Just an aside: I hadn't heard of Wayback Burgers before the Dino Drac post. Was it a nationwide chain like Johnny Rockets that made sub-par but reasonably price burgers or was it more localized, like Shake Shake or In-N-Out? Who cares? I just wanted to try it because of the Ghostbusters tie in. I'm easy.
So anyway, traffic was clear on the New Jersey Turnpike and we made fairly good time. Which was good because it was nearly 1 PM and I was hungry. Little did I know that'd be the last time I thought about food all day (a rare thing, mind you).
As I parked the car and rounded the building, I was met with an exciting sight...
Simplistic in its execution, the Ghostbusters logo holding the cheeseburger symbolized the great promise awaiting me. My salivation glands kicked in hardcore after that and I rushed inside to join The Nerdy Pumpkin on line.
But the same logo followed me inside! This time it was joined by the largest, most delicious cheeseburger I'd ever seen. That stack of beef and cheese was to promote the "Triple Triple Challenge", in which the person who eats a 9-patty burger the fastest wins $3,300. (Of course, entrants have to complete a waiver so the idea of me entering that contest can get right fucked.)
So much promo everywhere! Wayback wasn't pulling any punches when it came to advertising. Unfortunately, Wayback isn't a household name so something like this can easily go under the radar.
But I have to give them credit. As you can see, they offered 3 items as part of the Ghostbusters Blu-Ray promo; the Ghostbustin' Burger, Mac & Cheese Bites with Ghost Pepper sauce, and a "Stay Puft Slime" milkshake. More details on each in a moment.
But what?! There was one of those face-cutout standee things! (Do they have an official name? I've never known if they do.) Customers have the chance to put their face into the logo and post the pic to social media using #WaybackBurgers. A very modern way to spread the word.
More promo! Each of the napkin dispensers had the same image as the cash register, just without the Blu-Ray packaging. So customers who didn't order any of the Ghostbusters items can regret their decisions as they wait for their food to arrive. Clever!
Finally, our food came out. My burger was topped with a little, plastic spear thingie with the Ghostbusters logo holding the burger (Burger-ception?). Sadly, that little topper was the only take-home that the promotion offered. Besides the memories. And the pics I took. And quite possibly the fire-shits that may have been in store.
In order to get this picture, I cut the burger in half and immediately licked the drippings off the knife. Within seconds, my mouth was on fire. The Ghost Pepper sauce that topped this thing was no joke. Just that one small taste made my nose run like a frigid winter day. And as you can see from that picture, that burger was slathered in that sauce. Not to mention the side of Ghost Pepper sauce to dip the Mac & Cheese bites into. What the hell did I get myself into?
Luckily, the second promo item was this beauty. The Stay Puft Slime milkshake. Vanilla ice cream flavored with toasted marshmallow and a drizzling of kiwi-lime sauce, topped with mini marshmallows. Given the amount of capsaicin settling into my tongue, the cool ice cream helped to relieve the pain in my mouth. Sadly...
...I had to wait for The Nerdy Pumpkin to finish trying the shake first. She, of course, loved it, even though my mouth had half-melted by the time I got to get a taste. After that first sip and the cooling splash of marshmallow and kiwi-lime it hosed my mouth with, I have to admit I really liked it, too. The kiwi-lime flavor was less than ideal, though, mostly because it didn't gel well with the marshmallow. But overall, the marshmallow took center-stage, as it should have.
Ah, the Mac & Cheese bites. Not an overly ambitious side as many eateries tend to have these on the menu. I was even saddened to later learn that Mac & Cheese bites are already a staple on the Wayback menu itself. So what made these so special to be 33% of the Ghostbusters promo?
The Ghost Pepper sauce. Which, as I've already learned, will set my mouth on fire. Soooo... would these be worth the time?
They sure look good, with that golden brown deep-fried coating and gooey, orangey-yellow cheesiness on the inside, but in fairness, they were bland and unappealing. In fact, the Ghost Pepper sauce is the only thing that made these little M&C poppers worthwhile. It could have been that I'd lost all feeling in my taste buds so anything I ate would have been bland and unappealing but I don't think that was the case here. If I ever go back to Wayback Burgers (which, admittedly, is likely), I'll probably order the Irish Nachos as my side.
Time for the wrap up. As far as movie tie-in promos go, this one was a little lacking. No takehomes, besides that burger pin thingie I showed you earlier, really makes it difficult to justify long rides. Luckily Wayback was only 40 minutes from me but I've heard stories of people questioning whether they should drive 2 hours to take part in the festivities. Which I think is crazy. The food was good. But not "drive 2 hours" good. I've had food that's worth a drive equal to the average cinematic film, but Wayback is not it.
That said, if you have a Wayback nearby, I'd recommend checking it out. The burger itself was succulent and the Ghost Pepper sauce, despite melting my face, added a great flavor to the meal. The milkshake was amazing and made me wish more places had a marshmallow ice cream readily available. The Mac & Cheese bites are the only things that can go fuck themselves. It's apparent that they were the lazy addition to the promo docket and really were an embarrassment to the Ghostbusters brand.
But all in all, I have no regrets.