The Luther, or Doughnut Burger, at Eli’s
To make a Luther burger, which is otherwise known as a doughnut burger, just follow these simple instructions:
1) Slice a glazed doughnut horizontally. You may, if you are so inclined, grill the halves.
2) Grill a burger with cheese and top with bacon or your anti-cardiac missile of choice.
3) Assemble, with either the glazed halves of the doughnut facing inward or outward.
The sheer audacity of the doughnut burger’s senselessness follows the long and esteemed tradition of the electric turkey carver, the cat mop, and New Coca Cola. Snopes places the sandwich’s origin in the American South; this corresponds to the fact that most purveyors of the dish use Krispy Kreme doughnuts, which hold a historically tight grip on the region.
In 2006, a baseball concessions stand in Sauget, IL, earned the dubious honor of being the first to introduce the doughnut burger to the Midwest. And now, Minnesota’s first doughnut burger operation is steadily working to capture the hearts and arteries of the Jucy Lucy state. The Eli’s Donut Burger trailer has been frequenting farmers markets and county fairs throughout Minnesota all summer, and they are already planning for a mobile food truck in St. Paul.
Eli’s burger ($4.50 plain, $5.50 with the works) is served with the bacon and cheese as optional toppings, but that, of course, is a ruse. Ordering a plain doughnut burger and foregoing the toppings just amounts to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It’s too late for qualms once you get up to the window. Don’t kid yourself — just go for the bacon and cheese. They don’t use Krispy Kremes on their burger, so doughnut burger purists may jiggle with irritation at the substitution.
At first blush, one is reminded of the words of Christina Aguilera: “My body’s saying, ‘Let’s go,’ but my heart is saying, ‘No.’” We desperately wanted the burger to be worth its frightening saturated fat content, but it turned out to be rather disappointing. The burger patty itself was underseasoned (if at all), and the bacon was limp and unpleasant to eat in combination with the gooey glaze of the generic brand “bun,” which was served untoasted.
Perhaps, if the individual components are executed well enough, the doughnut burger could be a pleasant experience. But, realistically speaking, that is a quandary that I would prefer to leave to someone else. Does the world need an artisanal doughnut burger? Can we please get on board with a backlash against the backlash against healthy eating choices?