March Madness: The Tale of the Cheeseburger

I don’t follow sports too closely, but I do participate in March Madness every year. One year I came in second, but typically I tend to end up falling somewhere in the middle of the pack. So this year I decided to participate in a March Madness activity I knew I could win. And how do you ensure you win at something? Well, you make your own rules, of course.

And that’s how “The 2011 Burger Bracket” came to be.

My friend Christin and I laid the groundwork for it. Here’s how it works: We picked 10 restaurants known for their burgers in the Salt Lake area. Once a week we get a group together, eat burgers, and rate them. See what I mean? With a delicious burger once a week, there is no loser! I win! I win! I win! Well, my arteries may lose a tiny bit in this scenario, but I’m going to ignore that fact right now as I am still in pursuit of the perfect burger.

Now lest you think we don’t take this seriously, there are 10 categories that we rate each burger on a scale of 1-10. So the burger gets a total score out of 100. We still have two more places to go before we can reveal the final results, but here’s a breakdown so far.

Week 1
We kicked things off at Red Robin. A personal fav of mine with delicious bottomless fries, tons of crispy onion straws, and bbq sauce! Come on, is there anything not to love about this place?

It was during the first burger bracket that we came up with the categories, which are:

Bun-to-Burger Ratio
Available Toppings
Overall Satisfaction
Bang for Your Buck
Overall Experience

Week 2
We ventured to Smash Burger. Another delicious contender. Their burgers are great, and you can’t go wrong with their Smash or Sweet Potato fries. (Sorry, no picture)

Week 3
Five Guys was a favorite of some people in the group. I’m not a huge fan. Their burgers are pretty good, but I think their fries are gross. Too soggy. I prefer crispy and delicious, but whatev. I will say it’s better than In ‘n Out, so there’s that.

Week 4

I’ve always enjoyed Salt City Burgers. The group was enamored by this place. I’m not sure if it was the ability to put all your own toppings on your burger, or the fact that we had a big group and had to wait awhile so everyone was starving. At any rate, it was good.
As an added bonus, this is me with my “I just ate a delicious cheeseburger” face on.
Week 5
Hires Big H is a Salt Lake classic. I think it’s more a nostalgic thing though. The food is fine, but it’s not ready to play with the big boys in the Burger Bracket.
Week 6
Tony Burgers is another delicious place. It’s a lot like Five guys but with better burgers and waaaay better fries.

Week 7
Lucky 13 is, well, it’s a bar. A bar with super great burgers and fries. I got the Celestial Burger and it did not disappoint. I was in heaven. I think this one is definitely in the lead in my book. (Sorry, no pictures)

Week 8
Yesterday we went to Rich’s Mighty Fine Burgers and Fries at the suggestion of a friend. Really, it should just be called “Rich’s Mighty Fine Burgers” period. The fries, not so great. But that flame kissed burger tasted just like a backyard bbq. Mmmmm. (Stop judging me for forgetting my camera. I was trying to enjoy my burger, ok!)

There are only two more places to test before we crown a winner. Is it weird if I cry when this is all over? At the end I’ll post all of the scores and such because I know you’re dying to see them.

Bringing Home the Bronze

Have I ever told you how awesome my job and the company I work for is? If not, I’ll tell you now–they are awesome! Advertising agencies in general have a “work hard, play hard” mentality and at PPBH we’re really good at both. We do work very hard, but we also do plenty of fun stuff too.
Take this winter, for example. Our office participated in the Salt Lake County Corporate Games. We played in several events and took home bronze in almost everything we did.

Here we are showing off our medals from the Scrabble competition. It was a hard-fought battle, but we emerged victorious. Ok, the truth is that because of the way the schedule worked we ended up with two byes, so we actually only played three games and we won one and lost two. The luck of the draw or not, I’ll take the medal, thank you very much.
The medals are now displayed proudly on the nameplate at the entrance to my office. And yes, of course my office nameplate has a picture of me and Leo on the Titanic. What else would I have put on it? I’m flying, Jack! I’m flying!
But seriously, back to the medals. Check those out! Those are some legit, real deal medals. I can’t wait for the Summer Corporate Games. This time we want to be chanting “We’re number 2! We’re number 2!”

Third Grade Me

The other day I called home because I needed a picture of myself in elementary school–3rd grade, to be exact. My parents are the keepers of all of those pictures so I haven’t seen them in awhile. I had to smile at this one:

Too funny. I still remember that outfit. It had a cute little skirt that went with it. That was in the days before I realized I don’t actually like wearing skirts. And I’m pretty sure those curls were the product of my very first perm. Ah, the 80s.

Some Things Aren’t Meant to Be

It’s the truth, some things really aren’t meant to be. Take this simple equation for example:
Me + Skis + Mountain + Snow = Incompatible
That’s probably due to the fact that in order to solve that equation you have to also add in my gangly arms and legs and my general lack of coordination. Still, it makes for a fun, or at least entertaining day. Mike Brian, one of the partners at my work took four of the PPBH single ladies up to Solitude for a ski lesson and a day on the slopes in January. It was way fun, but I was, unfortunately not that great at it. I know, I know, that’s very shocking given my natural athletic ability. But nonetheless, I think I will stick more to sports like croquet and shuffleboard where my chances of getting injured are greatly reduced.

After spending some time on the bunny hill I was feeling great about myself. I was bombing down the hill (look, I know you can’t really “bomb” down the bunny hill, but I’m trying to maintain a little bit of pride here) and hadn’t fallen once. So just before lunch we decided to go on a “real” run. As we were sitting on the ski lift I was watching the slope below, which looked pretty steep, and asked if it was a black diamond. Much to my dismay, it was a green circle and happened to be the run we were taking.


By the time we got to the top of the run I was freaked out! Mike told us all to follow him and took off over a hill. Ha ha ha. Not a chance I was going there. I made my way down to the group and just before I got to them I biffed it. They went a little bit further down, I got up and followed, and biffed it again. They went a little further still, and I got up and followed. Once again, I ate it. This time it was me, face first, sliding down the mountain with arms, legs, skis, and poles going every which direction.

This time I didn’t get up. Glad Mike got this picture since it was one of those moments I totally want locked in time. But as if that wasn’t bad enough, there was no way I was going to make it down the mountain, so Mike got behind me, put my skis between his, and ski’d me back down to the bunny hill. Having my boss ski me down a mountain–not my proudest moment.

After lunch I spent the rest of the day on the bunny hill. I must say, I OWNED that hill! Which is good since the rest of the mountain clearly owned me. In my defense, this was only my second time skiing ever in my life. Next time I think I’m going to wear more padding.