Wednesday: Going Halvesies (aka the “La Palette Burger Fallacy” Post)

I eat enough burgers to know that the big boys are 8 oz. and up, the average burgers 6-8 oz. and fast-food style burgers, i.e. Shake Shack (which I adore) and 5 Guys (which I hate), are a slim 3-4 oz. These are just the rules of the burger kingdom.

photo-9So when I spotted a 12 oz. burger on the menu at La Palette, both when I was browsing their online menu and also later on the menu in the restaurant, I’m pretty sure my eyes bugged out in that cartoon-y way, just a little bit. TWELVE OUNCES?! This thing has got to be just gargantuan.

And cheap, at $13 for a burger (add $1 for a fried egg) plus fries and salad. This sounds like an impossibly good deal; I had to try it. Sometimes, impossibly good deals do exist. Not sure I could do this alone, I convinced my friend to split the “Tudo” burger me: 12 oz. of top sirloin beef, melted mozzarella, mayo, boston lettuce, tomato and a fried egg.

photo-10We were half-way on our back to watching Top Chef when it dawned on me that we hadn’t even looked at it yet. Let’s see this thing. And … disappointment. My first though was, “There is no way that can be 12 ounces.”

Next, optimism. Outloud I said, “I wonder if there’s two patties? One on each side of the bun, like an open-faced burger?”

Then, realism sets in. “Nah, that’s just the egg,” my friend says, referring to the lumpy shape on the top half of the bun that, in the darkness, I’d been *hoping* was melted cheese obscuring a second patty — not because a burger needs that much beef, but on principle. But she was right. It was just the egg.

photo-11A block later we came upon a mostly empty Magnolia Bakery.

“Eff it, let’s get a cupcake to split, too,” I said.

Spontaneity is the key to my Magnolia Bakery strategy: If you happen to walk by and it happens to not have a hoard of tourists queuing up down the street, go.

Because they do make really great cupcakes: Light and cakey with a tall head of frosting, neither top nor bottom too sweet, Magnolia’s cupcakes are all about classicism: cake flavors are typically vanilla, chocolate or red velvet; the frosting either white or brown or lightly tinted in pretty pastel shades, with plenty of peaks and curves in which to catch traditional toppings, like sprinkles or chopped walnuts.

Half a cupcake (two big bites) was the perfect pairing to half a burger (about five bites); I’d even choose to do it again, on purpose. The burger was well-seasoned, well-executed, and generally a success — aside from the false advertising. It would behoove La Palette to fix their menu; it’s not like they’d have to lower the price.


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