The genius of the Wimpy Mega Burger may not by immediately apparent to those of you grew up with and later grew weary of that national chain of fast-food hamburger bars.
But to an American introduced to the uncertain charms of Wimpy 57 years after its launch on Coventry Street in London and decades past its sell-by date this Mega achievement stands out like yellow mustard on a white shirt collar. Behold a monument in modernist fast-food design: The cheeseburger hot dog cohabitation.This particular Mega, prepared at the Wimpy in Shadwell, one of London’s few surviving Wimpys, had its meats inverted. The notched bracelet of all-pork, hot dog-like sausage – famously known as the Bender – is meant to be positioned atop the beef burger, not beneath it.
Even so, the structural flip-flop did not diminish what enjoyment I experienced from eating this cheeseburger hot dog for the first and possibly the last time. After sampling the Wimpy Quarterpounder with only cheese, fresh lettuce and the “original delicious ‘Special Sauce’” the easy crunch of the Bender segments came as a welcome distraction from the unsucculence of the drab burger patty.
If you carefully examine the two photos below of the Wimpy at 28 Watney Market (near the Shadwell tube station) you may be able to detect a few subtle differences. The pic at left was snapped by me a few weeks ago. The pic at right was found today on the Wimpy website.
The website photo is slugged “awaiting store” and likely reflects Wimpy’s ongoing plans for a corporate rebrand with a more contemporary image. Sadly this facelift may wipe out the Mega Burger, which is no longer amongst the burger options on the company website. Indeed, the inverted appearance of my Mega might well have been interpreted as a cry for help.