Big V's "Animal": An Appreciation

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Pictured above, soaking through its wax-paper wrapping, maybe even through your computer screen, is the Animal, the greatest of the many culinary gifts Big V's Burger Joint brought us during its all-too-brief life.

Yes, it has three hamburger patties. It also has bacon -- a lot of it -- onions, roasted jalapeños, cheese and barbecue sauce. Usually, I eat the whole thing and then nothing else for at least 18 hours. Today, aware that tomorrow is the one day of the year when I can undertake this kind of gorging without guilt, I ate only 80% of it, give or take a bite.

As I reported on Monday, Big V's will close for good after service this Saturday, which means you're running out of time to enjoy your final -- or your first and final -- Animal. Yes, it weighs a ton. No, it doesn't have many redeeming qualities, health-wise, except that you won't, y'know, starve. But, my God, does it taste good. The tangy-sweet barbecue sauce. The jalapeños' kick. And all that meat.

I told myself today's would be my last. We'll see.

-Ian Froeb



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