Many establishments produce tall burgers: Wingfield’s, in Dallas (consisting of three patties, 6 inches high); Hot & Juicy, in El Paso (three patties, 7.5 inches); and Mel’s Country Cafe, in Tomball (six patties plus a pound of bacon, 10 inches) are just a few of the places that supply their communities with abnormally lofty pillars of beef. But it was in Amarillo—birthplace of the famous Big Texan 72-ounce steak—that we found the single most freakishly massive specimen we’ve ever laid eyes on: the 24-inch-wide hamburger at Arnold Burgers, which can easily satisfy twenty people. That much meat is almost enough to feed the roster of local talent in the West Texas Wrestling Association.
Here’s how Arnold’s creates its masterwork. Twenty pounds of raw, unseasoned meat are pressed by hand onto a flat grill until the patty is about half an inch thick and the required two feet across. After an hour or so, the colossal disk—which may then be covered with some forty slices of American cheese—is removed from the grill with a pizza spatula and carefully placed on a gigantic bun that is custom-made by a local bakery. And how to serve this awe-inspiring entrée? Arnold’s staff recommends cutting the burger into squares, like a sheet cake, or slices, like a pie. Unless you plan to eat the whole thing yourself—the prospect of which, frankly, disturbs us massively.