Sat, 08/21/10 11:56 AM
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Oh ancient one, I like barbeque, and I like hamburgers. But I do not like hamburgers that have been pressed flat with spatulas and cooked till they are ready for a 911 call to the fire department. Five Guys presses and incinerates its burgers.

MiamiDon
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Sat, 08/21/10 12:29 PM
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Five Guys Grill, Showing the Official Burger Squasher


Grits-N-Gravy
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Sat, 08/21/10 1:18 PM
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well, of course I agree a gourmet burger is better than anything fast food, but in the fast/ fast casual genre, I havent found a better tasting burger than 5 guys.

leethebard
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Sat, 08/21/10 2:46 PM
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Grits-N-Gravy


Let me see If I understand...people here like Sonny's BBQ, but think 5 guys burgers suck? wow.


Not all of us...many people in various threads have extolled the virtues of 5 guys burgers and fries....Love them!!!!!

BillyB
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Sun, 08/29/10 9:38 AM
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Michael Hoffman


Oh ancient one, I like barbeque, and I like hamburgers. But I do not like hamburgers that have been pressed flat with spatulas and cooked till they are ready for a 911 call to the fire department. Five Guys presses and incinerates its burgers.


Hi Michael, the first thing I teach my cooks is, let the grill cook the burger, your only hear because it can't flip its self.........................

joerogo
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Sun, 08/29/10 10:00 AM
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Grits-N-Gravy


Let me see If I understand...people here like Sonny's BBQ, but think 5 guys burgers suck? wow.

 
What?  What's wrong with Sonny's?
 
I usually visit the location by UCF on Alafaya and never had a bad meal.  The meat is juicy with a nice smoke flavor and ring, the beans are excellent, service is fast and friendly(usually UCF Students) and the prices are very resonable.  I'm no Q expert, but I think Sonny's is good Q.


edking1949
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Sat, 12/11/10 3:50 AM
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At diners where the kitchen is visible, I keep an eye on the cook.
As soon as he takes a spatula to the burger and I hear the juices sizzling out, I'm outta there.
Life's too short....

MellowRoast
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Sat, 12/11/10 4:30 AM
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I don't know how they do it or what their secret is, but Five Guys does produce a juicy, tender hamburger.  When it comes to a well-done burger, they do the impossible.   As for Sonny's, it's quite good.  That's one bbq chain that I have no problem with. 
 
BillyB, that's a great line.

ann peeples
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Sat, 12/11/10 7:27 AM
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While I have never been there, my husband went to 5 Guys recently and really liked their burger. And I like to think Bob knows his burgers as he knows little out of he way places that serves them.I recently had an experience like Mr. Hoffman at a local restaurant we frequent, and the meat was soooooooo overcooked-hard and no flavor. Didnt complain, just took it home and gave it to Bo, my golden retriever. Now he was pleased!

MellowRoast
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Sat, 12/11/10 8:24 AM
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If I had a kummelweck roll, I could figure out a way to WECK a burger.

ann peeples
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Sat, 12/11/10 8:31 AM
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Me, too, Mellow!

KurtSara
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Sat, 12/11/10 8:39 AM
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Grits-N-Gravy


well, of course I agree a gourmet burger is better than anything fast food, but in the fast/ fast casual genre, I havent found a better tasting burger than 5 guys.

 
5 Guys burgers are good, but I would rather have a Culvers triple with swiss chees and onions

leethebard
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Sat, 12/11/10 9:27 AM
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I'd like to make a statement. The above letters prove a point......Cooking is an art, What constitutes art is in the eye of the beholder...or in this case,the taste buds of the beholder. In art you can say,_"I love this painting. I know this artist's technique is basically incorrect, but the painting works for me" It might not follow the accepted standards, but the finished product,pleases that art lover's senses.
       People around here(me included) argue what is a good hamberger, hotdog,pizza(me), barbecue,chain food..etc. etc.etc.....but if what you eat works for you and for you is pleasing to the food ART palet,so be it. I can argue aginst pizza hut and chain pizza. I can say(and believe in MY HEART) it's not real standard pizza....then I won't eat it,or call it pizza. If you love Pizza Hut and leave satidfied and content,like that art lover above, you chose to disagree, and are happy in your own world and way. What good is yelling at the guy and telling him he's wrong??? Oh, I know...it's fun....and this is "Roadfood" not "chain food" or "wrong food"....but we all love food and if we love what we're eating...isn't that what it's about. Would we all tell a guy, "You're wife is ugly. You don't know what good looks are do you? Now look at my wife!" Art and most other things are opinion bases(rules be damned. I am a reformed critic.....Maybe I'm wrong...maybe Pizza Hut does sell pizza......... Naaaaaa
     

ann peeples
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Sat, 12/11/10 9:42 AM
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Good point, leethebard. And to add to your thought, tastes change. We have a local custard stand that sell, imo, a wonderful burger.My husband used to swear by them.Now he doesnt care for them, and nothing has changed about them. I think he has just found other burgers more to his liking now.

Davydd
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Sat, 12/11/10 10:36 AM
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5 Guys, Culver's, etc. Yeah, I eat them and even like them, but am more interested in Buffetbuster's list. There are art lovers who like Elvis on black velvet paintings too.

jks19714
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Wed, 12/15/10 3:39 PM
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Greymo


The cook's  last job  must have been  at "Five Guys".

AMEN to that.  I'm glad to see that I am not the only one who doesn't genuflect to them!
 
We have a fledgeling burger chain which started in Newark DE called Jake's Hamburgers.  They must have flunked Burger 101 at Five Guys -- dry, thin, overcooked but even SMALLER once cooked.  I had a Jake's at the new store near home, threw it out half-eaten and walked out.  Their onion rings are pretty good, but the burgers - ugh.
 
I drove down the street to the Charcoal Pit (another local place) and got an 8-oz'er medium rare -- yeah, they'll cook them on real charcoal your way.  
 
Five Guys leaning on the spatula... 

dimmie2
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Mon, 12/27/10 11:18 AM
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annpeeples


Good point, leethebard. And to add to your thought, tastes change. We have a local custard stand that sell, imo, a wonderful burger.My husband used to swear by them.Now he doesnt care for them, and nothing has changed about them. I think he has just found other burgers more to his liking now.

 
I agree, tastes do change over the years.  Back home there's a local place called Watsonburgers and they make a very good burger. I've never found one that quite measures up to it.    I'm not an eater of anything rare or even close to it, so I really don't care if it's not the juiciest burger out there.

leethebard
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Mon, 12/27/10 9:26 PM
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I  agree. Eating out,I trust a more well done burger than a rare one.Ground beef isn't a rare prime steaki.

CCinNJ
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Re:How To Wreck A Burger - Mon, 12/27/10 10:55 PM
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Davydd


5 Guys, Culver's, etc. Yeah, I eat them and even like them, but am more interested in Buffetbuster's list. There are art lovers who like Elvis on black velvet paintings too.


Yes. The young...thin Elvis.