For the first meal in my daunting challenge to eat through the entire Como’s Pete’s #4 menu in a year, I choose their most classic meal – the Burgerside. Described as a classic 1950′s burger with mustard, tomato, and slaw, I figured it would be as a good place to start as any. What I didn’t get was the name. Burgerside. Why the one word? Was it a side of burger? Or the side of a burger? The more I played around with the idea in my mind, the less it made sense. Burgerside… besides a B-list New Jersey resort town used as a setting for an adult-themed cartoon on FOX, I couldn’t think of a practical application for the word. Googling it didn’t help either. The only direct match was YouTube Channel for some aspiring musicians putting out musical masterpieces like this epic jam destined for the Top 40 any day now.
Then it came to the table and I saw what you see in the picture above, it hit me… slaw? On a burger? Being a good Northern boy I’d never had “slaw” on a burger before. Maybe it’s a Southern thing. Maybe it’s a Pete’s thing. I dunno. Still don’t. But there it was. Slaw on a burger and I was about to experience this for the first time. I can’t say I was necessarily excited about it… but what else was I going to do? Quit on the my challenge on the first day? Pfft… It was going to take something a bit more special than slaw on a burger to slow this guy down.
After throwing down a few steak fries first since they were straight from the cooker and instantly regretting it as my tongue was on fire for a very intense 15 seconds after, I dove into the Burgerside (I don’t think a concoction with such a name can be merely referred to as a “burger”) and was pleasantly surprised. The slaw was placed between the bottom bun and the burger which made for a delightful flavor on my tongue quite different from the usual meaty beefness that comes with biting into a burger. The tomato on top of the burger made for a very nice cushion as it all blended together very gently. It was different… and I think I liked it…
I took another bite to figure out exactly what was going on here. My tastebuds approved, but I wasn’t sure why yet. The second bite was as good as the first. So I took a third and then it hit me. This burger was…. refreshing. That’s new to me. Burgers are rarely considered refreshing. Think about it, when was the last time you put those words together in a sentence? I don’t think I ever have. Burgers are typically MEAT IN MY FACE GET IN MY BELLY type things. Ya know, the triple-double-super-slammer-two-cows-died-for-this-thing-because-MERICA burger we see every day thanks to fast food restaurants trying to outdo each other. Those are far from refreshing. The Burgerside… was. And that was weird.
It took a minute to soak in but I was genuinely enjoying this different type of burger. Sure it originated in the 50′s drive-in culture so it’s far from a fresh idea… but it is an unusual creature in our post-Big Mac world. I finished eating my Burgerside and had grown quite fond of it by the time I was done. I finished my fries too, threw down another glass of sweet tea, and sat back feeling satisfied and full. Not greasy, overfull, or slightly guilty from how many animals died in the production of my sandwich as I normally do at one of those other burger joints. I felt good because I had eaten good food. So touché Burgerside… I still don’t know why you carry such a specifically non-descriptive name, but you’ve won me over.
Til next meal
Patsy & Avery Wood eat at Pete’s for dinner at least 4 days per week. To say they’re regulars around here would be putting it mildly! Especially since Avery has been coming to eat at Pete’s since 1960 and Patsy since the 70′s. After 50 years, they’re more than customers – they’re Pete’s family! Avery […]
David McMurray, aka the hamburgler, has been coming to our restaurant for over 20 years now. As you might have guessed, he almost always orders a hamburger and is a big fan of every burger on our menu. He enjoys coming to lunch here because he usually runs into friends who also work in the […]
Our customers of the month for January 2014 are Harold & Rhonda Carey. They have been coming to Como’s Pete’s #4 since 1970 and are big fans of the food, staff, and other customers. They consider our restaurant to be a neighborhood destination for the Augusta Street community! We’re always happy to see Harold & Rhonda come […]