Burgerthon, Episode 3/ The Rink

The ultimate hungry man's burger looks like something out've a meat lover's fairytale, but does 'The Goon' actually stack up?

BY EMIL TIEDEMANN

In 2009 Randy Ferbey, an Edmonton-born
world renowned curling champion, opened the
doors to his own sports bar in St. Albert,
featuring pool, free wi-fi, and screens!
MY brother and I finished a full game of pool before he had to walk into the kitchen to fetch our waitress, or anybody for that matter. We were the only ones in Randy Ferbey's The Rink Sports Bar & Grill (367 St. Albert Trail. 780-569-5050), in nearby St. Albert, other than the elusive waitress--who happened to be washing dishes in the back--and some guy sitting at a desk in the far back room, behind the bar. The cook, maybe?

She barely apologized and then finally took our orders, which allowed me to tend to kicking my brother's ass at another game on their one pool table. She let us play for a flat fee ($5), as oppose to the hourly rate ($10), which I assume was her way of making up for the so-far sub-standard service. It got much better from there, however.

Originally I took the safe route, asking for their mainstream Prairie Burger, with cheese, mayo, bacon, and bourbon BBQ sauce. But, as our waitress forwarded my stale order to the cook, I looked over the menu again. At the bottom of its "Burgers" selection was something called "The Goon," a goliath merger of meats, cheese, and veggies, towering above the why-even-bother stack of fries that served more as a garnish than anything. It was essentially a lunch, a small breakfast, and a snack all in one, all at once. I changed my order.

Good thing I came hungry!

Two giant, cheddar cheese-canvassed beef patties were crowned with double bacon, double ham, lettuce, tomato, onion, and even a fried, peppered egg, all nestled between two grilled cheese sandwiches, and topped off with a juicy dill pickle! Hold the 'shrooms. "We have a wheelchair in the back in case you need help getting to your car," it read below that novel of ingredients.

I disregarded the medical warnings, deciphering exactly how I would conquer my Everest, because it was literally impossible to extend my jaws anywhere near the necessary elevation of this meal fit for a family. Even Jenna Jameson would declare defeat.

'The Goon' is: 2 patties, double cheese, double bacon, double ham, double mushrooms,
lettuce, tomato, & a fried egg, in between 2 grilled cheese sandwiches. I know, right?!

So I did what I had to do. I removed the thin wooden stick that held the mammoth cheeseburger together, and then extracted the tomato, the lettuce, and even the homely ham, so as to have at least a fighting chance. I placed the pickle aside for now, too. Then I replaced the top grilled cheese sandwich and went to town.

The patties were prime, no doubt, but they just didn't mesh right with the "buns," and I probably couldn't even stomach The Goon had I left on the pale-looking ham and those mushrooms I passed on. Half of the egg slipped out by the time I devoured the essence of the $19 Goon, and the fries remained virtually unscathed, had it not been for my brother.

Far be it from me to leave so much evidence on my plate when it comes to cheeseburgers, but I'm only human afterall. And The Goon is certainly not from this world, not meant for co-existance. Before you tackle this mountainous heart attack waiting to happen, it looks ridiculously appetizing, yes. But, looks can be deceiving. The strange food fusions were somewhat unsettling, though I'm sure damn good on their own. I guess it doesn't always pay to be an adventurous eater. Oh well, the search for the perfect burger continues!

The Goon Burger/ 2.5 outta 5

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