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Slow Day in Santa Fe (Day 124)

November 20th, 2009 No comments

Slow because of me, not anyone else. Don’t mean to imply it’s a slow town. Slept in, then drove up there. Tried to hit another h*mburger place, but it turns out that the Bobcat Bite is only open Wednesday through Saturday. Oh darn. I got the impression they thought they were doing the world a favor by existing at all.

Santa Fe itself, however, is considerably less self-important.

santa-fe_building-cornerEvery building in town looks like this. Or, at least the corner of every top floor of every building in town. And “town” is pretty narrowly defined as well.

santa-fe_san-miguelTower of San Miguel’s — oldest church in the USA (they say).

santa-fe_san-miguel-frontFull frontal of same.

Highlight of course was hanging out with Ian and Melinda at dinner. Went to Tomasitas for New Mexican food, which was pretty amazing. Not that I have a lot to compare them to, but I’m told the sopapillas there are incredible and I sure didn’t experience anything that would run counter to that claim.

Also: much appreciation to Ian for letting me crash at his killer pad and indulging me in conversations about old MST3Ks, XCom: UFO Defense (the newer, open-source version of which I played at my campsite last night until my batter ran down), and the sticky nature of owning mere licenses to content. Ian, btw, has written the greatest novel ever, which will be coming out in April.

bkd

Categories: southwest Tags: , , ,

Fort Raleigh, Then Durham (Day 89)

October 16th, 2009 1 comment

North Carolina strikes me as a lovely place to live, but kind of an odd place to visit. Heading west from the Outer Banks, I figured Ft. Raleigh sounded interesting enough. I always wondered about those Croatoan people, so — right. Here’s what there is to see at Ft. Raleigh:

fort-raleighAnd a fine location for Frisbee golf, too!

Yeah, well, I suppose I knew it was a lost colony. From there, headed west to Durham, where they have the REI. Having finally tired of my GPS’s incompetencies, I took it back. I’m starting to see a lot of upside to REI. I had that thing misguiding me throughout the country for 2.5 months, but REI had no problem taking it back. Go REI!

For dinner, met up with my ol’ Clarion buddy Alex in Carrboro, where we had some great detox food at the co-op.

Then I drove out to Statesville where I found a surprisingly clean hotel, with breakfast, for $29.99+tax. Go Statesville!

bkd

Miller’s Bar: Greatest Hamburger on Earth (So Far) (Day 64)

September 19th, 2009 3 comments

Drove from Chicago out to Dearborn, Mich. to meet with my ol’ mission buddy Jeff and his wife and to take in the #8 hamburger of all time. (I’m not sure why I never take photos of people I meet up with on this trip. And if I started now, it would seem sort of mean toward everyone I didn’t already take photos of.)

Right, so Dearborn has this bridge that I drove under and that I thought looked cool.

dearborn_bridgeBut my real cameras were packed in my backpack and it would’ve been an awkward place to get out of my car.

Then we hit Miller’s Bar. Kind of an odd neighborhood — some beautiful, old, small residential homes (like 20 of them) right behind the bar, but otherwise car dealerships and closed-up restaurants dominated. Ah well.

When we sat down the waitress came to ask what we wanted, at which point Jeff informed her that we hadn’t seen the menus, at which point she seemed a little flustered before answering: we don’t have menus, we only have hamburgers or cheeseburgers and french fries and onion rings. At which point Jeff said, “Oh”. Per the GQ list, I ordered the hamburger. They brought a cheeseburger, though, but I don’t think GQ would really disapprove.

millers-bar_burgerWith a bun that shiny it *has* to be good!

I can’t explain why exactly, but of the straight-up burgers from the list, this is my favorite so far. I don’t know.

  • It comes out with just bun, burger, melted cheese.
  • The waitress brings slices of onion on a napkin and there are pickles, ketchup, and mustard on the table.
  • You’re on your own from there.
  • Ordered medium-rare, yet the bun remained firm and true without disappearing.
  • I don’t know. I just don’t know.

It just tasted fantastic. And it wasn’t like I hadn’t eaten all day or anything. I really think it was the burger. Maybe they put good spices on it, or maybe they’ve got a meat grinder in the basement and are pulling a Sweeney Todd on us, but whatever. Simple, yet transcendent.

So of the eight I’ve eaten so far, here’s my rank order:

  1. Miller’s Bar – Dearborn (#8 in GQ)
  2. Houston’s California Burger – Santa Monica (#6)
  3. Le Parker Meridien Hotel Burger Joint Cheeseburger – New York (#9)
  4. Red Mill Double Bacon Deluxe w/ Cheese – Seattle (#17)
  5. Keller’s Drive-In #5 Burger – Dallas (#10)
  6. Poag Mahone’s – Chicago (#18)
  7. The Counter – Santa Monica (#15)
  8. Burger Joint – San Francisco (#16)

I’d say IMHO, but no: this is not a matter of opinion. This is fact.

bkd

(PS, I think I’ll only get to six more on this trip — outside shot at seven, but they get packed in pretty tightly in the tri-state area upcoming and I can’t eat more than one hamburger a day without getting sick.)

Chicago City and Hamburger #18 at Poag Mahone’s (Day 62)

September 19th, 2009 3 comments

I’m catching up. Oh yes, I’m catching up. Went to Chicago (all things go, all things go, I know) to meet up with my buddy Dayn Perry and check out burger #18. Was in Chicago sort of recently, so I didn’t make much of a day of it. And I only took my cell phone cam.

Here’s a picture I took with my phone from the train:

chicago_train-windowTaking photos in trains always makes me feel like I’m part of a Journey video — although I suppose that’s a bus rather than a train. Tja.

chicago_sunsetYep, it’s a large city at sunset alright.

chicago_beanThere should be a chili restaurant inside.

Those last two photos were not taken from the train. Ended up at Poag Mahones, the only Irish pub I’ve ever seen that closes before, I dunno, 2 AM? They were kicking us out at 8:30. Here’s the burger.

chicago_poag-mahone-burgerPretty standard.

Regarding the burger:

  • It was straightforward.
  • It was good.
  • Any burger place that will allow you to order medium-rare is good, IMHO.
  • It wasn’t spectacular.

I sort of wish the GQ list had more gimmick burgers on it. So many of them are just plain, straight-up burgers and therefore hard to differentiate. #18? Eh, sure, why not? Seemed like a nice enough bar/restaurant, didn’t think it was cool to get kicked out at 8-fetchin’-30.

  • This was the seventh I’ve eaten so far out of the 20.
  • Stay tuned to hear about the eighth, which has (in the actual now) been eaten and digested.

Always cool to hang out with old friends, btw. I’m always sort of surprised how well I always still get along with people I haven’t seen in a long, long time.

bkd

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