By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily
I called out a new challenger and I took him on. This is the story of what happened.
The ending isn’t a pretty one.
You know this column is about food in Wyoming. You know as your culinary warrior, I’ll take on any challenger. Recently I got a text message that informed me there was a new challenger that I needed to call out, just for honor’s sake.
You might be wondering who this challenger is. Well, it’s not so much a who, but rather, a what.
First the who. Many of you could be familiar with Sanford’s Grub and Pub. There are two in Wyoming, one in Cheyenne and one in Casper. There’s even one in Dickinson, North Dakota.
They have a ringer that’s taking down food challengers one by one, knocking them out. This new challenger is currently undefeated, with a record of 12 and 0! Will it be 13?
Now the what of the who. Sanford’s as most people call them, is diabolical! They created a monster burger called “The OMG.” This monster is a multi-layer plate crusher that refuses to die! Or in this case, be eaten.
Yes, I took it on, but hang in there, I’m getting to that.
I called James Martin, general manager of Sanford’s in Cheyenne, to tell me the story of the OMG, and to warn me about what I would face.
According to Martin, the story goes like this: About 10 years ago when Sanford’s created its menus, there was a graphic in the middle of the burger section of this huge stacked burger. It wasn’t a menu item, but people would ask if they could get one.
So recently when they did a menu update, Martin thought it would be a total joke to add the burger depicted in the graphic to the regular menu. Thus a legend in the making was born.
“Just a burger,” you think? Think again. Here’s what’s on the OMG, and why it’s a gut buster extraordinaire. As I listened to Martin’s description, I had two emotions: curiosity and a strong sense of fear. The voice in my head said RUN!
Here’s what you get delivered to your table: On the bottom layer is a hamburger, followed by a cheese burger, then a bacon burger and, if that wasn’t enough, barbecue bacon burger after that. All together, this is 4 pounds of meat alone. Including the eight buns and fixings, it weighs in at 5 pounds and stands about 15 inches tall. Let that sink in a moment.
I let James know that I would be coming down on the Saturday of Cheyenne’s annual Super Day celebration. As the day approached, I tried to psych myself up for the fight of my life. Mano e Mano, or man vs. burger.
As I walked around Lion’s Park for Super Day, I kept telling myself “You can do this! It’s just a burger, and besides, you skipped breakfast.”
As lunch time drew near, I was feeling a bit hungry and nervous.
“Yeah, I have this. In… the… bag!” I kept telling myself.
I head on over to Sanford’s, introduce myself to James, and he tells me that regardless of finishing the OMG or not, I still get my photo on the wall. Sounds like a memorial to the fallen. Then he added that if I FINISHED the burger, I’d get a Sanford’s T-shirt too.
I asked if anyone had gotten the shirt. He said no, but someone came within three bites before tapping out. It was then that the worry started to sink in. I’m not one to fade from a challenge, so I said, bring it on.
What happened next made me weak in the knees.
I spent my time waiting for the OMG concocting my strategy. Do I eat all the burgers first, then all the buns and finish with the fixings, or do I start at one end and work my way to the other? My honor was at stake here and I had to do something, fast!
It was just then, I caught a glimpse of the beast!
When they bring this out, they don’t just set it on the table, oh no! They literally walk it around the WHOLE RESTAURANT, stopping at EVERY table asking, “Is this yours?” in-between stops, chanting “O-M-G! O-M-G!”
Now, when they get to your table, everyone is looking at you, and saying what everyone is thinking: “OMG! Is that guy crazy?”
When James sat the tray down, I could swear I heard the burger mocking me with laughter. There was a knife stuck in the top and I don’t know if it was from another fight, or if it was a supposed to be a handle.
Nodding at the knife, James said “Grab it here.” It was off balance and ready to fall over — or lunge at me.
It was then that James said “You got this?” as he stepped away, saying “You’re on your own dude!” My only reply was a whimpering “Heeeelllllp!?”
Even I said OMG. This thing was massive! I could barely see over it. Now what?
Suck it up Tim! You can do it! In the opening round, I managed to wrestle the beast flat to the tray it was on. This thing was as long as my arm, literally! It sat there, looking at me, and again I heard a mocking voice say “Yeah? Whatcha gonna do now punk?” It was then I took the one end to the other strategy.
There isn’t a time limit on finishing this burger, and maybe that should have scared me. It’s at this point that I should tell you I had gotten a little cocky and ordered this with a topper of onion rings. I know, I know, what was I thinking?
Round two began by drinking lots of root beer, and rethinking my strategy. I mean come on, I wanted the onion rings on top first. This is where the challenger struck. Out of nowhere, he went straight for the gut punch! While my strategy was a steady end-to-end approach, his was to distract me and tempt me with the onion rings.
When I did get back on track it was too late, the blow had done its work. I was only able to get a normal burger’s worth eaten, and the onion rings, of course. It was only a matter of time, the end was in sight. The fight concluded with a TKO from the OMG. I was defeated…kind of. As I lay on the floor with my last fork full, my backup plan was already in motion.
When I came to, what was left of the OMG was still on the table. I motioned to a server, she winked, and right on cue, she came over with three to-go boxes. I piled the remains of the OMG into the styrofoam hurt lockers, and said “Check please?”
On the way out the door, it was my turn to laugh mockingly. I patted the boxes on the top and said “See you when we get home!”
If you would like to take on the OMG, it is currently available at the Sanford’s locations in Cheyenne and Dickinson. Possibly coming to the Casper location soon.
Get down there and take the challenger on! Get your photo on the wall, and learn why everyone that sees this behemoth says “O…M…G…!”
Sanford’s Cheyenne location is at 115 E 17th St. You can catch them on Facebook and at thegrubandpub.com.