Aside from experiencing so many cool attractions and events here in ILLINOISouth, our favorite thing to talk about is food. No joke. We LOVE trying new restaurants and meals, and we’re pretty sure that it shows every time we shoot a new ‘Hidden Gems’ segment. So it gives us no greater pleasure to highlight National Cheeseburger Day – which falls on September 18th this year. Here’s a fun fact, 50 billion burgers are consumed in the U.S. alone EVERY SINGLE YEAR. That averages out to about three burgers per person, per week!
We’ve had some PHENOMENAL cheeseburgers throughout our travels – from the Moonshine Store in Clark County to Wally’s Burgers in Breese. But there is one up and coming food truck in southeastern Illinois that serves up cheeseburgers unlike many you have ever seen. In March of this year, the husband and wife duo of Dillon and Chloe Farmer opened up a food truck called ‘Two Farmers Burgers and Beignets.’ They specialize in smashburgers, and some of the best beignets you’ve eaten in your life.
Two Farmers is based out of Mt. Carmel, but they have no problem traveling around to several different southern Illinois communities to vend. No matter where they go, one of the fan favorites on the menu is “The Grind.” It’s a one pound, eight patty cheeseburger, and the pictures of it will make you salivate at first sight. But as you may imagine, folks want to go bigger. “After a while, people became attracted to the idea of eating larger burgers so we decided to open up a "name your own burger" challenge,” explains Dillon Famer. “Basically, if a person comes and orders a burger, finishes it within an hour in one sitting, and is the first to do so, they are free to name it.” Dillon's favorite part of the job is building these larger burgers, a large reason being, he has a flair for "over the top" food and has eaten a 25-patty burger himself along with several other food challenges. “To date, the only burgers that have yet to be named are 18, 19, and 21+. We have had a large amount of people attempt 25 but all fell short. This seems to be the burger people are chasing and we foresee it being conquered very soon,” Farmer added.
One thing is for sure, with burgers this big and this good – folks have come out in droves to try a bite. “We were overwhelmed with the support from the very start,” the Farmers explain. “People have waited one to two hours and still approached the window with a smile on their faces. It makes us happy to know people are willing to give that time just to try our food. Seems like every day we receive messages asking us to go here and there. We have had many drive great distances to come see us as well. This, of course, applies a great pressure to us. We always want to deliver the best food possible. When people come, they expect ‘burger and beignet paradise.’ We always have to be on our top game to ensure it is worth every penny, every mile driven, and every minute in line.”
While their burgers are a big hit, don’t sleep on the beignets. The Farmers have fried up TONS of beignets over the years in order to perfect their recipe. We have heard that they are just as good as those that you’ll find in New Orleans. “The initial idea of serving burgers and beignets together was a strange one, but we feel we have normalized it and created a new trend,” the Farmers admit. “There are many, many people who wait in line just for the beignets which excites us because our beignets were never intended to be just a side. We want the beignets to be highlighted just as much as the burgers because we feel they are just as delicious.”
As if all of that wasn’t enough to make you visit already, the Farmers are some of the nicest people you’ll meet. Their hospitality alone brings people back, not to mention, their love for the communities they serve. “Each time we vend, we accept tips, but instead of pocketing the money, we add them to a ‘donation jar.’ We feel there are many who need assistance in different ways and this is our way of giving back to the community,” say the Farmers. “We are also very grateful for the small businesses who help us out. Josh Wagner and several others of IGA in Albion have been instrumental in grinding meat fresh and having it available for us when we need it. The fresh and high-quality meat is a huge reason our burgers are so delicious. Kevin Grider of Midwest Fresh has supplied us with Bacon Jam from the very start, and it is our fan favorite sauce. On top of that, our family, friends, supporters, and those who have helped with our vends have made this venture possible.”
If you’d like to sink your teeth into a burger and beignet hand-crafted by the Farmers, stay tuned to their Facebook and Instagram accounts to see where they plan on vending next! The only question is, what would you name a 25-patty cheeseburger if you finish it?