By Eve Marx
For Coast Weekend
Is there anything as good as a perfect hamburger?
Supermodel of the moment Gigi Hadad has more than once been quoted saying, “Eat clean to stay fit, have a burger to stay sane.”
I’m totally down with this. At our house these days we eat pretty clean; a slab of Kerry Gold butter can last more than a week.
When it comes to baked goods, we’ve really cut back. At home we eat no bread except for corn tortillas. As for sweet breads, we’ve trained ourselves to avert our eyes from scrumptious locally made scones, donuts, and cinnamon buns. I can stroll past Dairy Queen without a twinge.
Our resolution a decade or so ago to strive for a more plant-based diet has paid off in lowered cholesterol and slightly smaller sized pants. I rarely feel resentful or frustrated about our decision to eat more healthy. The seafood is so amazing in this part of the world, I no longer miss the turf in surf and turf.
Unless it’s a hamburger.
Burgers are my weakness.
I still remember the first burgers of my life. I was at least 8 years old before I had my first burger and that was only because someone other than my parents fed it to me.
I should explain my parents were not burger people. They were people who grew up in restrained circumstances who aspired to something better, starting with what was on the table and table manners. My mother had her beef in the form of filet mignon. My father was full on lamb chops.
Burgers, they alluded to me were a shade déclassé. Ground beef? What was in it? And you eat a burger with your hands.
The newsman Anderson Cooper says he’s never been a Burger King guy. He’s a total McDonald’s man.
My first burger, and I mean my very first burger, was from Burger King. I was astounded when I saw it. I’d never seen food that came dressed in a paper wrapper.
It wasn’t like I didn’t get out much: My mother wasn’t much of a cook. We ate out a lot. We mostly ate in restaurants with tablecloths. On Sundays we had Chinese.
But after I’d wrapped my hands around my first Whopper Junior, nothing tasted as good to me as my first cheeseburger from Burger King.
Like the actor Dennis Quaid, wherever I am, wherever I’m living, I like to find the best burger in town.
This is not an easy thing to do in a town with so many burgers. Seaside has a lot of burgers. They make a nice juicy one at the U Street Pub. The Big Kahuna is said to have a good burger. I’ve heard it said the best burger is at The Crabby Oyster. They serve their burger on a potato roll at Ruby’s Roadside Grill. Tom’s Fish & Chips has a petite burger for smaller appetites. Bee Bop Burgers is an entire establishment built around the burger. They do a half-pound burger at Seaside Brewing and even offer a vegetarian version called The Impossible Burger they swear tastes just like meat. Mo’s has a 6-ounce northwest beef patty on a brioche roll with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle.
It’s a bit spendy, but when I am really craving a burger, I’ll spring for the 6-ounce Nehalem river ranch beef handcrafted burger served with lettuce, tomato, onion, cheddar cheese, and a secret sauce that comes with either salad or fries at Maggie’s on the Prom.
Wimpy, who you may recall was a character in the comic strip Popeye, was best known for his utterance, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” Wimpy was soft-spoken and romantic, but he was also a glutton and a cheapskate. Although he’s almost a tramp, he pretends to be a person of high status. Hamburgers were his favorite food. His famous phrase is commonly used to illustrate financial irresponsibility.
Well, that would also be me, too.