Tucson and Flagstaff-based burger joint Diablo Burger recently received national attention on Twitter by HBO actor Wendell Pierce for the restaurant’s latest ‘blackboard special.’ The special burger of the month, named the Wendell Pierce, pays homage to the Treme and The Wire star for his acting and New Orleans food activism.
The simple tweet, which went out on August 11, tagged the active Twitter account of the actor and included a brief description of the burger along with a photo.
— Diablo Burger (@DiabloBurger) August 11, 2015
Pierce responded with a retweet and the following response:
@DiabloBurger HOW DID YOU KNOW I LOVE OKRA? Thank you for the honor. I hope to come there and indulge.
— Wendell Pierce (@WendellPierce) August 12, 2015
The actor and New Orleans native made his name as Detective Bunk Moreland on HBO’s The Wire and as trombonist Antoine Batiste on Treme. Off-screen, Pierce is actively involved in the New Orleans community through his two non-profit organizations: Pontchartrain Park Community Development Corp., which builds affordable, environmentally responsible homes for Hurricane Katrina victims and Sterling Farms, a chain of grocery stores in the Ninth Ward that aims to bring fresh produce to a former food desert.
Diablo Burger’s owner, Derrick Widmark, described how they came up with the idea.
“When I started thinking about names for the burger, given the toppings, I wanted something that connected to New Orleans, and it’s great gastronomic traditions,” said Diablo Burger owner Derrick Widmark. “I’m a big fan of both The Wire and Treme, and knew a little about Wendell Pierce’s role in getting David Simon (creator of both of those shows) interested in post-Katrina New Orleans. Then I remembered that Pierce was also involved in local food activism with Sterling Farms, and just generally known as a bon-vivant and epicure.”
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Diablo Burger is a local foods based burger joint that sources most of its ingredients from within a 250 mile radius, including their beef.
“If it hadn’t been for those passions and involvements of his, we probably would have just called it the Antoine Batiste, in honor of his role on Treme,” said Widmark. “But given the way he’s stood up for those causes, which align so clearly with the local foods ethos of Diablo Burger, paying homage to the man himself was clearly the way to go.”
Needless to say, Diablo Burger is awaiting Pierce’s visit with open arms.
The Wendell Pierce burger is available for a limited time until early to mid September.
For more information, visit diabloburger.com.