Review: The Hot Mess from Burga Box & Life, Paint, Exploding

JFG Nation, you may have noticed that I haven’t been posted in a while. That is because I’ve been full-on adulting: painting a house. Buying a full on home is a big moment in anyone’s lives, and so many emotions come along with it. “Hey, I’m broke! My pockets are so light! I should be floating in the clouds, my pockets are so light!” Plus, “Hey, this house better not fall apart! Let’s scrutinize every single corner of this house and obsess over every crack until we go crazy.” Plus, “Hey, how do we make sure this house doesn’t poison/harm/collapse in on top of our family? Can someone go on the roof? I feel like we need some roof vigilance here.”

My job over the past five days was simple: PAINT THE HOUSE. Well, let me tell you: there’s a reason why people hire painters. Because painting sucks to my assmar. Sure, it’s fun to pick out colors and the majority of the rolling, getting paint all over you, touching up corners – that’s digestable and doable. The things that will drive you crazy? How about:

1. TAPING. Holy moly. Taping, in prep of painting, is. THE. WORST. It’s painstakingly slow, the tape never goes where you want it to (ARE THESE STRAIGHT EDGES OR WHAT???) and you use COILS AND COILS of it – only to get paint outside the lines ANYWAYS. Well, at least I did. WHAT. LIKE YOU’RE SOME VAN GOGH OVER THERE. Don’t judge me.

2. MATCHING WHITE PAINT. There is no greater hell than trying to match white paint. White paint is unforgiving. All the hard work you put on the walls and around the countertops and inside the closets make no difference when the white paint you bought doesn’t match the baseboards and ceiling. It’s like I decided to smear old glue all over the brilliant white door frames. WTF. “But this is the whitest paint the paint store had!” FIND WHITER PAINT, GRIND DOWN BONES BLEACHED BY THE SUN IF YOU NEED TO. Trying to match white paint will drive a person insane. I hate you, white paint. “But Eric, just take a chip to the store and have them match it.” Why is this always the answer? How the hell do I just cut a chip from the door frame? I mean, I know I *can* – BUT THEN I’M JUST CUTTING A CHIP FROM THE DOOR FRAME. “Just glue it back on after.” WHAT!? You’re talking crazy. Get out of here.

So yeah – my sanity has been questioned. Hence, my lack of blog posts. But that’s all different now, because the painting is (sort of) done. Now onto the carpets.

Have bad painting stories? Let me know in the comments below.

Today’s review: The Hot Mess from Burga Box!!

When BurgaBox reached out to me, I had JUST read about them on Uncrate. I don’t do Blue Apron, or HelloFresh, or any of the like – not because I have any problem with them, but I cook plenty on my own and have never felt the need to subscribe. But BurgaBox is a little different – it is the Boston Burger Company’s brainchild for you, the home consumer, to make the type of over-the-top insane burgers at home that they serve in the BBC. It’s like Blue Apron, if every meal was hamburgers – as they put it, it’s “a meal kit delivery service that sends ingredients to over-the-top burger, fries and mac & cheese right to your doorstep. AKA a burger FEAST in a box!”

So there you go. I needed to see this for myself. BurgaBox agreed to send me the kit for the Hot Mess, the burger that won them Rachael Ray’s Battle of the Best Burger national competition.

The box came quickly, and was delivered in a huge cardboard box. This kit sells online for $65, and includes two Hot Mess burger kits, Garlic Parmesan Fries, Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese, and baked beans & coleslaw.

The kit came prepackaged inside a foil insulated bag that was loaded with ice packs.

The components were individually wrapped and boxed. Packaging: Thumbs Up. Nothing was broken, or damaged, and everything seemed to have survived the trek from Boston to DC.

The kit came with two buns and…

… of course, butter for that nice griddle action.

The kit also came with two 1/2 lb. burger patties…

…nice and pre-formed, this looked to be perfect 80/20 ground beef.

