This is a blog post in two parts. First, we went to dinner. Then, I sat down and chewed over my life as a dad.
As some of you know, a little over a week ago, I saw a snippet of a tv commercial that had some insanely delicious looking burger on it. It started a ‘Burger Hankering’ ™ that just wouldn’t stop! So, a few days later, I finally caught the entire commercial. (It was this one.)
So, did what any sane and rational person would do. I suggested we go to Applebee’s for one of those badass burgers! (You can’t look at that and tell me that I’m not using the correct language.) 😀
Then, the worst thing possible happened. She shot me down…
She shot me down.
I hit the ground.
That awful sound.
Theatrics notwithstanding, I was a little bummed. I REALLY wanted to try that new Triple Bacon All-In Burger! Then, a Christmas Miracle ™ happened! I got an email saying that none other than Applebee’s wanted me to go to their restaurant to EAT ONE OF THOSE BURGERS!
So, I decided it would be best to not bust out my best Neener-Needer dance and play it cool. My wife had a friend coming whom she hadn’t seen in 25 years. They were in the area for vacation, so we were going to meet them for dinner.
I’m assuming at this point you can guess where I decided we’d go for dinner.
There were ten of us all together, somehow the lady folk managed to shuttle the dudes to one end of the table. I’m assuming so they wouldn’t be forced to deal with the copious amount of grunting and man-smell coming from our side of the table…but, I digress.
We ordered beverages and I took a photo:
Which begged a couple of questions. Why was I taking a picture with the menu being the chief question asked. I told them I was working and would be taking a few pictures as the evening went on. This led to talking about my blog, and me reviewing the All In burgers.
My wife’s friend’s husband (We’ll call him Ed* for short) asked me what was so special about the burgers. Well, after watching that commercial about twenty more times and reading over some of the finer points of these burgers…I let him have it.
I talked about there being bacon IN the burger. Bacon ON the burger. Topped with a bacon ranch sauce. He paused and stared at me for a full ten seconds before saying, “Where were those on the menu, again?”
After looking through the options, Ed and his son (whom I’ll also call Ed* just so people won’t get confused.) picked the American Standard Burger. Probably because it has pickles, bacon, onion, signature sauce & American cheese. (Most of which is chopped sauteed, then smashed into the burger patty before it’s cooked.)
Ed’s other son, who I shall call NOT-Ed* (You know the routine now.) ordered a salad. I’m going to guess that he’s just in his rebellious teenage stage. Poor kid…just didn’t know what he was missing out on!
I ordered a Triple Bacon Burger because, like I said earlier…BACONZ!
Then, my oldest son (5) was ready to order. Now, previously, he looked over the kids’ menu and was content with the Grill Cheese…but after hearing us talking about the All-In burgers, he looked me square in the eye and said, “I want that bacon one. Like you’re getting.”
I tried to change his mind for a few seconds, but soon realized this kid had the fever!
Who am I to argue that logic?? Guess, what? He needed a dose of vitamin B(acon) stat!
Waiting for the food, I took a #BeerSelfie. Applebee’s now has Cigar City Jai Alai IPA on tap….WINNING! 😀
The burgers came and…wow. I’m not going to lie, I was surprised. Normally, I’m all about the Quesadilla Burger at Applebee’s. But, this Triple Bacon dethroned it. Handily.
I shot a video for my #BurgerSelfie (Twitter conversations!) and Instagram decided it didn’t want to process the video. AT. ALL. So, I had to wait until we got home, then I fired up Instagram on my wife’s phone and shot the video as it played on MY phone, and it processed in two seconds…
You’ve waited long enough. Here’s my first reaction to taking a bite of the Triple Bacon All In Burger at Applebee’s:
It was juicier than I had anticipated! The cheese was super melty, the bread was buttery with a nice crunch to it. (Toasted buns are ALWAYS better!)
