One of the big surprises of this Halloween season is the sudden appearance of Wayback Burgers Ghostbusters menu. I hadn't heard a single whisper about these until Matt from Dinosaur Dracula posted an article on the very topic. Even he had been informed by someone else as these just snuck out with little fanfare. With more and more fans tracking them down however, the Ghostbustin' Burger and Stay Puft Marshmallow Slime Shake have become hot ticket items for this spooky season.
Upon first reading about this selection, I wasn't all that excited. I knew Wayback was a fairly small chain, so the chances of me getting my mitts on any of these goodies was probably zero Little did my unobservant ass realize I'd already gone past one location dozens of times. It was just like twenty minutes from here. So on a decent sized shopping trip to pick up all important Halloween supplies like cemetery fence and lights I fueled my consumerism in the best possible way, with a movie tie-in novelty meal.
Entering the joint I found the general décor to be a slick, nearly futuristic version of classic diner styling. It's like entering the world of next Tuesday. it's a clean look with some nice touches like the paper on every serving tray looking like old newspaper.
I was surprised at the pricing. For whatever reason I thought it'd be a more standard issue fast food joint. Instead I found a moderately upscale place like Chipotle or Five Guys. It's not crazy expensive but their burgers cost in the five to six dollar range. So long as they turned out good, I'd say the damage was worth it.
First up on the menu was a free sample of the House Chips. The owner brought these out since we were official Wayback Newbies and I gotta say the chips are awesome. They're thick, crunchy, and a damn fine side dish. Possibly my favorite bit is that with the bigger ones you get a slightly mushy center confirming that yes this is just a big slice of tasty Potato.
After that we dug into our order of mac and cheese bites. I'm always conflicted with this item no matter where I get it from. I love mac and cheese like family so I naturally expect more from it once it's been battered and deep fried. There's just something missing for me. On the other hand, we did neglect to get any dipping sauce, maybe that's what makes these babies shine. As is, they're still decent.
Appetizers out of the way it was time for the Ghostbustin' Burger. There was a little trepidation on my part when ordering this because of it's ghost pepper sauce. Now let's make it clear I am in no way against spicy food. I love spicy stuff. What I take issue with is food that's just hot. If you give me some fine Indian or Middle-East cuisine, I'll lap it right up but if you throw some habanero flavored snack my way I'm gonna pass cause I know better than to eat that crap. What worried me was not being sure what I was getting with this burger, tasty spice? Or hot garbage?
As with many things, the reality was somewhere in the middle. The bun seemed decent enough and the beef was actually really good. That sauce however got uncomfortably close to flavorless pain-inducing goo. It wasn't there completely as I could still make out the flavor of the cheese, meat, etc. and I could also make out some other ingredients within the sauce itself though it was nearly impossible to identify any of them through the veil of heat.
And hot it was. Not as powerful as one might guess from the ghost pepper moniker, all the same it brought droplets to my brow and lit my lips ablaze. But the genius of this promotion is that the second item was perfectly made for cooling that fire.
Here in all its glory is the Stay Puft Slime Shake. A marshmallow flavored shake, topped with marshmallows, and accented with green goo, this monster was thick and strong. Seriously, this isn't some lightly sweetened treat. No, this is like having someone punch you right in the mouth with an entire bag of marshmallows. Actually, if you ever wanted to experience the scene where Walter Peck is covered in Marshmallow Man goo, here's your chance.
How did this all digest though. As you might imagine there were a few farts that afternoon but that's to be expected from afterlife themed food. Otherwise I'm happy to report it went down smoothly. I should note however that either the spice, sugar, or something about the combination gave me a distinct urge to bust out some Patrick Swayze Roadhouse poses.
All in all I was pretty impressed by Wayback Burgers. My nephew was angling for a return visit within hours. For me the experience wasn't an absolute slam dunk mostly due to my meal being firmly in stunt food territory. That's not a knock against it mind you. The Ghostbustin' Burger may never touch my lips again but I'll cherish the delightful absurdity of eating a well-made meal based entirely around Ghostbusters with a special little sandwich sign to boot.
This is exactly what makes this time of the year so great. Despite Summer being lauded as the time for fun, Fall is where even something so mundane as eating a burger can be transformed into a mini event.
So yes dear readers I suggest you hunt down the nearest Wayback location, within reason that is. Even if you can't stomach the ghost pepper sauce, at least you can get a legit Ghostbusters shake and some other fine eats. If you're extra good, they might even let you have one of those little signs too.