Posts tagged “burger”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from julienorvaisas] Is the Web Dying? It Doesn’t Look That Way [Bits Blog –] – [There's always a way to get the same data to tell a different story. ] Mr. Anderson of Wired magazine argues that a world of downloadable apps, which work through the Internet and arrive via gadgets like the iPhone or Xbox, are quickly cannibalizing the World Wide Web as consumers prefer buttoned-up, dedicated platforms, designed specifically for mobile screens. Is he right? Should we plaster R.I.P. signs all over the Web? Not exactly.
  • [from steve_portigal] The Tragic Death of Practically Everything [Technologizer] – [You can hum Jim Carroll while you read this short piece that tries to dehype tech media a teeny little bit] Wired Editor in Chief Chris Anderson is catching flack for the magazine’s current cover story, which declares that the Web is dead. I’m not sure what the controversy is. For years, once-vibrant technologies, products, and companies have been dropping like teenagers in a Freddy Krueger movie. Thank heavens that tech journalists have done such a good job of documenting the carnage as it happened. Without their diligent reporting, we might not be aware that the industry is pretty much an unrelenting bloodbath.
  • [from steve_portigal] BK to offer shareable Pizza Burger [Nation’s Restaurant News] – [While results won't appeal to all, exciting to see Burger King with an appetite for innovating – crazy-sounding products – and a place to sell those non-core products] Burger King plans to introduce a giant hamburger shaped and flavored like a pizza to its new Whopper Bar in NY, adding to the list of extreme sandwiches at restaurant chains. The NY Pizza Burger is made with four 1/4-pound Whopper patties, mozzarella, marinara and a Tuscan Herb Mayo. They are placed on a 9.5-inch bun, which is sliced into 6 wedges, selling at $12.99. Burger King said the pizza burger, which is intended to be shared, would likely be introduced next week. Each wedge is about 400 calories, they said. The NY Pizza Burger is currently planned just for the New York City Whopper Bar location, which opened July 31 near Times Square. The pizza burger will join the Meat Beast Whopper, also exclusive to the New York City Whopper Bar. The Meat Beast is a Whopper topped with pepperoni and bacon and sold for $6.99.

Harnessing the marketing power of the Obama brand

This NYT article about the prevalence of President Obama’s image as an artistic subject reminded me of two pictures I took recently in Amsterdam:

Obama Burger, Amsterdam, May 2009

Yes Weed Can, Amsterdam, May 2009

The first poster mashes up J. Howard Miller’s iconic Rosie the Riveter (We Can Do It!) image with Obama (Yes We Can!), in order to sell a burger. The second puns on that Obama slogan in order to sell a t-shirt referencing a supposedly common tourist activity in Amsterdam.

More collisions between brands of leaders and brands of products and services, previously

Imelda Marcos – brand name for new fashion line
Hitler’s Final Days
Dictator Kitsch
Limits to Dictator Kitsch?

Croatia probes Hitler likeness, jokes on sugar packets
Backlash against Citroen Mao ad
Target pulls marketing campaign featuring Che Guevara

More pictures from our travels in Amsterdam are here.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • The McGangBang: a McChicken Sandwich Inside a Double Cheeseburger – (via Kottke) Another awesome example of customers co-opting (or trying to) the corporation. It's a user-generated menu item and people are trying to order it by its (rather unpalatable) name and then documenting the results. Like the obscene Skittle comments on Twitter, this is people taking a brand (and an experience) and playing with it. And then using the Internet to bring energy to that small piece of celebratory rebellion. If we ever needed another example of the brand being created by the customers not the producers, this would be it.
  • Chinese Internet meme about Grass-Mud Horse is a form of social protest – An online phenomena features a mythical character is built on the name – in Chinese – sounding close to an obscenity, but presented as an innocent song (with some fable-like plot twists) that the censors (so far) can't/won't remove. “Its underlying tone is: I know you do not allow me to say certain things. See, I am completely cooperative, right?” the Beijing Film Academy professor and social critic Cui Weiping wrote in her own blog. “I am singing a cute children’s song — I am a grass-mud horse! Even though it is heard by the entire world, you can’t say I’ve broken the law.”


This weekend we checked out Palo Alto’s new restaurant, The Counter; a place that is having some buzz in the blogosphere (and their original Santa Monica place supposedly being mentioned on Oprah). The thrust seems to be highly customizable burgers. Kinda like The Fractured Prune’s version of donuts I blogged about recently.

