Kids’ Meal

Can we all just grow up already? It’s only a hamburger


Illustration by Tim Bower

I will not talk to you about where the best burger in the city is. Or the best cupcake. Because I am not a small child. Yet other intolerable foodies are constantly trying to draw me into nuanced reviews of kid food. Debating which is the best burger stopped being interesting right around the time that arguing over which superhero would win in a fight did.

I enjoy a good hamburger as much as I enjoy an amazing guitar riff or a spectacular set of boobs. That doesn’t mean those things are worth analyzing on a blog post. Yet I have seen people who have eaten at El Bulli parsing whether Short Order is better than Umami. I did not spend all this money becoming a food snob just to discuss things that people who save for their child’s college education can.

We’ve become too lazy. It’s a lot harder to appreciate the subtleties of saffron in bouillabaisse than it is to carry on about how meaty/cheesy/bready/awesomey that burger was. We have normalized surface pleasures so much, the next thing you know, this magazine will devote an entire section to plastic surgery.

Foodies talking about burgers is particularly sad because it’s a bunch of uptight people trying to prove they can be fun—in the wrong way. They’re trying to pair toppings with the perfect craft brew and asking the waitress which beef blends were used. It’s like going to an orgy with a nerd who spends the whole time comparing it to Roman, Greek, and 1970s orgies. Only it’s more boring because he’s talking about a cheeseburger.

All this haute fast food is crowding out real haute cuisine. I have seen the greatest chefs of our generation destroyed by ground beef and pizza dough. The brilliant Neal Fraser is opening a hot dog restaurant. It’s as if our finest literary professors were deconstructing Everyone Poops.

We foodies are the last trench in the battle of adulthood versus permanent childhood. We must save our polemics for bordeaux vintages, regional moles, and sushi rice styles. For if we, too, succumb to the easy pleasures, then the hard ones will disappear. And then we will not be superior anymore.

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