Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wait a Minute...I've Had THAT Burger!

Remember the first time you smelled tequila after one of those nights?

I'll wait.

Yeah, I thought so.

I still shudder thinking about one of those nights with tequila. It involved a housewarming party and a few too many Tequila Sunrises. It was the first (but alas, not the last) time he held my hair while I prayed to the porcelain gods. It's been two and a half years since that night, and I've only had tequila once or twice. Last night, I was watching football at Jimmy's (Hyde Park watering hole that is very popular with the University of Chicago students) and right in front of me, the bartender poured two shots of Cuervo for some people at the end of the bar. I made some sort of groaning noise and clutched my stomach. Ladies and gentlemen, that is sense-memory.

Sense-memory is, of course, a double-edged sword.

Last night's episode of How I Met Your Mother (arguably the best sitcom on TV right now-I will say it's the best because it's MY blag and as far as I know, no one is reading it. I dare you to name another show that's as comical, smart, and topical.) evoked a memory I will never forget.

Go watch the episode right now. Season Four, Episode Two. The one about Marshall's quest for The Burger.

I'll wait.

No, Virgina, there isn't a Santa Clause, but Marshall's Burger exists. As Marshall was talking about this mythically amazing burger throughout the episode, a curious sensation filled me. I've had That Burger.

Unfortunately for Marshall, The Burger doesn't exist in New York. It does, however, exist within the city limits of Chicago, not far from the Chicago Tribune.

It was late February of 2008. I had just moved to Chicago the month before and was coming back from a movie with some friends, when we decided food was in order. Allow me to preface this by saying I never, ever order burgers in restaurants (or at barbecues, because I just don't like beef), but my friend Zach told me I did not, in fact, want the chicken sandwich, I wanted the house's burger. The Blackie's Burger. New friends, new city, why not? I was up for new experiences. I ordered the burger.

Let me tell you, the Blackie's Burger was everything Marshall described, only ten times better. I could taste that burger. I wanted that burger. I wanted to hunt down the cook and the manager, make them open the restaurant, and cook me a Blackie's Burger, medium well, with fries, barbecue sauce, and a pitcher of the house Amber Ale. Ladies and gentlemen, this was a craving on par with White Castle. And believe you me-I've gotten out of bed at two in the morning because I couldn't sleep and was fooling around on the interwebs, got dressed, took an hour bus ride to White Castle, and munched a crave case all the way home. Believe me. I know about The Craving.

If you're ever in Chicago, you must go to Blackie's Boston Tavern, get the Blackie's Burger, and a pint or two of the Amber Ale. You'll thank me later.

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