Other assembly-line pieces also came in the kit…

…including the slices of American cheese, lettuce, sweet potato fries, thousand island dressing, and “Hot Mess” mix (diced pickles and jalapenos) that go onto a Hot mess Burger.

Freshness: Thumbs up. Despite feeling like I was constantly unwrapping things, everything looked and smelled fresh fresh fresh. I was starting to get hungry.

Step one: season up those patties with the BBC spice rub packet!

And then get to sizzling. 4 mins a side, please.

HOLY GREASE, BATMAN! The BurgaBox instructions for making these patties is geared towards using a pan (for people who don’t have grills). Side effect: you will end up cleaning up your stove for a day after. The fat splash is legit. Not pictured: 2 slices of American Cheese go on top of each patty. OOOOO GOOOEY.

Next step: crisp up those sweet potato fries!!

Ah, there we go. Just the way I like them. Oh, and remember that butter?

YES. That’s how all burger buns should look. TIME TO ASSEMBLE!

Like any burger connoisseur, I know that the lettuce goes on the BOTTOM of the patty to keep the bottom bun from getting meat soggy. I’M NO ROOKIE. Then the patty goes on top with a healthy helping of the Hot Mess Mix.

The Hot Mess mix, a mix of jalapenos and pickles, was basically rolled in a bit of thousand island dressing and maybe some mayo. Looks kind weird, but the flavor was good. I can already see how this works on a burger.

After that, pile on the sweet potato fries and add another dollop of Thousand Island dressing. I must say, I NEVER eat Thousand Island dressing EXCEPT for on burgers. Do they even sell it in the salad dressing section anymore? Weird.

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT. Two GIGANTIC Hot Mess burgers, fully assembled. I must say: WOW. Speed of cooking: THUMBS UP! Despite it looking sort of daunting, what with the unwrapping and all that, I only used two pans (use the sweet potato one to toast up my buns too) and the whole experience took less than 1/2 hour.

The Hot Mess burger is Paul Malvone’s baby (one of the founders/co-owners of the Boston Burger Company). It captures everything you want in a burger: creamy, salty, spicy, sweet – or at least that what they claim. I haven’t bit into it yet. BurgaBox notes that “[a]t first, this burger will remind you of one you may have had when you were a kid, but then all of a sudden it will kick your taste buds into overdrive.” REALLY. I’ll be the judge of that.

*chewing* Ok, I can see where they’re going here! At the outset, let me just say this – the burger is DELICIOUS. The ingredients are fresh, and that makes a big difference. The meat is well seasoned, and leans a bit salty. The combo is HUGE, and I have to unhinge my jaw to bite it. But once I do, they aren’t – the combo is fantastic. This is a tasty burger. Why? Because it basically tastes like a Big Mac on steroids!!

Come on. I’ve heard this song before. Beef, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles? That’s the Big Mac through and through! However, BurgaBox is correct – there IS something extra about this burger, and it’s the sweet potato fries and jalapenos. The sweet potato fries add a bit more creaminess and decadence to the burger – I didn’t notice the extra sweetness as much because it melded well with the Thousand Island dressing. But the jalapenos WERE noticeable – they definitely added a slightly spicy kick to the burger which I thoroughly enjoyed. This was good. REALLY good. I was actually shocked how much I enjoyed the combo. Nice job, chef! Uh, I mean…ME!

The kit also came with Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese…

This came in a ready foil tray, that could be popped right into the oven.

Before you pop it in, the pulled pork mac & cheese sort of looks like a frozen TV dinner, but after you pop it in?


OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO ok I’ll stop. This pulled mac & cheese was LEGIT. Creamy, bubbling hot, and loaded with sweet BBQ flavor. CHUNKS of pulled pork, too, no skimping here. LOVED this. Great mix of two different colored cheese and there was PLENTY in the tray. Wow. Big thumbs up here.