I was surprised at how sedate and genteel the whole thing was, aesthetically. I was expecting much more of a cartoony-branded affair. This was nice.

Even the cash featured art more than heavily branded graphics. This worked against them a little bit – it was hard to figure out what to do, there was no hostess stand. Upon coming in, if no one is there to greet you, you see a stack of cilpboards with menus. Are these for us? I actually told the guy who came up “we have no idea what we are doing” – a comment I wouldn’t normally make (I’m not that insecure, but really, we couldn’t figure out the script. A bit more wayfinding signage, branded or not, would have helped.

Here’s the menu:
There’s a lot of choices there! It’s surprising, exciting, and overwhelming. They could use a little help in form design here, again, asking you to wayfind through a series of decisions (although burger OR bowl needs some visual work to make the decision-fork a little clearer). But really, the impact of that massive set of choices (some with price premiums, some not) is pretty incredible.

They have mitigated that slightly with a set of pre-defined burgers, where they’ve chosen a few combinations, given them names (The Counter Burger) and saved you the trouble of figuring it out. But what I want is to make my own custom burger – the key experience here, it seems – but with some guidance: what goes with what? what tastes complement other tastes?

If you want to redo a room, you can consult a color wheel for info on complementary colors, you can find advice that might tell you to pick the carpet first and then select paint and fabric next [whatever the advice might be], that hot colors look good in a small room, and cool colors in a big room will make it feel more empty [again, or whatever – I’m making this up].

It’d be pretty amazing to have some help with this, if you want it. If you know what you want to eat, go for it, but if you need some help pairing up sauces and buns and so on, what can we do? Perhaps The Counter wants you to experiment and come back over and over again (we felt that urge, certainly), but what fun it would be to have some guidance!

We figured it out, eventually, with a mix of traditional (tomatoes) and curious (hard boiled eggs, english muffin) choices.

Appetizers: dill pickle chips, yet again proving that anything is good when breaded and fried. And a half-and-half appetizer of regular fries (poor) and sweet potato fries (good, but not the best I’d ever had).

Burgers were unique, tasty, fun. Overall a good experience. We’re eager to go back and try something different next time. But $70 for four burgers, appetizers, a couple of beers and glasses of wine? Ouch.

They had just the right amount of new-restaurant inquiries from servers and managers asking us if everything was okay; good problem solving when something was missing (they ran in and got us a plate of the stuff we wanted).

Wendy’s Ad

This post-Spurlock ad intrigued me. A sick amount of food/calories/fat, but suggested as an occasional indulgence, with a pointer to their other products for regular consumption (everyday? Yikes). Giving permission to indulge, and somehow if you don’t eat this gross beef explosion daily, then it’s okay to eat their other burgers daily? And toss in an macho appeal (as if finishing this burger is some kind of impossible accomplishment) and you’ve got a timely story that takes on the obesity/SuperSizeMe meme and deftly turns it around.

Do a Classic Triple from Wendy’s: We don’t recommend you eat this all the time, unless you’re an offensive lineman or a Kodiak bear. For everyday use, try the Classic Single or Double. But since you probably won’t climb Everest, it’s nice to tell your friends you’ve had the Triple. It’s prepared fresh, the way a hamburger should be. Do a Wendy’s Classic Triple and do what tastes right.

HARVEY’S HAMBURGERS – a healthy lunch?

Harvey’s, a Canadian hamburger chain, has a pretty interesting combo deal. Order the sandwhich of your choice, and choose a side and a drink. Sides include onion rings and fries, of course, but also chips, and a salad. Drinks include soda pop, but also orange juice, or water. So you can order a burger, a salad (with dressing on the side), and a bottled water for the same price as a burger with fries and a Coke.

If you’re going to order a burger, it’s nice not to compound that with the other stuff, but I honestly wonder about the economics of this. Doesn’t a pop cost cents, at most (isn’t it highly subsidized by the Pepsi or Coke people?), versus a bottled water or Minute Maid juice? And even a salad that is mostly lettuce still appears to be handmade at some production facility, presumably at significantly greater cost than fries?

I know the fast food chains are all dealing with the obesity issue, at least in terms of PR, but this seems like the most encouraging and intriguing food offering I’d seen to date.


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