Sexy Feast: Inside BuiltBurger’s Beignets: Don’t Ask, I’ll Tell

builtburger_beignets_500At BuiltBurger, you don’t want fries with that.

BuiltBurger recently opened a Financial District (bordering on Pioneer Square) restaurant which prepares hamburger patties that they’d previously only sold frozen, albeit nationally. Reach the counter and you’ll realize the challenge of figuring out which of the BuiltBurgers to order, and then selecting one BuiltDip to accompany it.

But then scan to the BuiltSides part the BuiltMenu (okay, I made that one up), and you’ll see your must-order: savory potato beignets. These ping pong ball-sized, delicious treats are a play on pâte à choux with the added attraction of potato, fried twice (like BuiltBurgers’ fries) for a golden brown finish.

So what do BuiltBurger’s potato beignets teach us about sex?

It’s what’s inside that counts.

Actually, the BuiltBurger patties give us a clue to this, as they take what are normally toppings and put them in the meat. Do you like bacon and bleu cheese with your burger? Order the Pinnacle Bacon Bleu, and they’re in the patty, along with caramelized onions. The Magnificent Chorizo spikes the beef with chorizo, adding poblano peppers and cojita cheese. And the Supreme Pastrami has many mustards, pickles, and–you know it–pastrami.

Those beignets have a perfectly crisp exterior, but bite into them (be patient, as they’re steaming hot), and it’s like you’ve plunged into a pool of silky smooth mashed potatoes. Heavenly.

So, not only should you not judge a book by its cover, but you should try to see the goodness inside. Let’s stereotype about men for a moment. We’re said to have hard exteriors, but get past that shell, and many of us are softies inside. Just like those beignets.

The onus, though, shouldn’t be on others to see through us. We need to take responsibility to change. Isn’t “When I’m alone with him, he’s so nice, but when he’s with his friends, he’s such a jerk,” a common complaint against us guys? Why do we change that way? A big factor is homophobia, which I partly define as fear of being perceived as gay. The pressure’s so strong that we often need to act tough in front of our friends.

With yesterday’s signing of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, we’ve taken a step in giving gay and bisexual men (and lesbians) in the military their humanity back–the freedom to be who they are while they fight for freedom for all of us.

Tearing down the burden of hyper-masculinity will liberate all men. We’ll change, and, dare I say, we’ll be BuiltBetter.

First published in Seattle Weekly’s Voracious on December 23, 2010.

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Bonus: Here’s more about BuiltBurger, from my 1/5/11 post at The Sunbreak.com…

Enter BuiltBurger and you simply walk up to the counter where you’ll find the menu on the wall. Plenty of patties for your choosing; with the variety available, I recommend doing a sampling of three LittleBuilt sliders as a way of finding your favorite(s). Mine turned out to be a beef burger mixed with long-braised short-rib (with horseradish aioli and greens), though the Sriracha special had nice bite to it, complemented by refreshing pickled vegetables.

builtburger_burger_500You’ll find burgers made with pork, pastrami, chorizo, chicken, lamb, and even a vegetarian option. Based on my burger binging this year, I’ve come to realize that I ultimately prefer a slightly charred ground beef patty that falls apart in the mouth (as compared, let’s say, to pork-filled patties that have a slippery, more sausage-like texture), but BuiltBurger offers good quality and fun variety.

builtburger_sliders_500The fresh sides are a healthy bonus. Salads the day of my visit were either spinach with pear, cranberry, and almonds, or jicama with orange, cojita cheese, and almonds. More likely, though, you’ll choose some potato action on the side. While the fries are fine (they’re hand-cut), I urge you to try the sensual potato beignets with a dip or two.

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