Garlic Parmesan Fries were my second side, which came in this plastic bag…

There was decent amount of fries that came with a small container of garlic parmesan cheese mix. The instructions say to bake the fries, then to fry them AGAIN on a pan after. That seemed like a lot of work for me. I just did the bake. After, you’re supposed to toss the fries in a pool of butter that has the garlic parm mix melted into it…

The initial batch looked a little weird – I worried I scorched the garlic parm mix too much in the butter and baked the fries too long…

…but in the end, everything was all good in the hood. The fries were TASTY. Super garlicky, nice and salty, and crisp. I love potato wedges; feed me these all the time. I couldn’t get the cheese to stick as well, however; I ended up sort of pinching clumps of cheese to the fries as I ate them. Flavor: A+. Ease of execution: ehhhh, this was probably the “hardest” part of this meal.

Who can forget the baked beans and coleslaw?

I enjoy coleslaw, and this was a good version – not too watery, full of bite, and a nice cool palette cleanser.

The baked beans were exactly how I like them too – not too watery, still firm, SUPER brown sugary sweet with good chunks of pulled pork in there too. Very very well done.

And that’s my BurgaBox experience! I must say, I was impressed. Flavor-wise, everything was excellent – from the huge burgers to the well planned sides. Ease of execution? Overall, pretty easy – everything was packaged easily and I never felt like I was in over my head. Was this worth the price point? You’ll have to decide that for yourself – there was SO much food leftover, that this easily could stretch into another meal.

Thanks to BurgaBox for letting me try their Hot Mess. I completely enjoyed it.



Discuss - 14 Comments

  1. Alek says:

    Your painting story reminds me of a scene from Mr. Bean. He didn’t want go through the trouble of painting the whole apartment. So he used explosives and paint can. Covered the whole thing in newspapers. Then when he was going ready to escape the room; he forgot the doorknob. He hurried to find the doorknob; took an apple trying in avail to open the door. Finally he found the knob. Escaped and then the paint exploded everywhere covering the room in bright white color.

  2. Alexa says:

    Your description of the horrors of painting was on point. Just wanted to comment that I really enjoy your humor and your blog. Miss your contributions on the Nosh Show!

  3. Jessica says:

    When I was about 6 years old, my mother finally decided I could sort of pick the color of my own room. I say sort of because this became an argument with my then-18ish sister between blue (my choice) and peach. Somehow peach won out, and she even picked the ridiculous looking butterfly border with the argument “but there’s blue butterflies in it!”

    Years later, Mom, sis and I were traveling to visit family and my dad decided to take it upon himself to re-paint it blue. Except he didn’t cover the border and the shade of blue he picked was nowhere in it.

    I was probably 20 before the border came down and I finally got a decent color bedroom (at the expense of my carpeting being replaced by a painted concrete floor). And, after numerous clashes about style with my sister (mostly involving birthday and Christmas gifts that were her style, not mine, and I wanted to return), we haven’t spoken in 5 years.

  4. Sarah says:

    I bought a house by myself about 12 years ago. I painted the entire interior. I told myself I would never pick up a paint brush again. I have lived in four houses since and have stuck to my rule. So much better paying a professional. I also will never take one of those cheesy paint and drink wine classes.

  5. Sarah says:

    Also…..I imagine a post like this takes a bit of time! Thanks!…love reading all of them.

  6. Christina says:

    I do the marketing for Boston Burger Company (the parent company of BurgaBox) and I have been reading your blog for a while. Needless to say I was thrilled to see you had done a review. And of my favorite burger!! So glad you enjoyed it. LOVED this review, thank you!!!!

  7. Lacy says:

    The only thing that kinda sucks is ALL that plastic that it all comes in for just that one meal.

  8. Billy Hooper says:

    You have done an amazing job with the exterior of your home. I love all the little details you put in and the color selection is stunning. The landscape is gorgeous. You have a beautiful home!

  9. Hannah says:

    I just found your blog today via the Buck Wild website, and I fell down a rabbit hole of looking at ALL THE POSTS. Anyway, good Lord this looks delicious, and I am now very very hungry.

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