But what really got me, was the bacon inside the burger! Now, I’ve had bacon in burgers before. I’ve even ground up bacon and put it in my burger meat before…but the bacon gets lost in the mix somehow. But when I took a bite of this burger I got a giant piece of perfectly cooked smokey bacon, and the flavor stood out. I originally thought the whole ‘we saute and smash for more flavor’ was just a marketing line…but I’m a believer now.
Seriously, LOOK AT THIS BURGER!
NOT-Ed* was kind enough to aim the light towards my plate so I could get a good shot. They had us in a pretty dark corner, so I was afraid I wasn’t going to get a good enough shot to show off just how NOM-TASTIC this thing was.
Now, enough about the burgers. The fries were insane. The potatoes have the skin still on. (I know some people don’t like that, but it’s a big selling point for me.) Also, they are BOTTOMLESS! WooHOO!
I know what you’re thinking. “Hey, what about Ed & Ed? Didn’t you get a picture of their burgers?”
Short answer: No. I didn’t. It’s not from lack of trying, though! I was astonished at the ferocity that Ed attacked his burger with. By the time NOT-Ed had finished half of his salad Ed & Ed were both looking at empty plates. When they started making eyes on my Triple Bacon, I called the server over and ordered us up another round of fries.
She came back with the original flavor, and BBQ seasoned as well. My son ordered the fry upgrade and got the sweet potato fries (free refills too, yo!). Then our server came out with an assortment of sauces she had whipped up for us. There was a sweet maple one for the sweet potato fries. It wasn’t bad, but a tad sweet for my taste. It wasn’t until she brought out the spicy siracha sauce that my tongue lit up! I couldn’t stop, guys! Also, she brought out some extra bacon ranch…*drool*.
So, long story short:
The fries tried to kill me!
You think you can take a better #BurgerSelfie than I did?
You can become an Applebee’s FANTOGRAPHER: http://www.beeafantographer.
Now, I know why they call the burgers All In…because the ingredients are ‘all in’ the patty. And they are so good, you’ll put them ‘all in’ your belly.
But, I was asked about what it meant to be ‘all in’ in parenting. Which led to some interesting conversations at the table. I’ll be brief, because you’re probably going to go need to wipe the drool off your chin and get a burger.
The term ‘All In’ is a poker term. This is from Wikipedia:
A player faced with a current bet who wishes to call but has insufficient remaining stake (folding does not require special rules) may bet the remainder of his stake and declare himself all in. He may now hold onto his cards for the remainder of the deal as if he had called every bet, but may not win any more money from any player above the amount of his bet. In no-limit games, a player may also go all in, that is, betting his entire stack at any point during a betting round.
Basically, being all in means, you’ve given everything you have, even when there’s more being demanded of you. It’s the biggest bet you can make. It’s the highest stake that can be made. A story in Vegas has Benny Binion of Binion’s Horseshoe Casino fame being quoted as saying something to the effect of, “If a man walks into my casino and he only has $1 to his name, and he bets that dollar, he’s the highest roller in the casino. His bet is worth more than a millionaire dropping a hundred thousand on a roll of the dice. That man with one dollar is betting EVERYTHING he has, and you can’t get higher than that.” (I’m paraphrasing, but that’s pretty much how I heard the story while living in Vegas.)
I’ve often wondered if I’m ‘all in’ as a dad. Then, I realize that every single night I go to bed, my sons know that I love them. I’ve spent as much time as I could playing with them, reading to them, or discussing topics that are important to them. Being ‘all in’ doesn’t mean that I have to be there every minute of the day. It just means that I have to give them as much of me as I possibly can.
And as Kenny Rogers said in his famous song, “The Gambler”
You gotta know when to hold ’em.
Know when to fold ’em.
Know when to walk away.
Know when to run.
And, sometimes, I’m not as ‘all in’ as I need to be. That’s the downside of being a mortal. You DID know I was mortal, right?
While you’re at it, you should go and spread some love to Applebee’s!
Tell them “DiaperDads” sent you! 😀
*Names were changed as I forgot to ask permission to include them in the blog.