Susan and I arrived at the joint before noon. It is a small place with a few benches for sit down eating and carry out service. It is located on a busy intersection. The menu is limited to sandwiches, hot and cold. There are no side dishes, not even potatoes (or chipsy). There is a cooler with cold beverages including beer.
I proceeded to the glass counter and ordered cheeseburger double and watched as the cook placed a large patty on the hot griddle. She then grabbed a loaf of bread similar in size and shape as a traditional hamburger bun. Using a serrated knife, she cut the bread nearly in half and placed it in a griddle similar to a panini iron, and began toasting it on the outside. After the bread had been in the iron for several minutes, she stuffed it into a paper wrapper. When the patty was done and the cheese had melted, she slipped it into the bun and it was time to decide on toppings. I selected standard American hamburger fare: lettuce, onion, tomato, pickle slices, ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise. There were other options such as shredded cabbage, thinly sliced cucumber and a sauce that had the appearance of Thousand Island dressing.
I paid for the burger and returned to Susan at our bench, and we divided our treasure. It tasted great, somewhere between hamburger purgatory and hamburger heaven. There were differences between this experience and typical hamburger service in America.
- Aside from paper napkins, there were no disposables--no paper plates, straws, etc.
- There were no small packages of condiments
- There were no plastic forks, spoons or knives
The food and experience was great. No one other than W. C. Fields could have captured this moment than when in his words he described consuming a stolen pie as a youth, "Was it good? And did I eat it?" Indeed we did, even without relish. I feel much closer to hamburger heaven than hamburger purgatory.
Get a load of the big mouth St. Louis Cardinal fan!