Friday, August 14, 2009

tall sandwiches, egg on top

If it happens once, it is an oddity. But when it happens twice, it's a movement.

Gravitas and Beaver's are serving narrow sandwiches that are so tall -- at least 5 inches high -- that neither will fit in your mouth. And both are topped with a messy fried egg.

Gravitas's Aussie Burger

Gravitas's Aussie Burger comes on a thick but narrow Kaiser roll, with a thick but narrow meat patty. Then it is stacked high with lettuce, tomato, beets (!), pineapple(!!), and an sunny-side-up egg (!!!).

I wasn't sure how to eat this burger. It did not come close to fitting in my mouth. So I tried cutting it with fork and knife. But that created an unwieldy mess that wasn't really a burger. Ultimately I had to eat the component parts separately.

The combination of flavors was intriguing, even if it was difficult to eat them all at the same time. The meat was juicy. And the whole thing looked stunning. But architecturally, it was a mess.

Would I order it again? Heck yeah.

Sadly, Gravitas's chef, Jason Gould announced his departure last week on Twitter. I hope he isn't leaving town and taking his tall burgers with him.

Beaver's Pit Boss Chickwich (pictured above)

This sandwich is almost as tall, topped by a fried egg, and extraordinarily messy. But the very architecture is an admission that you can't eat this one by hand. And that's ok.

Jonathan Jones' chickwich mixes shredded chicken with a spicy barbecue sauce. The bottom bun lays on top of a layer of sweetly dressed cabbage slaw. The chicken is topped with slices of jalapeno, an over-easy egg, and some thin, crunchy onion rings.

This sandwich simply can't be eaten by hand. The bottom bun is soaked by dressing from the slaw on one side and the sloppy chicken on the other.

Unlike the Aussie burger, this one was easier to eat by fork because the component parts were smaller and soggier. You could get a bit of chicken, slaw, egg, bun, and jalapeno in every bite.

A philosophical movement?

What's behind these impossibly tall sandwiches topped with an egg?

These chefs, like me, may be sick of the tiny little sliders, which are so cute and can be popped in your mouth in one bite.

In contrast, these behemoths aren't cute. And they can't be popped in your mouth. You can't even get your mouth around them. They are an argument for the sandwich as a manly, messy monstrosity that refusees to be reduced -- in size or flavor.


Katharine said...

Was stunned to hear that Gould is leaving Gravitas. What a shame for them. But I sure hope he sticks around town...

And now I'm freaking starving for burgers. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Odd about Gould. I think he is a co-owner as well. Anyone know the scoop?

Albert said...

I love a good sandwich or burger, but these seem silly and a bit too precious to me.

I don't want to have to deconstruct a sandwich to eat it, and I'd like to think that the chef put all the flavors there for a reason... I don't want to have to try to group them and figure out what he was planning.

anonymouseater said...

Albert -

Your complaint might make sense about the Gravitas burger -- although I wasn't thinking "precious" as I ate it.

But it certainly does not apply to Beaver's Chickwich. It is the very opposite of silliness or preciousness -- tasting more like a mess of gooey, delicious slop. No deconstruction is required; just a fork.

Austin said...

After this post I ran right over to Beavers (for the first time, but definitely not the last). The Chickwich was all I had dreamed of and more... and it was actually possible to eat it like a burger (sort of) after compressing it down and brushing the cole slaw off the bottom. The brunch special that day was also one of the most delicious things I've tasted in quite a while; it was a sort of omelet topped with bacon, both inside a biscuit that was soaked in jalapeƱo gravy and bbq sauce. Yum!

My wife posted a review of our visit on her blog, complete with photos here (although it is not a food blog):

Keep up the great foodie tips!

Kelsey said...

Before eating out, I often check this blog - our tastes are spot on. Keep up the great foodie tips, and if you have any suggestions in the Neatown/Montrose area (on the economical side) feel free to drop a comment. I just because the Neartown/Montrose Examiner on and am always looking for a good suggestion!

After your reviews of Feast, I can't wait to try it this week. God bless Houston restaurant week!


Kelsey said...

oops, *became. I hate typos!

Anonymous said...

For a less expensive version, try Smashburger. They'll add a fried egg to any burger.

Dean said...

Nothing like a fried egg on a burger. Once you try it, you'll never eat a hamburger without it.

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That is a fantastic sandwich, I actually always or at least every time I can put egg on my sandwiches, but not on top, always inside.

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