Today I ate this for lunch:


That’s a glazed Voodoo doughnut, split in half, concealing a ground hamburger patty topped with a slice of cheddar cheese. If that description reminds you of the Luther Burger, then you are truly an aficionado of fucked-up food. But whereas the Luther Burger is a cheeseburger using two Krispy Kreme doughnuts for buns, the Voodoo Burger has halved the amount of doughnuts used.

I found the above concoction downtown at The Original, which bills itself as a “dinerant,” a designation so precious and clever, it’s doubtful I will ever use it. The Original is heavy on tongue and cheek, but manages to create enough of a diner feel that the place doesn’t feel overtly gimmicky.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I wont be doing a full review of The Original for a few months. These are just first impressions from a very brief lunch trip. The main question to answer here is: How does that damn thing taste?

Not as bad as you would think.

In fact, it wasn’t that bad at all. The beef patty was well seasoned, and the slice of classic cheddar was melted just right. The sweetness of the doughnut was surprisingly muted by all the savor inside, making it just sweet enough to work. And it’s not surprising that it works. Throughout the world’s cultures, salty and sweet is one of the beloved flavor pairings. Here in America, the regional cuisine of the southern United States has been balancing the salty and the sweet to good affect for centuries. It’s no wonder then that the Luther Burger (named after singer Luther Vandross, who is said to have been a fan) was created in Atlanta, GA.

The only thing that the Voodoo Burger has going against it is the sheer amount of grease represented in this single dish. There is something off-putting about trying to lift it off the plate, only to have your fingers squish wetly into the bottom half of the sticky donut bun.

In the final analysis, the Voodoo burger may be good for a lark—it’s pretty and fairly tasty—but I seriously doubt I’ll ever have another. It was made for publicity, and this post is its bitch.

As for The Original, I glanced through the menu and became genuinely excited about returning for review. But from the outset, it may need to ditch the “dinerant” moniker and submit to years of hard living before becoming the icon (a la Hamburger Mary’s) I feel it wants to be. But, you know, it’s new.