Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Gael is searching for Seattle's perfect burger, which has fueled quite the debate.

Different burgers serve different purposes, I think; I was born and raised on Dick's classic little gut-bomb beef pucks, and so I'll always have a soft spot for peeling melted American cheese off the sunny yellow-orange waxed paper wrappers. I kind of love them just by virtue of the fact that they basically make five things. The restaurants each feature a lurid painting of a massive, benign steer...there are no illusions about what you're getting. No, you can't have it your way. No, there are no salad tumblers or character-shaped cookies or any sort of protein-fingers. Next! I think a city ordinance requires that you have at least two Dick's napkins in your glove compartment at any time; god knows they've saved me from many a fogged mirror, wayward beverage, or traffic-induced blubbering jag. One of my earliest memories is of standing in line at the Wallingford drive-in, too short even to see over the counter, hypnotized by the orange, white, and brown mosaic tiles. (Full disclosure: Mom was one of the grand-prize winners in the 50th Anniversary Memory Book contest; she grew up a block away. Hee hee hee!)

Meanwhile I miss a classic New York diner burger, and made sure to have one while I was there: hand-formed patty, cooked to order, an onion ring on top if you're lucky. Have it rare! Melt your brain! They don't give a rip, it's your life!

Anyway. So people are coming out of the woodwork praising the late, lamented Baby Moons at the Triple-X Drive-In in Issaquah: cheese AND jalapeno-stuffed (thanks, Sis!) tater tots. Gael seems...aghast, but I'm telling you, these were one of the two perfect foods in the world. They covered four categories: spicy, starchy, fried, and cheeeeeese. All in one compact, bite-sized unit. God, I miss them still.

Would it be excessive, to try and hand-craft one's own tater tots?

The other perfect food: chocolate-covered pretzels, naturally. Again, four quadrants of snack coverage: salty, crunchy, fatty, chocolate. These are truly the only PMS snack, better than Midol and, thank goodness, readily available.

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