Gut Reaction: Red Palace’s ‘Burporken’ Is One Meat Over The Top
Forget the turducken, that notorious chicken stuffed inside duck stuffed inside turkey stuffed inside sportscaster John Madden, among other meat aficionados. The latest triple threat to hit the carnivore scene veers beyond mere nesting birds. I'm referring, of course, to the signature Burporken sandwich at the Red Palace. Just one of eight protein-packed options on a bun offered as part of the H Street NE boîte's the brand-spankin' new menu, the $13 bur-hemoth combines beef, pork and chicken into one jaw-stretcher of a sammie that should probably come with a warning label: "Temporomandibular problems may occur." Unlike the turducken, there is no engastration involved in the sandwich's construction. Just meat piled upon meat piled upon meat. All on a buttery bun. No special sauce. Just the combined juices of all that meat.
Initial impressions: the thick burger patty arrived strongly seasoned with black pepper, which I dig, though the beef came a tad overcooked for my taste. I asked for medium rare (the beef part, anyway). But no trace of pink inside this charred ground matter during my visit. The patty came topped with some tender pulled pork which tasted neither terribly smoky nor too sweet. The part that proved most puzzling was the Burporken's penultimate protein topping: a thin layer of seared chicken breast, which added virtually no flavor to the mix, only more bulk. Thankfully, the tricked-out burger also comes served with a side of spicy ketchup (likely Heinz infused with added spices) that helped ease the massive thing down the gullet.
Now, I'm no Adam Richman. But I was able to finish the thing. Bland slab of bird and all.