Thursday, September 08, 2016

De-Lovely, De-Licious

It comes with fries. That's what "deluxe" means. I learned this when I was a mere slip of a lad, at our family's favorite place to unwind on a summer night, The Branding Iron. After years of ordering "just a hamburger," I used my newly burgeoning reading skills on the menu to scan down just one item. Just below "Hamburger" was "Hamburger Deluxe." Reading was a revelation of sorts, but reading a menu was all kinds of new and interesting. I learned that putting that extra word after "hamburger" allowed for an extra dollar to be added to the price. The power of adjectives. Suddenly, a world opened up for me: My older brother had been ordering a Hamburger Deluxe pretty much straight along. I had assumed that, because of his age, the proprietors felt he should get his burger on a plate with lettuce and sliced tomato and pickle. And a fistful of french fries. The hamburger I got came in a red plastic basket on top of a piece of wax paper. No frills. Not deluxe.
And that's when I started to order my hamburgers deluxe. That lettuce and tomato stayed right where they were, holding down the left half of the plate. Before I went to work on the french fries, I gobbled up those three crinkle cut dill pickle slices. It was my bow to the extra dollar my parents were paying. I reasoned this because I had noticed that, upon further review of the menu, a side order of french fries could be purchased for seventy-five cents. I figured those pickle chips were my nod to the value of the food I was being served thanks to mom and dad's largess.
And that plate. It was such a a step up from that red plastic basket.
Now I order my hamburgers with.cheese. I put the lettuce, tomato and pickles and even some onions on the top before I flop that bad boy over and put on the mustard and ketchup like I always used to. Only now it's deluxe. Abundant. Excessive. Luxurious.

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