The Unvegan

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Pickled by the Patty Wagon


For lunch one day, I happened to notice the Patty Wagon truck was parked outside my office. This seemed like a fun lunch, so I checked out their menu and found a few burgers that looked good. I was a little sad to see that they only had mini-hamburgers, but really happy to see that they weren’t falsely calling them sliders. Each mini burger was in the realm of 3 bucks, which seemed a little pricey, but they did look interesting. A few of the burgers looked really good except for a vegetable here and there. When I went to order, I was told they couldn’t change any of their burgers, which was disappointing, but I was able to find two without any reference to a veggie.

The first was called “I Get a Kick Out of You” and had jalapenos, pancetta, provolone and “a lil mayo.” I figured I could handle a little mayo for moisture, but any more than that and I am an unhappy man. The second was “Keep Your Sunny Side Up.” I was sad to see it contained no egg, but it did have gremolata, also known as garlic, lemon and parsley butter. And it was on a ciabatta roll to mix things up. I also ordered their garlic and rosemary fries.

Shortly after ordering, I noticed that some other burgers had pickles placed upon their buns. Nay, all the burgers had pickles on their buns, held in by toothpicks. This would ruin my meal, so I dashed to the order side and asked the lady to ensure my burgers would have no pickles. Crisis averted, I relaxed and waited for my burgers. The relaxation didn’t last, because as soon as my name was called, I was greeted with a horrible sight.

Keep Your Sunny Side Up

There are few things in the world I hate more than pickles. And as far as edible things (if you can really call pickles edible), pickles take the top spot. Not only do they taste terrible, but everything they come into contact with is also rendered terrible. Buns are ruined, spreads are contaminated and everything they touch turns to crud. They are like the anti-Midas. And there they were on my burger. I tore them off as soon as I could (right after taking a picture), but the damage had been done. I knew no matter what happened from there, these burgers just couldn’t be good.

First I tried Keep Your Sunny Side Up. The meat was dry and although the gremolata was tasty, it couldn’t do enough to add juiciness to my overcooked meat. And of course there was the pickle juice on the ciabatta roll, which made things worse. I hoped the I Get a Kick Out of You could do better.

I Get a Kick Out of You

I started out by opening it up to check out the mayo situation. “A lil” was quite the understatement. There was a full dollop of mayo on the bun and I struggled to reduce it to “a lil.” After that I tried the thing out. It actually turned out to be much better than the other burger. It hadn’t been undercooked and was far juicier. The pancetta tasted just like bacon, which is a good thing, and the rest of the toppings worked just fine. There was the aforementioned pickle juice residue, but fortunately the toppings on the burger like the jalapenos did a good job of overpowering it.

Then there were the fries, which were sliced so thin that they were almost to the thickness level of homemade chips. This was by no means a bad thing and I actually found them quite good. If I were to go back to the Patty Wagon, I would probably get these and I Get a Kick Out of You again.

But I probably won’t be back to the wagon. I simply cannot handle a truck that tosses pickles around all willy-nilly like they are something that tastes good. There are simply too many good burgers in LA to return to such shenanigans.