When I saw that a "Burger Week" was going to be held in Ormond Beach for the first time, my initial thought as a reporter was, "That'll be a good story."
I scheduled an interview with Carly Krakjewski, who formed part of the committee that helped put the initiative together, and on April 24, I walked into the Realty Pros Assured office on Granada knowing that, at the very least, it would be a quirky interview. After all, it was going to be a story about burgers.
And in the conversation with Carly and Skye Russell, another member of the committee, the topic of someone trying all 14 burgers came up. What if someone took that on?
Challenge accepted. I didn't say that out loud, but I thought it. Do it for a column, I told myself.
This is that column. I tried all 14 burgers.
Now, I'm not a food critic. I just love food, and I have opinions.
Three factors helped me out. My sister was moving to Virginia mid-week for a new temporary position with Dietitians on Demand, and she does 90% of the cooking at home. My parents were in town to help her move. And my best friend and her husband enable my craziest ideas.
All in all, I had people to share burgers with me, which helped a lot and I love them for it. As Carly said during our interview, part of Burger Week etiquette was "sharing is caring," and I ran with that. She meant sharing photos, but I decided to take the phrase at face value.
I tried one burger on my own. Before she left, my sister and I tried five burgers together, spaced out over four days. Not bad. My mother and I (my dad drove up with my sister to Virginia) tried four burgers together, three in one day for a big lunch. One of them was a slider so it felt manageable.
My friend Vanessa and I tried four, with her husband Adam, a vegetarian, coming along for moral support. Of those four, we had three for dinner on Friday night. Three burgers. A couple appetizers. Perhaps a couple drinks.
It ended with me questioning my life decisions inside The Grind as I struggled to chow down even one bite of their burger. I ended up asking for a box.
But man, did I try some good burgers this week. I cast my vote for my favorite, but it was a difficult decision (particularly because my expert notes included phrases like "most burger-y burger" and "Very good. Juicy." Again, not a food critic). I do think it speaks to how good our local restaurants are, and whichever restaurant wins the trophy —aptly shaped like a very tall burger — is very deserving.
Like the millennial I am, I posted photos of all the burgers I ate on my Instagram, and have had more than one person ask me, "Did you really eat all those burgers?"
Yes, yes I did. And they were delicious — 10/10 would do it again, but hopefully not until next year.