5 Great Gutbombs: Introducing the Gutbomb Index (GBI)
The ditch dogs at Ditch Plains are a notable gutbomb.
It's been over a year since FiTR embargoed the use of the term "gutbomb" on our website, except for special cases. This is one of those special cases. This post seeks to define gutbombs, note how and when they occur, and offer a selection of recently encountered examples. Perhaps it will help you avoid G-bombs in the future - or maybe it will just induce you to try new ones. Each example is embellished with FiTR's 100-point Gutbomb Index (GBI).
First off, what is a gutbomb? The key to the genre is oversatiation: Eat a gutbomb and you'll find yourself not only full, but feeling way too full, maybe even nauseated -- hence the name. Your gut has been bombed, not just satisfied. Gutbombs arise when one of three conditions is fulfilled: large size, greasiness, and an incongruous collection of ingredients. The biggest gutbombs have all three. To qualify as a gutbomb, something must also taste great.
5. Ditch Dogs at Ditch Plains (top of page) -- Two hot dogs smothered in what tastes like Kraft mac 'n cheese would be gutbomb enough (note the doubling of the dogs, when probably one would do just fine). But beyond that, the thing comes on a bed of fries. Fries always raise the GBI by at least 10 points. GBI: 92
4. Mixed Sandwich at Cafe Zaiya -- This perfectly illustrates the size factor when it comes to gutbombs. Billed as a mixed sandwich (note the singular), and priced at $6.50, this is really three sandwiches masquerading as one. Note how tightly it fits in its little aluminum container like a fat man jammed into a corset, and how the fillings include fried cutlets and mayo-drenched tuna and egg salads. GBI: 93
3. Lomo Saltado at Chifa -- Trust the Chinese-Peruvians to concoct such an amazing gutbomb: The french fries, having already been cooked once, are stir-fried again with onions, tomato, cilantro, and beef not of the leanest, then drenched in a rich brown gravy. Anything that glistens like this is likely to be a gutbomb. GBI: 96
2. Salad Tashkent at Nargis Café - We're always in potential gutbomb territory when something called "salad" turns out to be loaded with "meat." In this case a toss of shredded daikon radish thick with mayo (a quintessential gutbomb ingredient) is further improved with a fatty lamb julienne. A generous haystack of greasy fried onion rings is the coup de grace. GBI: 98
Next: And what could outdo these previous four?
1. Potato Chip Nachos at Swine -- Even the FiTR staff was nearly frightened away upon encountering this supreme example. To begin with, the thing is ugly as hell (though it tastes great). And what is the purpose of the cardboardy tortilla chips in conventional nachos? To absorb grease. Potato chips shed it, like water off an amphibian's back. The white stuff is supposed to be cheese, but really it's more like molten mayo. This dish might serve as a definition of gutbomb. GBI: 100
Ditch Plains 100 West 82nd Street 212-362-4815
Cafe Zaiya 18 East 41st Street 212-779-0600
Chifa 73-20 Northern Boulevard Jackson Heights, Queens 718-898-0108
Cafe Nargis 2818 Coney Island Avenue Homecrest, Brooklyn 718-872-7888
Swine 531 Hudson Street 212-255-7675
Follow me on Twitter if you dare -- @robertsietsema
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