HAMBURGERS!

Editor’s Note: Following is a page from my spiritual journal.

 

“Where would you like to eat on your birthday?” Sitting in his corner of our front room sofa, my hubby smiled mildly. He waited, knowing what I’d say.

 

I burst, “Five Guys –Burgers and Fries!” Since Christmas, I’d pointed to that restaurant every time we drove by. Started in 1986 by five friends, the Southern chain ex-panded south from Virginia. When they opened a location near me, their catchy burger name called me.

 

I smiled to myself. Last year I wanted a Whopper! HA. JK and I had split the tomato, lettuce, pickle, and special sauce burger on a sesame bun specialty — with fries, of course. All that was missing from the favorite American meal of my 1950’s childhood was a chocolate shake.

 

Back then, the bank where my folks worked was open until noon on Saturday. Outlying farmers and other workers came to town that day and tellers had long lines.

 

After I turned eleven, my folks let me sleep when they got up and went to work that off-school day. Mother sometimes  

left me a note, “Walk downtown and meet us at noon for lunch.”

Usually, we went to Myers’ Drug Store two doors from the bank. One side of that establish-ment was a grill. I loved their thin hamburgers.

Often, I arrived at the bank early and Mother sent me over to save a booth and place our order. I liked to watch the guy behind the counter in his soldier-like white cap and matching cook’s apron. Holding the raw patty by a paper on one side, he flipped the red burger onto the grill. It sizzled. Plying his spatula, he pressed it down. He watched it a bit before flipping it over. Mean-while, he dipped vanilla ice cream curls from a compartment under the stainless steel counter. He dropped them into a metal sleeve and squirted in chocolate syrup from a push spigot.

After he moved the brown- edged burger to another part of the grill, he dropped a basket of white French fries into bubbling golden oil. He picked up the metal milkshake sleeve and slid it up under the mixer and set it whirring.

He pulled up the fry-basket to drain, set the hamburger on a bun and poured the shake into a tall clear glass. Mmm! But, watching the cook wasn’t the best part. A bite of burger followed by a fry dipped in the cold thick milkshake was

D-licious!

No restaurant ever made a better burger-fries-and-shake. After the Myers’ Drug store and grill closed, I sampled other  

hamburgers. When McDonald’s came to town, I ordered their Traditional American fare. The regular burger was thin and close to a Myers’ patty. The fries were thin, crisp and tasty, but the chocolate shake — well, it wasn’t even close. Maybe it was the real ice cream Myers’ used or the old-fashioned shake-mixer.

While I missed my Myers favorite burger, I still loved beef patties in a bun. That’s what I ordered even when my parents took me out to a tablecloth restaurant. Later, as a young working wife and mother, I was “The Hamburger Queen” in my kitchen. I fixed meatloaf, spa-ghetti sauce, chili, goulash, barbeque, and — of course — plain fried burgers.

In those years I thought I used the ground meat because I was in a hurry and it was easy to defrost. Looking back, I see it was really just my favorite. So, when I had to think up a meal, it naturally included hamburger.

At Burger King last year, I also ordered a “senior” coffee. Not because I prefer coffee to a shake, but because extra calories make my jeans tight.

Frances
Frances

 

However, in 2012 I went all out. In honor of my favorite  

childhood meal, I ordered: hamburger, French fries and a chocolate milkshake!

 

Frances Fritzie

 

France Fritzie adds, “I was amazed when Five Guys didn’t serve milkshakes! A smiling red-aproned worker explained, ‘Our menu is the same as when we started. Nothing’s changed. We serve Coke.’ The good news is, I bought ice cream at a nearby grocery and took the meal to-go. At h ome, JK used our blender to make a REAL old-fashioned chocolate shake. When I closed my eyes, for a moment I was eleven years old and sitting in Myers’ Drug Store again!”

 

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