The 'Serious Burger' at Cheeburger Cheeburger: Taste Test and an SNL Video
National burger chains are flying into town and running up their numbers so fast we can't keep up with them. One of the latest to arrive -- along with Smashburger, Fatburger (which tried twice in the last two decades, failed, and is trying again), and Five Guys (which had a big head start) -- is Cheeburger Cheeburger.
This Florida-based franchise takes its name from a famous John Belushi sketch on SNL (also starring Garrett Morris, Laraine Newman, Dan Akroyd, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, Bill Murray, and Robert Klein, the writer of the sketch, who appears near the end and sits at the counter) set in a Greek diner. You can read the name on the window backward -- the Olympia Restaurant -- but the prototype for the sketch was a Chicago bar called the Billy Goat Tavern, known to many of the skit participants, who, you'll remember, came from the Second City, a Windy City sketch-comedy outfit.
The joke lies in the fact that all the place seems to serve is cheeseburgers, pronounced at ear-splitting volume in an immigrant's accent, and endlessly repeated as "cheeburger, cheeburger, cheeburger ..."
Pillaging Belushi's corpse, the chain Cheeburger Cheeburger appeared with a single Park Slope branch earlier this year, but perhaps more germane to airline travelers, a stealth express branch materialized more recently at Newark Airport. As a captive audience, the prospect of one of their patties may be more appealing, when you don't have dozens of other burger choices, as you do in most city nabes.