Hunting the Elusive Donut Burger This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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I bite in. At first, all I can taste is the sweet flavor of the glazed donut. Then comes the crisp lettuce, ripe tomato, succulent bacon, juicy beef patty, melted cheese, and the refreshing sweetness of the second glazed donut. The world goes silent; every sound is blocked out. Time stands still. The long-awaited moment has finally arrived. At last, I am eating a Donut Burger.

It all started one Wednesday afternoon. My father was driving me home after a typical day at camp, and we were pulled away from our fascinating conversation about the weather by an astonishing sight – eight or nine brightly colored food trucks parked in a shopping center. I had never heard of food trucks before, so, of course, we had to stop to check them out. The sights and smells were overpowering! Everywhere I looked a vibrant truck advertised unique foods like squid sushi, mini cupcakes, and authentic New England clam chowder. But what really caught my attention was a bright pink truck with an enormous plastic donut on the front. I was drawn to it as if in a trance. As I finally stood before the Dough Truck, my eyes took in every detail, from the calligraphy on the front to the menu on the side to the closed door.

Yes, the closed door.

The Dough Truck was closed. The menu, written in hot pink, boasted sandwiches like the Gobble Gobble Burger (a turkey burger stuffed with provolone cheese, topped with arugula salad and garlic aioli), the Wild West Burger (mesquite pulled pork topped with bacon and coleslaw), and the classic Donut Burger (a bacon cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato) – all between freshly baked glazed donuts used as buns. My mouth watered at the thought.

Shaking off my despair, I left that day with a new sense of purpose in life. I could no longer sit aimlessly when I knew somewhere out there, someone was eating a Donut Burger.

I became obsessed. Like a true groupie, I checked the Donut Truck’s website every day, hoping the truck would return to San Jose. I read every review, even posted on its Facebook wall.

After two weeks I learned that The Dough Truck was coming to town. I was flooded with enthusiasm and anticipation. Granted, I had to wait another week, but what was a week when I’d practically waited my entire life for this?

Finally the big day arrived. I was taken by surprise by the enormous crowds. The line seemed to stretch forever. Standing in that line, smelling the freshly baked donuts and grilling patties was torture. The long line slowly inched forward. The workers plodded at a snail’s pace; I would need to wait one and a half hours.

All my angst, anger, and agitation vanished when I finally reached the counter and ordered my Donut Burger. And when they said, “Manush, your burger is ready,” and the attendant placed the box in my hands, I nearly fainted.

As I sat in the car, I hugged the box (bright pink, of course) like a newborn baby, fearful that it would spill its precious innards all over the floor, destroying that moment and my life.

When we finally arrived home, with trembling hands, I reached into the box and picked up the Donut Burger. It was breathtaking.

A perfectly glazed donut enveloped the delicious goodness hidden inside. I had never seen lettuce so green, tomatoes so red, bacon so perfectly crisp, a patty so professionally cooked, and cheese so wonderfully hot and gooey.

I lifted it to my mouth, closed my eyes, held my breath, and bit in.

Heaven.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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