Recently, my daughter became mesmerized by TV ads for a new mushroom-bacon cheeseburger created by a large fast food chain. She tried the burger, liked it and persuaded me to try it, too. It tasted about like I expected. A few mushrooms in a cheese sauce with bacon. Not bad, but definitely fast food. With tax, it cost $4.72 — $9.44 for two of them, without fries. Just the two burgers.
Tonight, we decided to try an upscale bacon cheeseburger at the Roosters in Layton, Utah. It’s fun to try new food as a food critic, especially since the restaurant doesn’t know you’re there to review the food. We were in a festive mood and decided to give both the restaurant and the waiter a few friendly challenges.
We were running a bit late, so that was the first challenge. We arrived at 5:48pm and were seated immediately even though Roosters was already busy and two larger parties were waiting. Two minutes later, at 5:50pm, our waiter came to take our drink order.
“We’re short on time but we know what we want to order. Are you up for a challenge?”, I asked.
“Always!”, Shane, our waiter said with a smile.
We ordered the Double-Bypass Bacon Cheeseburger with fries and water–and asked to split it: challenge number two. Shane didn’t flinch. Our water arrived in no time. When he walked by a couple of minutes later, we asked for challenge number three: to have all the condiments on the side, if it wasn’t too late. I like them, my daughter doesn’t.
“Sure!”, he said. “No problem.” We learned that usually, the Double-Bypass comes with mayonnaise on the bun.
At 6:05pm, we were each munching on our respective half of a huge, juicy cheeseburger, absolutely loaded with bacon that was both thick and crispy. Each half was the size of a big burger. My daughter gave me her pickle, tomato and onion. I like them, she doesn’t. The meat was lean and the cheese was real. Each plate had plenty of battered fries, an unexpected bonus. Shane was quickly earning our respect.
By 6:07pm, he had delivered the check. “What’s the best thing about Roosters?”, I asked.
“The atmosphere. It’s a really great place to hang out with friends”, he replied. With that, the evening’s live music started, a singer with a guitar (just a little after 6pm on a Thursday night, mind you!) and we were genuinely sorry that we had to leave soon.
The moment of truth had arrived. “Well?”, I asked my daughter. “Which burger is better, the Double-Bypass or the Wendy’s Bacon Portabella Mushroom Melt?”
“Oh, this one for sure, Mom”, she said. “But it costs a lot more, right? I can’t even finish my half, it’s so big.” I was happy to finish what was left of her half. You know, in the interest of culinary science. It didn’t need mushrooms, believe me.
That brought us to challenge number four. I had neglected to give Shane my military ID card when we ordered. He insisted on recalculating the amount with the military discount, saying it was no trouble at all. The result? We each got a large, delicious cheeseburger with lots of crispy bacon and lots of fries for $10.05 — roughly $5.03 each. When you figure in the value of the fries, which was easily more than the 30-cent difference, it actually cost less than the fast food cheeseburger.
We’ll be back; the menu is filled with a plethora of wonderful entrees we can’t wait to try.
I was more than happy to leave a tip for Shane. He and Roosters had earned it.