Excuse Me, You Want What On Your Burger?

Raw Power                                   VS.                                                               Pure Genius

The male species is one strange animal, and I can say that because I’m part of the tribe. Competition seems to be bred into us from birth but reaches extreme levels in our early twenties. Where am I getting this unofficial data? From eye witness experience this past weekend at BnD’z.

As anyone who follows this blog knows, we offer all of our customers the ability to Create Your Own Masterpiece. Whether it’s a hot dog or burger, everyone who comes into the restaurant has the opportunity to not only select what toppings they want, but also what type of meat, bun, how it’s cooked, etc. When college-aged men come in, it always seems to turn into some type of primal ritual to see who is the Alpha Male.  In this instance, it was a classic brain versus brawn scenario.

With local universities back in session, we definitely saw a spike in business, but one particular group of three that came in on Saturday night seemed to have an agenda. Who was going to order the most….let’s say “unique” burger and proceed to eat it regardless of how, uh…mismatched the toppings, bun and type of meat were.

These students, Steve, Joey and Dylan, approached the counter and announced their intentions prior to ordering.

Joey: So just to review, we can each have anything on our burgers we want, right?

Dylan: Or hot dog.

Steve: There is no way you two can order something crazier than me! I studied the menu before we came, I have it all planned out!

Me: Uh, yeah, absolutely, we can put anything on the menu on your burger or hot dog. Just fill out the checklist here and we will get your Masterpieces ready.

Steve and Joey began to playfully trash talk each other as they completed their forms. I offered a pencil and form to Dylan, who seemed quite reserved. Me: Here you go.

Dylan: That’s ok, sir.

Me: Please, call me Doug. You’re not involved in this craziness?

He glanced over at his friends, returned his focus to me and nodded with a sly smile. Something was up, and I have to admit I was curious to see how this was going to play out.

Here is what each of the students ordered:


An 8oz Shredded Chicken Burger, medium well on a pretzel bun. Toppings included: wasabi horseradish cheese, garlic, neon green relish, jalapeno peppers and a fried egg for good measure.

Joey seemed pretty happy with his order as he turned to Steve and the silent Dylan, flashing a confident smile.


An 8oz Veggie Burger (“Coach says I have to cut back on red meat!”), medium rare on a gluten-free bun. Toppings included: celery salt, garlic, Lawry’s Season Salt, diced onions, pickles, grilled onions, green peppers, cole slaw, mac ‘n cheese, sauerkraut and plain old mustard.

At this point a crowd gathered around the register, everyone interested in what was transpiring. How was Dylan going to top these orders?


Regular hot dog, medium well…..on a white bun…..no toppings.

The groan from the customers, Joey and Steve echoed through the dining room. I smiled at Dylan. I could tell he was smart, and it had nothing to do with the CMU logo on his t-shirt.

The food was prepared and presented to the three friends, who were now surrounded by curious onlookers. Joey and Steve dug in with valor, as Dylan just sat, staring at his plain hot dog.

I have to give them credit. Steve got three rather large bites of his Frankenstein creation down when he announced he couldn’t go on. “I love everything on it, man, but not together! I’m out!”

Joey, eyes watering, most likely from the combination of wasabi horseradish and jalapeno peppers, forced himself to take a fourth bite. With his mouth full he proclaimed “I win! You culdnt enan et halv….”

As his unintelligible victory speech proceeded, Dylan nonchalantly grabbed a fork and scraped all of the toppings from both of his friends burgers, proceeding to clump the mess onto his hot dog. A murmur began among the spectators. Steve reached up and placed his hand over Joey’s still moving mouth, pointing with his other hand at their quiet friend.

Dylan began to eat this now mess of a hot dog….in three bites. The crowd cheered as Joey sat down, defeated. Steve stood and bowed to his friend, the newly-crowned Alpha Male in this bizarre competition.

Dylan smiled to the crowd, then locked eyes with me. “Doug, I could really use a drink of water.”


Defending Your Title


Hello, Friends!

I just wanted to mention again how humbled we are here at BnD’z. For anyone who missed the last blog, let me bring you up to speed: You voted our hot dogs not only one of the Top 40 Fantastic Franks in the nation, but also the best in Pittsburgh. Again, I can’t say it enough, on behalf of myself, my managers and my staff, Thank You!

Talking with one of my managers over the weekend, Scott asked me a question I had been to ecstatic to contemplate: “So what’s next, boss?” I knew what he meant by this rather simple inquiry. BnD’z hasn’t even been open for a year and we’ve achieved so much. We have the most loyal fan base of any restaurant in the area. We’ve achieved national recognition. We’ve been embraced by the community. Where do we go from here?

I put my spatula down and looked Scott dead in the eye. “What’s next? We defend our title.” I must admit, I felt like one of those coaches from any number of Disney movies, you know, like in “Miracle” or “Remember The Titans”. The older veteran, saddled with instilling pride and teamwork in his crew of talented underdogs, taking them all the way to the championship game.

That’s what we were less than a year ago, underdogs. All we had was an idea, a storefront and the desire to put out the best product possible. With hard work, perseverance and a fire in our hearts, we crafted a team of employees that shared our vision. Using another movie analogy, “If you build it, they will come”, we knew that once we opened the doors to BnD’z we had a huge responsibility to our customers to serve the best food at the most competitive prices for our customers….and yes, they showed up….consistently. Again, I can’t say it enough, thank you for that.

Speaking on behalf of the entire team, we will not rest on our laurels. We will continue to “defend our title” against all competition, committed even more than before to providing our guests the best Burgerz & Dogz in the ‘Burgh. It’s flattering to be honored by Urban Spoon, no doubt, but the real award is the acknowledgment of our customers. We won’t let you down!