2013.03.06 Can a 7-layer burger dislocate your jaw?

Written by David Green.

By RICH FOLEY

Finally, a restaurant chain in the United States has dared to build a multi-patty hamburger far larger than the limits previously available. Sure, some out-of-the-way independent eateries have offered multi-patty sandwiches, and overseas, the sky, or at least overcoming the pull of gravity, is the limit in some outlets. But now, your chance at world-class gluttony is only a short car ride away.

The Steak ‘n Shake chain has introduced a special “AllNighter Menu” for the hours between midnight and 6 a.m. The star item on said menu is the “7 x 7 Steakburger,” consisting of seven of the chain’s regular Steakburgers plus seven slices of cheese, all on one single, solitary bun. Just think of all the carbs you’ll avoid by not getting those other six buns.

Even better, the chain is opening an outlet in Lenawee County soon, so you won’t have to go all the way to Toledo to watch late-night overeaters try not to become models of regurgitation. I think the 7 x 7 is something I’d rather watch someone else eat while I tackle the normal double patty version with one slice of cheese. 

After checking out the nutrition information on Steak ’n Shake’s website, I’m convinced that sticking with two beef patties is the way to go, although the stats on the 7 x 7 aren’t all bad. Some, in fact, make it look downright healthy.

For instance, based on a 2,000 calorie diet, the 7 x 7 has a whopping 152% of your daily protein. What was it Pink Floyd said—How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat? It you finish a 7 x 7, you’ll certainly get a large portion of meat, but probably no room left for any pudding.

The 7 x 7 also contains 60% of your daily calcium, thanks mostly to the seven cheese slices. There’s also 50% of your iron requirement and 30% of your vitamin A. Sounds good, right?

The 7 x 7 contains a relatively low 22% of your daily carbohydrates, probably by eliminating those six unneeded buns, and  just 6 grams of sugars while containing a surprising 16% of your daily fiber. And then, there’s the bad news.

At 109 grams of fat, the 7 x 7 provides 168% of your suggested daily amount. Could it get any worse? Well, there’s the fact that 47 grams of that fat are saturated, only 235% of your daily amount. Compared to those numbers, the 290 milligrams of cholesterol, a mere 97% of your daily amount, seems low in comparison. But remember, only in comparison. 

None of those numbers are good news for your heart. If you’re thinking of tackling a 7 x 7, it might be a good idea to bring along a friend with a portable defibrillator, just in case.

The 7 x 7 also contains 4,570 milligrams of sodium, 190% of your daily limit. It might be a good idea to also order a pitcher of water and tell the waitress to keep the refills coming. I could add that the sandwich also contains 1,570 calories, but at this point, that’s probably the least of your worries.

My biggest question is, even if you decide to order a 7 x 7, how do you fit a stack of seven burgers, seven slices of cheese and a bun into your mouth? I can’t help thinking about a Georgia man who dislocated his jaw when he ordered a sandwich too big to eat.

Chad Ettmueller visited his local “Which ‘Wich,” a Dallas-based sandwich chain with over a hundred locations throughout the southern United States. He ordered a sandwich then known as the “Wicked,” which contains five kinds of meat and three different cheeses. 

Since Ettmueller was especially hungry, he asked for double meat and double cheese. When he tried to take his first bite, he opened his mouth so far trying to fit the sandwich in that he couldn’t shut it, suffering a dislocated jaw.

Things quickly got worse. His three children couldn’t stop laughing at him and neither could the staff at his local urgent care center. Ettmueller suffered through 14 hours of various medical procedures before he could shut his mouth again.

Although he works in the legal field, Ettmueller didn’t sue anyone. All he asked for was another sandwich to replace the one he didn’t get to eat. That wish was granted, and the restaurant renamed the sandwich the “Lockjaw” in his honor.

Personally, I don’t need to have a sandwich named after me. I think I’ll stick with one or two burger patties at a time.

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