Having pulled two 10-hour-plus days back-to-back, I felt I was entitled to pre-spend some of my future overtime earnings on dinner. Even the above pile of take-out menus didn’t seem all that inspiring as far as choice. I’m not sure if it’s just me, or my iron-deficiency cravings, but burgers seem to be a much-discussed topic in blogland lately. Even Frank Bruni was interviewed in A Hamburger Today.
I’ve written before about one of my favorite spots to grab a burger when the weather’s nice in the city (see link). Tonight, however, that was too far to trek from my Midtown office building. I headed towards my apartment and stopped in at a local restaurant instead.
You know this place. Almost every area has one. It has reliable, tasty food and a solid menu. It’s the place you think of for Sunday brunch or Saturday lunch, the place to take out of town guests to grab a bite their first night in town, and where you know the game is on (doesn’t matter which one) every night. Most of all, it is the place where you can grab a good, meaty burger and at a reasonable price.
Isn’t that lovely? Look at those fries – crispy and fluffy at the same time. I have a friend who can eat a whole portion in a matter of minutes. My burger came medium rare, as usual, covered in melted cheddar cheese, served on a toasted kaiser roll.
My additions were the standard for me: ketchup, mustard (not the yellow American kind), and a slice of red onion. It’s a ritual for me when I decide that a burger is the thing to hit that hunger spot. In general, I skip the lettuce and tomato. It just interferes in my opinion. Besides, they always seem to slip and slide out of the bun.
So, here’s a salute to those local joints, the ones that keep us fed when we are hungry and also serve us what our soul craves.