I have another quick chain visit for today. I’ve been listening to a podcast about chain restaurants recently called Doughboys. The most recent episode was about a burger chain called Fatburger. I had never heard of it before and was surprised to find one in Lincoln. Well, to my disappointment it actually turned out to be in Thunder Valley Casino rather than in Lincoln proper, but I couldn’t get this place out of my brain for a few days so I decided to check it out for lunch.
The last time I had visited Thunder Valley was at least 10 years ago. One major thing that I noticed as soon as I entered the first set of doors was that smoking was obviously permitted inside. It was thick in the air. I didn’t actually realize it was still allowed, even in Indian casinos. This is a huge turnoff, and I can generally handle smokers in most situations (I smoke cigars myself). Indoors or around food is where I draw the line.
Obviously this is a food court environment, so the service and ambience were basically non-exsistant. I decided to go nuts with this burger, especially considering the name, and went with the XXL, a 1lb monstrosity. All fat burgers with “the works” include mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, relish and mustard. Taking things further, I added nearly every premium option that is available: cheese, bacon, fried egg and onion rings (the only thing I didn’t add was chili). My combo with fat fries (steak fries – they have skinny fries also) and a large soda came to a whopping $19.02 before tax.
14 minutes later and I had a heavy, massive burger which towered over the already largish fries next to it. As I picked it up from the counter I overheard at least 2 separate people point it out to the person they were with. It was a spectacle. It was also hard to get my hands around it, let alone eat the thing.
The fries were meh. They definitely needed some salt. I barely touched them though due to the size of the burger. That by the way was, actually, surprisingly amazing. As I was leaving and getting a refill on my soda I briefly watched the person grilling patties. They started with cubes of ground beef and smashed them down with a flat, metal stamp-looking tool. That beef tasted amazing, it was nicely seasoned. It was also really freaking hot. I had to adjust my grip now and then because my thumb, on the bottom of the burger, was actually getting too hot a few times. Anyway, what I really enjoyed was how all the crazy ingredients somehow came through and I could taste each individual, discrete flavor.
If this was located anywhere other than Thunder Valley, I could see myself returning to experiment with different sized burgers and combinations of toppings. It really was that good. I just don’t feel any desire to step back into that smokey casino again to do it. I’m deducting 1.5 from my score just for that.