A few weeks ago, we stopped in at Hamburguesas Don Jesus to check out one of west Denver's Mexican specialists, where hamburgers are constructed street-style, as they're done in Juarez. We dug into the Torta Burger, a massive mound of beef, pork, cheese and guacamole big enough to feed two hungry adults. But among the other burgers piled high with the likes of fried bologna, pineapple and bacon-wrapped hot dogs, one behemoth stood out on the menu: It was called La Tribu and featured ten burger patties arranged pinwheel-style on a giant bun.
While the Torta Burger proved tasty and gut-busting, thoughts of La Tribu lingered. But when we contacted Hamburguesas Don Jesus to order one for a big group, manager Kimara Chavez told us that they had unfortunately removed the beast from the menu because they had lost the baker who provided buns the size of manhole covers for the restaurant. We thought our hopes and dreams had died there, but Chavez soon called us back to let us know that La Tribu would be making a comeback.
Owner Jesus Chavez conceived of La Tribu (Spanish for "the tribe") because he wanted to build the biggest burger in Denver, and because he wanted a family-sized feast that would be a good bargain for big groups. La Tribu must be ordered a day in advance and lists at $65 on the menu, which sounds a little pricey for a burger, but this is no lightweight. The bun is roughly two feet in diameter and holds ten beef patties, each topped with ham, fried bologna, a bacon-wrapped hot dog, a grilled pineapple slice and a slice of cheese (that means ten of everything). Several sliced avocados, a bale of shredded lettuce and rivers of mayo, mustard and ketchup are added before the monster is loaded onto a cutting board and delivered to the lucky guests bold or foolhardy enough to place the order. A separate platter of fries — several potatoes' worth — is part of the deal. Chavez says the meal should easily feed ten people.
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We took a group of six to Don Jesus thinking we could polish off La Tribu with room left over for bottles of Mexican Coke or tamarind soda. After plowing through less than half of the ridiculously big burger, we threw in the towel and toted the rest back to Westword headquarters, where another tribe descended with plastic knives and forks to demolish the remains.