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John's Blog

Give a man a fish and feed him for a day....Teach him to use the internet and he won't bother you for weeks!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I'm Lovin' It: Food Pr0n!

Blame it on Mickey D's. First, they get me addicted to their iced coffee, despite the fact that you can get the same damn thing at numerous Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks locations which have seemingly popped-up on every other street corner. For some odd reason I avoid DD (too pedestrian?) and Starbucks (too pretentious?) when I treat myself to this delicious nectar and head straight for the golden arches. But then, as if to cement this addicting relationship they have to go and introduce those Angus Third-Pounders to give me yet another reason to go there. I hate to admit it, but these are pretty darned tasty and on a good day are equivalent to the fare offered by the typical "casual dining" chains.

But my obsessing on burgers has led to an unfortunate side effect. Now that I'm "not" blogging, I find myself returning to pure "web surfing" for information and amusement sake, as opposed to surfing for blogging material. I find it a bit disturbing that I've been seeking out food sites in the way many people seek out porn. It started as I was Googling for information on the so-called holy grail of burgerdom, the infamous IN-N-OUT Burger. Strictly a West coast operation, it wasn't long until I discovered that some people call Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries the East coast equivalent, and many think it is even better. But unlike porn, which is a "look, but don't touch" phenomenon (don't EVEN go there) this "food porn" inspires some degree of follow-through, especially when you discover that there is an outlet only minutes away from where you live.

I arrived to find a pretty minimalist decor, sorta like a cross between old school diner and a fast food joint. I quickly ordered one of their thin, double stacked burgers which are hand formed from fresh meat. They are cooked to order and are served up well done after developing a delicious caramelized crust. Yet somehow they remain pretty juicy; probably grease I'm guessing but you can't argue with the taste which is great. Then it's topped to your specifications from a wide range of available condiments. While you wait, there are buckets of peanuts for you to munch on, although they've been out of them every time I'm there. Your order is then wrapped in foil and shoved in a plain brown paper bag and if you ordered fries (and you should) they get poured in a cup and placed in the bag, and then they just keep filling the bag with fries.

Now normally, I'm not a fry guy. Perhaps my frustration in trying to order in a fast-food restaurant without getting fries might be a rant for another day. But these have to be some of the best fries that I've ever had. Fresh-cut on location, skin-on double fried and done in peanut oil, these puppies are fantastic. I was brave and got the "Cajun Style" fries, which are liberally covered in Old Bay seasoning, which had me leaving with tears in my eyes. Did that stop me from getting them again? No it didn't. Although if this new obsession becomes a habit, my next electronic gadget purchase just might have to be one of those home defibrillator units.
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“Sacred cows make the best hamburger.”
Mark Twain
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Where It All Began

Although I'm a student of history, I haven't yet had the opportunity to visit the birthplace of fast food, Louis' Lunch in New Haven, CT. where they served up the first hamburger in 1895. These tasty burgers are prepared as they've been since the beginning, sans catchup or mustard and served on toast, which sounds strangely appealing to me. It could just be a case of me wanting what I can't have, but maybe I can work this into the itinerary of our tentatively planned trip to New England in the spring.
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