Call it a passionate quest or addiction: Patrick Creech and Giovanni Gutierrez have an adventure in eating on their hands. In November 2010, the two formed the Charlotte Burger Blog (www.charlotteburgerblog.com) and penned the manifesto, "eat as many as possible." Short of cardiac arrest and sheer insanity, there's little the two haven't seen. From the Wine Shop's pretzel roll stuffed with pea-shoots and "marrow"-naise (bone-infused mayo) to Kickstand's "Hung Over Cyclist" (a burger between two grilled cheese sandwiches), their challenge hasn't been bland. Creech, nicknamed "Hereford" on the blog, knows they're not "real" critics, but fanatics. They will expand to the burgers of Pineville and Matthews after conquering Charlotte.
Creative Loafing: What's the process of reviewing a burger like?
Patrick Creech: We normally show up and tell them that we have a recording device that looks kind of strange. And then we tell them who we are. If they didn't figure out by then, they usually do when we pull out our scale and tape measure. I ask the waitress "What do you do better than anyone else?" That way, we get the most unique thing and try to show the restaurant on their "best" foot, too. And then we talk about the environment. One of the reasons why we rate it on atmosphere and theme is because the food experience is not just about food. It's about how you feel when you go into a place and how you're treated. So I'd say almost every review, in a way, is not just about the food. A lot of it is about the place.
What does blogging allow you to do that nothing else can?
We would have to be hired to write a column. The other thing is, it allows us to be as expansive as we want. One of the things I love are articles that are long and really investigate everything. Some people want something that's a little more edited down and gets to the point. I prefer every thought that the writer has. So, we can put a 3,000 word review up on there, and I assume that most columnists in a newspaper get a couple hundred. If we had to do it in a newspaper, I imagine the conversation between us would be gone entirely.
What is it about the burger that makes it so American?
It's got to be something to do with the simplicity. The cheapness of it, too. I think it's something about it all being together. It's not a meal you eat in sections. You can eat it on your hand, you can eat it on the go, and it's all right there. It's a melting pot itself. But it's also not completely melded together. It still has its individual groups within it. A pizza blog would be interesting, but I don't think we're the ones to write it. Somebody should totally do that.