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I'm pretty sure I first heard about Dyer's Burgers while reading Hamburger America (a roadtripper's bible of road food stops) some years ago. The restaurant on Memphis's Beale Street is known for it's deep fried hamburgers. But the patties aren't just cooked in any old grease: they're cooked in really old grease. Each burger is fried up in the same grease they've been using for 100 years, since the restaurant first opened in 1912....

I flew home from London in early December and promised myself that I would spend the next month doing nothing but catching up on work and spending as close to nothing as possible (the whole laptop thing put me behind in both money and productivity). That all went out the window though when I saw a tweet from Major League Eating announcing that the first qualifier for next year's July Fourth hot dog eating contest would be held in Mississippi a week after I arrived back to Chicago. And, well, I really wanted to go....

My plan for getting to the Krystal Square Off this year went from non-existent to amazing to not-so amazing all within the span of a few days. I had always planned on going, but, as it was last year, it fell on the Sunday after the one Saturday a year I am required to work. In the week before though , my plan started to come together: My boss graciously gave me Monday off, Sadie and Jamie offered space for me to sleep in their hotel room, Mat said he'd come along to help me drive. Things were looking perfectly...

I woke up at 5am on Saturday morning surprisingly awake. I think it was kind of like when you're a kid how you can wake up on Christmas morning before anyone else and be completely ready to go. Except instead of waiting for Santa Claus I was waiting for Joey Chestnut and Pat Bertoletti. I showered and packed up my car then went to pick up Nadia and Bryan. ...