Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Oh, No!

Not another burger place! Not another burger blog!

I share your pain. After devouring the ten-ounce behemoth burger at Bobcat Bite, I swore to lay off burgers and burger blogging for at least a month. Then I went on Gil Garduno’s blog (Gil’s Thrilling [And Filling] Blog) and read about Lumpy’s Burgers in Albuquerque. So much for good intentions.

Even though we had eaten a large breakfast that morning at The Range Café, had completed one medical appointment, and had numerous errands (we wouldn’t be back in Trader Joe’s territory for at least three months), late afternoon found us ready to eat again. And the strong spring winds had abated--at least temporarily--so it was a good time to try a Lumpy burger.

Lumpy’s is located on Central Avenue just west of the Rio Grande River in what used to be a taco stand. There is no inside seating--it’s either eat at one of the tables under the canopy or in your car or take the food to go.

You may think that Lumpy’s is another one of the myriad of fast food burger joints--go to the window and place your order. If you thought that, you’d be wrong. There is a system to ordering at Lumpy’s. And it’s a twelve-step program.

Step 1: Find a parking place in the small lot.

Step 2: Proceed to the counter to the left of the order window and obtain a paper bag/ menu/order ticket and a crayon of your color choice.

Step 3: Review your options. Your entrée choices are; the Wimpy Burger (one ¼-pound patty), the Lumpy (two ¼-pound patties), the Plumpy (three ¼-pound patties), a chicken strip sandwich, a grilled cheese sandwich, an order of chicken strips, and mini corndogs.

Step 4: Choose your toppings. (They are all free.) Do you want mayo, ketchup, ranch dressing, Cali sauce (?), lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, jalapenos, cheddar cheese (No charge for cheese?), or green chile (No charge for green chile?)?

Step 5: Do you want fries? Idaho or Sweet? Chunky, skinny, or screwy?

Step 6: Do you want a beverage? Which one?

Step 7: This is an important step-–approach the potato boxes and select your spud, making sure you have selected the largest in the box. Place potato in brown bag.

Step 8: Take your bag with potato to the order window.

Step 9: Pay. (Yeah, you gotta.)

Step 10: Step away from window to wait with tongue hanging out for someone to exit a table. Snag first empty table you see and wait for your name to be called.

Step 11: Rescue your bag when your name is called.

Step 12: Enjoy.

I was going to title this blog “While Chuck Got Plumped, I Got Lumped.” He ordered the Plumpy (Yes, twelve ounces of meat; left) with cheese, green chile, and onion, while I chose the Lumpy (below) with the same three toppings plus lettuce, mayo, and pickle. Both of us ordered the screwy fries, mine sweet and his Idaho.

Let me tell you, this place is not all gimmick. These are truly first-class burgers and fries. As one blog commenter put it: …it’s greasy, gooey, very large and thin and in every way damn good.” The meat is never frozen and is juicy from a substantial fat content, the large Kaiser-style roll is buttered and toasted, the green chile is HOT, and, should you order it, the cheese is cheddar and just oozes off the burger.

And the screwy fries are a delight. They are cut on one of those spiral slicers where, with one stroke of a knife (someone please tell me the secret), you can separate the spiral into individual discs. We loved them. My sweet potato screwies were nicely browned and ultra sweet while Chuck’s screwies were a cross between a thick potato chip and an ultra thin home fry.

Our hamburger heaven in Albuquerque had been the Monte Carlo Dining Room, but our affections have been alienated. Our Duke City burger of choice can be found at Jay Kennedy and Jason Mancini’s Lumpy’s Burgers, and I have no choice but to award Lumpy’s our top 5.0 Addie rating.

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