The Belcher family is a true comedic jewel in the crown of modern comedy. The cult cartoon Bob's Burgers has earned a mass fan following for everything from the recurring feud with neighboring restaurateur Jimmy Pesto Sr. to the pun-tastic names of the burgers Bob slings in his restaurant.
And if you've ever found yourself wanting to take a bite out of such wonderfully named burgers like the "We're Here, We're Gruyere, Get Used to It" or the "Paranormal Pepper Jack-tivity (comes with pepper jack cheese)" might actually taste like in real life, a recent art show and pop-up burger shop in Los Angeles turned that dream into reality.
During an art show put on by Bento Box Entertainment showcasing the one-of-a-kind painting, sculpture, and mixed media pieces from 16 Bento Box artists who work on Bob's Burgers, guests had the opportunity to take in the show while chowing down on real-life burger creations inspired by the series.
The art show, which took place in LA chef Alvin Cailan's famed restaurant incubator Unit 120, took full advantage of the space's culinary creativity by having ten different local chefs create their own gourmet versions of Bob's pun-riddled burgers to mark the special occasion.
"We had all our current Unit 120 chefs make a burger: Chad Valencia, Isa Fabro, Lawrence Fama, and [sommelier] Anthony Cailan," Cailan told me. "Then my buddies from Badmaash, Welxer's Deli, and the NoMad Truck. But I was particularly excited to let people taste burgers from some amazing chefs I want people to get to know like Christian Alquiza from Sweetfin, Royce Burke from Chimney Coffee, and Dom Crisp from L&E Oyster Bar."
Cailan explained that some of the Bento Box crew were fans of Unit 120's chef Isa Fabro, so the two of them traded their Detroit-style pizza to get to sit in on a Bob's Burgers table reading. Afterward, Cailan and Fabro invited the crew to check out the space, and the rest is history.
"Bob's Burgers is my favorite TV show of all time," Cailan tells me. "The struggles the Belchers go through trying to run a restaurant and pay bills and raise a family is common to us industry folks."
Eager fans endured long lines to hit the takeout window outside Unit 120 for one of the daily changing burgers before heading into the art show. Such wonderful burger creations included Royce Burke's balsamic chimichurri-covered beef and lamb burger "Don't Chimichurri About a Thing, Every Little Thing's Gonna Be Alright"; the "Jalapeño Business Burger" with crispy jalapeños, jalapeño bacon, "bubu" sauce, and karashi takana (pickled mustard greens) from Christian Alquiza; the "Winter is Cumin" chili cheese burger by Anthony Cailan; the fried butter chicken burger by Badmaash's Pawan Mahendro called "Started From The Butter, Now My Whole Team Cluckin Here"; and the "Hey, I Like Your LAMBurghini" burger with lamb, beef, Calabrian pepper, and provolone by Dom Crisp.
Chef Chris Requena from Wexler's Deli took inspiration from the show to create the "Get in My Deli" burger featuring an Angus beef patty, Russian dressing, grilled onions, Swiss cheese, and house-smoked pastrami bacon. "There really isn't another show quite like it," Requena says of Bob's Burgers. "The inspiration for the 'Get in My Deli' burger is just an extension of our philosophy here at Wexler's Deli. We wanted to keep it simple, execute it well, and use the best product available to us."
While some chefs took the opportunity to embrace the Belcher spirit and come up with their own burger names, others wanted to pay homage by recreating an original Bob's Burger themselves. "We had a lot of fun scrolling through the dozens of burger puns that have appeared on Bob's Burgers," Will Guidara and Daniel Humm say of brainstorming for their NoMad Truck burger. "We landed on the 'Two Karat Burger' and it's inspired by a dish we serve back at NoMad Bar in NYC: a carrot tartare that's seasoned with mustard seeds, horseradish, and sunflower seeds."
For their burger, they duo one-upped the tartare by incorporating it into a chicken burger: "The burger starts with the chicken burger patty we've been serving from The NoMad truck since launching it in LA, and then is topped with the carrot tartare, a carrot vinaigrette, cheddar cheese, watercress, and radishes."
While your time to get a real taste of Bob's Burgers may have passed, this art show and burger extravaganza is just the latest event in a series of events that Bento Box is doing in partnership with Fox. So keep your fingers crossed for a permanent Bob's Burgers location in the near future.