Sunday, February 22, 2015

here we come, on the run, with a burger on a bun

I regularly get offers from Groupon, the international "deal-of-the-day" website featuring various discounts on products and services, since I inexplicably signed up for emails about a year ago. As of today, I have taken advantage of exactly none of the offers.

Earlier this week, between the spa treatments, discount car parking at the airport and cheap tickets for a Bush concert (are they even still a band?),  I got an interesting offer from the good people at Groupon. I read it and re-read it a few times to make sure I was seeing it correctly. The offer was for a hamburger and French fries every day for a year at a place called PYT, in the hip Philadelphia neighborhood of Northern Liberties. PYT has gained near legendary status locally for their outrageous take on the classic burger (using donuts and Eggo waffles as buns; introducing peas & carrots and Scotch eggs as toppings). They also breached the infamy barrier when an incident over gratuity involving Philadelphia Eagles' running back LeSean McCoy made national headlines. I've never eaten at PYT, although, based on photos from their website, the burgers are astonishing – some bordering on obscene. Plus, I don't eat meat.

PYT's Groupon for a year's worth of burgers and fries costs $144. The regular price is figured at a couple of bucks shy of $4400, as most of their menu items run around the ten dollar mark. There is a short list of stipulations for the offer, like limiting the selection to burgers and fries only (PYT does offer other types of food, as well as alcoholic "adult" milkshakes). The deal is not transferable, so don't get any ideas about sharing this with a friend. They also limited the offer to "dine in" only. This was met with complaints, as the "no take-out" rule was not initially outlined in the original offer. PYT owner Tommy Up explained that anyone who feels he or she was misled could get a refund. "The intent of the burger deal," he said, "is to make new burger-loving friends." If you read the reviews on, PYT can use all the friends it can get. The joint has garnered quite a reputation for having a less-than-gracious waitstaff. Some waiters have been described as "rude," "pretty bad," "slow" and "not attentive at all."

PYT's Turducken burger is included.
But, let's get back to the deal at hand: one burger and one order of fries every day — every day! — for a year. How often can someone actually eat a giant, decadent burger and a full plate of fried potatoes? Once a week? A couple of times a week? Can someone consume a (and I quote from the menu) "banana-sriacha marinated juicy beef patty with applewood bacon on top between two deep-fried, kettle chip-coated peanut butter and jelly sandwich buns" seven days a week? Can a Bengal tiger even do that? When I first received the email, I sent a text to my son (also a vegetarian). I know he has eaten at PYT (they offer veggie burgers) with his girlfriend (a carnivore but we love her just the same). Assessing the value, his reply about the offer was: "That's an affordable way to die."

I wonder if Groupon considered pairing the PYT offer with a discounted consultation with a cardiologist?

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