The Popcorn Stand: Burger challenge a tangled web |

The Popcorn Stand: Burger challenge a tangled web

I’ve written many times about my friend Freddie Quijas, who owns a burger joint in my old stomping grounds of Porterville, Calif.

Freddie’s signature burger is the JP, the juicy pastrami, which is basically a pastrami burger — a burger patty topped with pastrami and it’s quite delicious.

The other day I was craving a pastrami burger so when I went into U.S. Sub Base on Highway 50 I asked them if they could make one and they said sure. I can say it was on par with the quality of Freddie’s pastrami burger (although don’t tell Freddie that).

Anyway Freddie also has a challenge in which a customer must eat 10 hamburger patties topped with one pound of pastrami each for a total of 10 pounds of pastrami in 1 hour, 6 minutes to break the record of the only person who has succeeded in the challenge. Many have tried and failed.

But I don’t think even Freddie would do anything like this. As I’ve written many times before the human mind never ceases to amaze me as far as what it comes up with.

Bull City Burger and Brewery in Durham, N.C., is celebrating Exotic Meat Month (apparently there’s such a thing). Freddie did fool one of our friends once into thinking he was eating snake (actually Fred’s ribs which are also quite good), but I know even Freddie wouldn’t go this far.

Yes, Bull City Burger offers alligator, iguana, python, bison (I’ve had bison burgers, not that bad), turtle and insects.

But Bull City Burger is also offering the tarantula challenge. Customers can take on the challenge of eating a burger with an oven-roasted tarantula on top of the patty.

Although I must admit I think this would actually be a fitting official food for the Gabbs Tarantulas, which is one of my favorite team nicknames.

What amazes me is the restaurant has actually had to hold a raffle to see who actually gets the chance to eat the tarantula burger as the restaurant only bought 18 tarantulas. And four people have actually completed the challenge.

I’ll stick to the pastrami burger.

— Charles Whisnand