Love affair between nationally known band and local food business gives birth to special burger!
By Ari Weinzweig
A few weeks ago, I got an email from Mark DeCarlo and Yeni Alvarez, co-hosts of the iTunes podcast A Fork on the Road. Turns out that they’d recently interviewed swing revival band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on the show. The group has been playing together for 25 years, and they’ve performed over 3,000 shows. They’re still friends and still enjoy working together—super inspiring if you ask me!
During our conversation, Yeni relayed to me that they’d asked the band about their favorite restaurants, and Zingerman’s came up. Given that they’ve been touring nationally for 25 years, the fact they picked us out of all the thousands of spots at which they must have eaten is no small compliment. (The others on their list are all excellent, too—clearly they have good taste!) They went on about all the parts of our organization, but they particularly talked about coming to the Roadhouse.
When we neared the end of our call, Yeni caught me off guard with a question: “If you were gonna make up a menu item for the band, what would it be?” I stumbled for a few seconds since I wasn’t prepared. “Well,” I started slowly, “we have some amazing burgers. I think it’d be a burger, topped with our pulled pork with Nueske’s applewood smoked bacon and Tony and Julie Hook’s 7-year cheddar from Mineral Point, Wisconsin. And top it all off with the Red Rage barbecue sauce.” I paused. It actually sounded good. “Yep, that’s it. The Big Bad Voodoo Daddy burger!”
Two weeks later, head chef Bob Bennett put the burger on the menu. It’s been selling like crazy! Like the band, it’s got big flavors—if you’re up for a burger that’ll make you want to get up out of your chair and dance, something bold, this is it! Big bass, trombone, some sax…a lot of instrumentation…nothing subtle about this one!
I hope we’ve done justice to their big, thigh-slapping, boogieing beat with this new burger!