Friday, June 4, 2010

Thurman Café

One night last week Vince had an appointment downtown, so we decided to meet for a quick dinner somewhere in German Village. My modus operandi is that at 5:01 I’m already outta German Village and headed north on my way home. I do not tarry and I do not dawdle – but not having to forage in the fridge for some semblance of a meal was a definite incentive.

Vince has long waxed poetic about the “Thurman Burger” at a little restaurant/bar in German Village called the Thurman Café, a family-owned restaurant that has been in existence since 1942. Despite all these years of working downtown and in German Village, I had never been to the Thurman Café. So that is where we decided to meet.

I didn’t actually count them, so don’t quote me on this, but I’d guess that there are only about 12 tables and booths in this joint, along with the stools along the bar. They do have long benches in the waiting area where people take their beers to sit, drink, talk to their friends and relax. Possibly they are working up an appetite in anticipation of eating one of those Thurman Burgers. And, from what I understand, there is usually quite a lengthy wait to get seated, so this outer room also handles the overflow.

We only had about a 10 minute wait and then we were seated at a little two-top table, which didn’t seem big enough if the burgers were as big as they say. It was…but just barely! We had a great server/bartender help us. As she said, she wanted to make my “first time” an extra special one. Ha ha…not the first burger I’ve ever had, lady.

But it was the first burger from Thurman’s I ever had…and that probably qualified as a “first time”!

Vince ordered a Thurman Burger and I ordered one of their Blue Cheeseburgers. Mine was delicious, by the way – just let me get that out of the way. I managed almost half of it before giving up in defeat. But this, too, is my modus operandi. I rarely leave a restaurant without a container to take home for another meal. And KFC has nothin’ on the finger-lickin’ good thing. Yum!

The Thurman Burger itself, however, is a height-defying tower of ¾ lb. of burger, bun and all the fixings held together by what must have been specially-ordered extra-long toothpicks. My eyes widened in amazement when it was brought to the table and placed in front of my husband. There would be no way on God’s green earth that I could manage one of those things! But, Vince, well, he’s da man and somehow he managed to eat the thing without dripping most of it down the front of his shirt. I do not know how. I think he didn’t let go and just kept eating until it was gone. If he had let go, it probably would’ve burst apart in a flurry of tomato, pickle, burger and bun.

Apparently, they have a burger on the menu even bigger than the Thurman Burger, which is called the Thurman-ator. This gastric monstrosity contains DOUBLE the meat. Are they kidding? I didn’t see anyone eating the Thurman-ator when we were there. Who knows – maybe the wait staff would be legally required to have paramedics on-site with their resuscitation paddles just in case. I can’t imagine what a double the meat burger could possibly look like. But I do think it takes gluttony to a whole new level.

The restaurant received national attention when the guy from Man v. Food came to Columbus and filmed a show featuring the Thurman Burger. I don’t watch that show – other than once when it was on TV in someone else’s living room. In that episode, host Adam Richman consumed mass quantities of some sort of spicy seafood, which would pretty much be my nightmare meal, so I quickly lost interest. As Vince frequently says about my spicy food eating habits, “Ketchup is spicy for Janie…” And, no, sadly, he’s not really kidding.

I have to assume that the episode featuring the Thurman Burger was a success, or else Thurman’s Café wouldn’t still be promoting the Man v. Food episode with a big sign in its front room.

Anyway, my first visit to the Thurman Café was an enjoyable one. I mean, I was sitting there with my husband – so what’s not to like? And the second half of the burger turned into dinner for both of us the next day, so we certainly couldn’t complain about the value!

But, it’s now an entire week later…and I think I’m still working on the whole digestion thing. I'd say it should be a celery stick-and-water sorta weekend...but we're going to a cookout tomorrow evening. Hopefully, burgers will not be on the menu!

(Graphic Image by: Modern Photography)

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