June 23, 2006 — -- It may be a cardiologist's worst nightmare -- a Black Angus all-beef patty covered in melted cheese, two strips of savory bacon all between a sugary, deep-fried Krispy Kreme donut.
This mouthwatering burger is getting some major league buzz ever since Illinois' Frontier League baseball team, the Gateway Grizzlies, began serving the 1,000-calorie treat at their concession stands.
Dubbed the "Luther Burger," its Atlanta creators Chandler Goff and Jeff Girard, owners of Mulligan's Bar and Grill, fine-tuned a recipe they found in a magazine and created the artery-clogging cheeseburger.
The general manager of the Gateway Grizzlies, Tony Funterburg, saw more than just a burger -- he saw earning potential and a way to bring more people to games.
Funterberg says the results are incredible, attendance has grown and it's just about the most popular thing in the ballpark.
Cory McDaniel liked the Luther Burger so much he had three in one sitting. "It really is the best burger you've ever had," he said.
"I know it sounds weird but it's sweet, mouth-watering and makes me hungry just talking about it," said Keith Chapman, another Grizzlies fan and owner of an Illinois car dealership.
Others are repulsed by the idea of a cheeseburger squished between a Krispy Krème glazed donut. "Ew, that is way too many carbs and cal's...a heart attack waiting to happen," said student Michelle Laurcanne.
"Are you trying to make me gag?" said another woman.
Some burger purists are also repelled by the Luther.
"Changing the classic cheeseburger is just plain wrong, it's a conflict of cultures," New York high schooler Meredith Dean said.
That's not stopping people from tinkering with the classic burger.
From cheeseburger salad to cheeseburger soups, menus all over the country are reinventing the once-classic burger.
"I've had a burger with bologna cheese and bacon and I love it!" said banking executive Michael Szwejbka.
How about cheeseburger sushi? "Cheeseburger tacos sound good and so does cheeseburger salad but definitely not on top of sushi," said Fmu Tarmin, manager of a New York sushi restaurant.
Whatever cheeseburger combination you're having though, there's no question the Luther Burger is definitely a guilty pleasure -- and one to be enjoyed infrequently.
"We don't recommend that you make a habit of eating this, but I don't think once a month will kill you," said its inventor Jeff Girard.