On August 30, 2011 Zombie Burger + Drink Lab opened its doors in Des Moines' East Village. On Sunday, June 1, Zombie Burger sold its one millionth burger. The lucky person who ordered the milestone burger, Darica Drake, received a $1000 Zombie Burger gift card, and everyone dining in the restaurant at the time of Drake's fateful order received a free Zombie Burger t-shirt.
So what burger did Ms. Drake order to push Zombie Burger over a million? Was it the "They're Coming to Get You Barbara" with two grilled-cheese sandwiches for buns? Was it the "Dead Moines" with smoked gouda, prosciutto, ham, and truffle oil? Was it the "Undead Elvis" with peanut butter, fried bananas, bacon, American cheese, a fried egg, and mayo? Was it maybe "The Boomstick" with deep fried chili, American cheese, onion, and pickle? —None of the above. It was the simple burger that started it all, a Zombie Burger single with lettuce, tomato, onion, American cheese, and Zombie sauce. In a way, it is kind of fitting. All the fancy "Burger of the Week" creations peak people's curiosity, but simply having a great basic burger to go with all the tasty, but oh-so-deadly, monstrosities is what keeps people coming back. [You can check out some of Zombie Burger's menu options through their beginning years in the nearby slideshow.]
So what is next for Zombie Burger? Well, for starters, the restaurant will let Schlafly Brewing, a groundbreaking craft brewery from St. Louis, take over their taps tomorrow starting at 4:30 p.m. Then the restaurant will celebrate Des Moines Beer Week with a "Bottle Share" on Tuesday, June 10. Beyond that, the sky is the limit for George Formaro, Tom McKern, and the Zombie Burger crew. The restaurant has made huge fans of celebrities like comedian Jim Gaffigan, members of the Harlem Globe Trotters, and the Belgian death metal band Aborted. People drive from all over to say that they have eaten at Zombie Burger. Honestly, what is next for the restaurant is what the first nearly 3 years has brought—millions more burgers sold and continued success. The zombie craze may die out next month or next year—who knows—but a place that serves a killer burger like Zombie Burger will live on for many years to come.