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What Makes a Satan Sandwich?

If one were to go down to the crossroads at midnight and call the devil's name three times, what dish would appear in a poof of fire and brimstone?

Doughnut Burger. Image courtesy of Flickr user Tavallai.

After a deal to raise the debt ceiling passed the House of Representatives, Representative Emanuel Cleaver, Democrat of Missouri, declared on Twitter that the resolution was “a sugar coated satan sandwich. If you lift the bun, you will not like what you see.” It’s a turn of phrase that has since lit up the Internet with people asking: what exactly is a Satan sandwich? If one were to go down to the crossroads at midnight and call the devil’s name three times to make him appear, what dish would appear before you in a poof of fire and brimstone? Different bloggers have different ideas about what might best illustrate the concept, and they’re thinking beyond your basic deviled ham sandwich. Here are three ideas—one to skewer on each tine of a pitchfork—that might qualify as fiendish food, be it in name or in execution.

Seitan Sandwich: Why not kick off this list with a little wordplay, eh? Seitan is a wheat gluten-based meat substitute used in vegetarian cooking. You can use it in several ways to make a sandwich: dripping in barbecue sauce, sauteed and paired with lettuce and tomatoes, or a faux po’ boy that is appropriately hot and spicy. It’s the sort of food that might do you harm if you have a gluten allergy or if you have a penchant for really fatty sandwich fixins. And until a restaurant somewhere out there decides to craft a politically inspired kitchen concoction, this is probably the closest you’ll come to eating a Satan sandwich.

Luther Burger: Between its construction and the fat and calories swimming around in this decadent dish, this might be the embodiment of a sugar-coated Satan sandwich. Legend has it that the all-beef patty topped with bacon and cheese and nestled between two glazed doughnuts was a favorite dish of the late R&B singer Luther Vandross. At the very least, the dish is named after him and was likely invented at Mulligan’s Bar in Decatur, Georgia. With reportedly over 1,000 calories and 45 grams of fat per serving, this might better be referred to as a Lucifer Burger between the dietary havoc it will wreak and the hours you’ll have to spend burning up on a treadmill in order to work this thing off.

Cheesecake Factory Grilled Shrimp & Bacon Club: On the outside, this sandwich seems innocuous enough. Charbroiled shrimp—good ol’ fruit of the sea—paired with bacon, lettuce tomato and special dressing. But open this puppy up and it’s a veritable Pandora’s box with 1,930 calories waiting to be unleashed onto your arteries. Earmarked by Yahoo as the worst sandwich in America in 2010, it trumps the approximately 1,228 calories found in KFC’s Double Down, which debuted that same year amid much media attention. Of course, you could lighten your load if you decided to share.

This discussion is incredibly open-ended and the above ideas are only meant to start the conversation. What is your idea of a Satan sandwich, sugar coated or otherwise?

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