Dining » Food & Drink

Double Cheeseburger

2851 Gravois Avenue


Si Non Oscillas, Noli Tintinnare!

Really, there's no better slogan to describe the party we've been having here in St. Louis ever since government researchers reported that overweight people have lower mortality rates than people who are skinny, or even people who are of normal weight.


That's right. Published jointly by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute, the data show not only that overweight people are less likely to die of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or any other unpleasantness associated with caducity, but also that the fatties' lower mortality rate is not outweighed (or even countered, for that matter) by those age-old fat-boy guillotines, heart disease and Type II diabetes.

Can I get a witness!

This news is so good it's got metrics: Researchers report that in 2004 the overweight class had more than 100,000 fewer deaths than it would've if those same people had been slimmed-down gym rats.

Si Non Oscillas, Noli Tintinnare!

The phrase, rough Latin for "If You Don't Swing, Don't Ring," once graced the front door at the original Playboy mansion in Chicago.

These days Hef has plenty of mansions, and the phrase, a casualty of that orgy of self-righteousness also known as the late 1990s, has fallen into disuse. I'm sure Hef wouldn't mind if old Mound City started using it as our official slogan. It certainly has a better ring to it than our town's laughable, and, as luck would have it, hackneyed new motto: "St. Louis: All Within Reach."

That phrase, scooped almost wholesale from Ogden, Utah, an upright town best known as home to a mammoth IRS service center, gives almost no indication of the bacchanal that has ensued since the St. Louis diet received its CDC bona fides.

Of course, each of us has our own personal way of celebrating life's momentous occasions. I've noticed, for instance, that the line outside Hodak's, our town's most famous fried chicken shack, seems longer these days. I've heard there was a run on T-ravs at Michael's, and recently the town's other paper spilled a barrel of ink on an ode to the Slinger.


I just microwaved a Double Cheeseburger from Café QuikTrip. Sealed in plastic and squeezed inside a firm but fluffy bun, a Double Cheeseburger from QuikTrip is no laughing matter. When I first reached for it, I could have sworn I'd grabbed a softball. The package was firm, solid — aerodynamic. With two thick slabs of dishwater-gray "chopped beef steak" and a doubled-over slice of American cheese, this baby has heft: nine ounces of it, to be precise.

But that bun, so firm in the fridge, devolved into mushy starch after two minutes in the microwave. The attendant flood of molten American cheese couldn't have helped much, pooling as it did on the microwave floor. On the other hand, that unctuous quasi-dairy product acts as an excellent oil slick, letting the savory meat and soggy bread slide down the gullet in one go.

There's a motto for you, St. Louis: No need to chew; let the oil do the work.

Normally, before I'd allow any microwaved foodstuff to pass my lips, I'd scrutinize the ingredients list to see just which wonder of chemistry I'm about to ingest. That's when, normally, I'd also check the item's fat, sugar and calorie count. But though my Double Cheeseburger came with an ingredients list, no nutritional information was present. Normally, that would be a red flag, and under normal circumstances I might even put these two slabs of "chopped beef steak" back in the reach-in.

But that was before I discovered the virtues of corpulence (or at least chubbiness). That was before I learned that if I want a long and fruitful life, I'd better kick my diet (and belt size) up a notch.

So there I was, grabbing all within reach. Just like St. Louis.

Seen a foodstuff you're too timid to try? Malcolm will eat it! E-mail particulars to keepitdown@riverfronttimes.com

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