#FeelTheBurg | Is The Beijinger’s Burger Cup rigged against populist patties?

No one can turn perfectly fine ground beef into piping hot spam like the folks at The Beijinger. If your wechat feed is like mine, it’s been full of venues hungry for votes in The Burger Cup, an annual event that allows magazine head honcho Mike Wester to indulge in his obsession with statistical analysis and shiny objects—yes, in his world, burgers gleam like freshly polished relish spoons.

But this contest isn’t as squeaky clean as it might seem. Just as many argue the U.S. presidential primary system is rigged, a similar charge can be made about The Burger Cup. I know what you’re thinking: The Burger Cup might suck up bandwidth, time and patience, and lead restaurants to unwittingly annoy the shit out of loyal fans by incessantly asking for votes, but deep down it’s a good ol’ fair competition, right?

Perhaps not. The U.S. primaries, particularly the Democratic campaign, have been highly criticized for using ‘super-delegates‘. In short, delegates pick the party’s presidential candidate. Some delegates must vote for a particular nominee based on the popular vote in each state primary. But others—super-delegates—are free to vote for the nominee of their personal choice, regardless of the vote, and some believe this unfairly favors establishment-type candidates.

The situation is worse with The Burger Cup. In this case, everyone in the nominating process is like a super-delegate. Some 200 elites, picked by The Beijinger, decide what burgers the rest of us can—or, crucially, can’t—vote for. Such a situation makes it impossible to have the burger equivalent of a Bernie Sanders, the populist candidate who disrupted the primaries this year.

And be assured, Beijing has such candidates: it has burgers that aim to give the masses a fair shake with tasty buns, patties and toppings at a reasonable cost, including half-price on Tuesdays. Burgers that aren’t just for one-percent-ers, burgers that resound with regular folks like you and me, burgers that won’t leave you with a mountain of student loans. In particular, I am talking about the burgers at bar and restaurant XL.

XL has attracted a growing crowd of regulars since opening off Xindong Road and nary one has disparaged the burgers. Instead, descriptions like “delicious”, “awesome”, “monumental” and “presidential” abound. There is no reason, except for the super delegate-type system, that these burgers should not be nom-nom-nominated.

Just look at the XL burger below. And the everyday working woman cutting it in half: she deserves to vote for the “best” burger of her choice, not just the best from among nominees picked by a bunch of people who are (probably) wedded to establishment venues and who also (probably) can’t tell a chimichanga from a chicken wiener.

xl burgers sausages salads spring rolls.jpg

That’s why the editorial board of this blog—me—is making the unprecedented move of endorsing a burger not on the ballot. The XL Burger might not be the prettiest, might not feature the hippest toppings and cooking techniques, and might not have a Super Big MPAC with 50 million dollars, but it’s a people’s patty. Given this, I encourage those who believe in justice to #FeelTheBurg. (Especially on Tuesday nights when, as noted, you can get them for half-price.)

Note: If you are a ‘BernieBro’ or a ‘HillBilly’, the more fanatical supporters of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton respectively, I’m just kidding around here. No need to go on any political rants.

Also, XL is on Xindong Road, behind the building across from the Bentley dealership, the building immediately north of Heaven Supermarket, the building that represents the final barrier between you and a tasty burger (or two).

Check out my other sites World Baijiu Day, which focuses on the world’s best selling spirit, and Grape Wall of China, which looks at the country’s wine scene.

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Get regular Beijing updates via my Instagram and Twitter feeds. Also see my sibling sites Grape Wall of China, World Baijiu Day and World Marselan Day. Help cover the hosting and other costs of these sites with a WeChat, AliPay or PayPal donation.

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