Jim Norton Saves a Bad Bacon Experience at the Pittsburgh Improv

It Was The Best Of Times; It Was The Worst Of Times.

In the past week I have experienced both ends of the spectrum when it comes to dining. There were some surprises and a couple firsts for me, both good and bad. Let’s start off with the good.

I went to a restaurant called Eat n’ Park. If you don’t have one of these around your house you have something like it. (Denny’s, Perkin’s, or Shoney’s) It is your typical diner that serves chicken fingers, burgers, meatloaf, and breakfast all day.

I started off by ordering an Iced Tea and this brings us to one of my “firsts”. When it came time to refill my glass the waiter just brought over an entire pitcher and left it at the table. I have been to Eatn’ Park many times and this is not common practice. I’m sure the waiter was doing it to save time and also to be a bit lazy but I had no complaints. As a matter of fact I think this should become the standard for all restaurants. How many times have you sat at your table with an empty glass trying to wave down the wait staff just to get another sprite? By the way, I took this as a challenge and made sure I drank every last drop of the pitcher before leaving.

When it came time to order the main course I went with an Angus Bacon BBQ Cheddar Burger. When the waiter was carrying it to the table my jaw dropped. The bacon was sticking out of both sides of the bun. I stared at the massive strips of bacon in awe. I had never seen such large rashers on a restaurant burger before.

The only down side was that I couldn’t see any BBQ sauce. I even lifted the bun and found nothing. My heart sank, after such a superb service on the drinks I was left with this dry burger. I decided to give it a bite without the sauce only to find that that sauce was indeed there, it was hidden under the cheese and exploded out of the burger like a BBQ land mind.

The flavor was amazing and this was one of the few burgers that I could actually taste the bacon; I would recommend giving it a try. Now on to the bad.

I went to the Pittsburgh Improv to see comedian Jim Norton and was lucky enough to get a seat so close to the stage my knee was touching it. Now I know what your thinking, “nobody goes to a comedy club for the food”, and you would be right, but I thought they would at least be able to cook a burger.

I ordered the Blues Burger cooked medium. It’s two beef patties with blue cheese, bacon, and spicy avocado sauce. When the waitress set it down in front of me I thought, “Ok this is a comedy club so this must be some kind of joke.” Imagine my surprise when learned this wasn’t a clever prank and I was not only expected to eat this thing but also pay for it.

In front of me sat two very small black burnt burgers that didn’t even cover half the bun. On top of the small hockey pucks were two drops of blue cheese about the size of a dime and 4 to 6 bacon bits. I decided to give it a try because you never know it could be good.

Biting into this thing was like chomping down on a brick of charcoal. Now I am by no means a fussy eater but there was no way I could stomach this thing. And since it cost almost 10 dollars and they had already raped me on the price of my soda ($3.50 for a sprite with no refills) I did something I have never done before in my life. I sent it back to the kitchen.

The next burger they brought to me seemed a little better on first inspection. The burgers were the size of the bun but were still lacking in cheese and bacon. I took a bite and for the second time that night I had the biter taste of charcoal in my mouth. I tried to wash it down with my sprite but then realized it would take at least 2 whole glasses and I wasn’t about to drop anymore money in this place. I covered it with ketchup and ate what I could then moved on to the salt covered fries.

Fortunately Jim Norton’s stand up was hilarious (He told me I look like every male nurse that has ever smothered an elderly person.) and he saved what could have been a horrible night. I now know why the 7pm dinner show was half full and the 9pm show had a line going around the block.

If you have had any experiences with bacon, good or bad, feel free to comment or email them to me at sbrett@mrbaconpants.com.

By Sean Brett