TLO Restaurant Review: Burger Punk
4:11 AM EST on January 12, 2021
As I brought my currently moccasined feet down on the semi-comfortable patio made up of astroturf, we were not too far from Harding Middle School. It’s where I so badly wanted to be a punk rocker—mostly to impress a girl, as you do—but, of course, had parents that would never let me dress like that. So while I was never able to be a punk there, maybe I can be a punk here at Burger Punk, 3012 N. Walker, Suite B.
My schoolmate-in-arms Jodie and I walked into the painted black edifice—Goth Burger would’ve worked well too, guys—our twisted fingers in a Brit-heavy v-sign as a piss off to total conformity, but the one or two people working there really didn’t care; I think that was mostly because we were old fucks and they were just young kids.
After scouring the small menu for a minute or two, we ordered our eats and sat back to listen to the punk tunes screeching over the speakers, including a number from Taylor Momsen and the Pretty Reckless. Even though I made fun of most of the tracks, Jodie mocked me for knowing so many of them; as much as I would have liked to flip the table over and draw a switchblade, ironically I didn’t feel this would be the proper establishment to do that in.
As our eats were soon brought to our table, immediately terrorizing my tastebuds with the sheer force of their rancorous spices, I want to come out and play a strong set for the Crinkle Cut Fries ($3.50). Dubbed “the only fries worth eating”—a paraphrased play on the Clash’s own manifesto—they really aren’t too far off.
But I couldn’t take in all those musikladen smacks and kicks until I sampled the OG Punk ($8.00), an old-school entry in the catalog—I’m guessing early 1970s, probably—that, truthfully, is your basic burger topped with American cheese, house dill pickles, lettuce and some of that screamin’ Punk Sauce creating a modern classic, something like the Ramones first album.
With all the sheer terror of a pre-teen gutter-kid in his new Doc Marten’s, Jodie tried out the Street Dog ($6), a face-fucking Nathan’s all-beef hotdog topped with the house chili, “liquid gold” and, if you want them, white onions cut up in the most non-violent way absolutely possible.
Jodie called it a beautiful mess, and you know, after I took a bite, I was somewhat inclined to agree with her. I mean, sure, it’s just another convenience store dog churched up with an outlaw de plume, but this spiky-haired chili dog was a tasty morsel of bad eating for all the grimy runaways in town.
As she munched on that dirty dog, I had to gulp down the mothafuckin’ Punk Shake ($6.00). Like an audio mistake from a friend’s four-track recorder, this unhealthy mix of the most unpunk frozen elements contains vanilla bean ice cream, miso caramel and Butterfinger crumbles, almost giving me the chills and thrills that the music was never truly able to, if I’m being honest.
But, you know, in the end all I had left was the gleaming gold of the Velveeta Underground ($9.00)—like Velvet Underground, get it? Well do yah?—another burger that was encased not in shiny shiny, shiny boots of leather, but instead in the heroin-like addictiveness of a hand-patty smothered in liquid gold, fried onions and habanero.
The burger took me by surprise and proceeded to lay me out in the dining area and smack me around like I owed it money; the Velveeta dripped from the solid bun, mingling with my fingers in a golden shower of yellow goodness.
As we finished up, I stopped by Burger Punk’s immaculately clean bathrooms. As I filled the toilet with my bodily fluids, I momentarily thought about how punk it would be not to flush it, but I sadly realized I was never a punk, never accepted by punks and, at this age, never would be. I calmly flushed the toilet and walked out. Cómpralo ya!
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