Friday is cheeseburger night. At least that's the way I like to play it around my house. This is not just a little throwback to the way I experienced life when I was a mere slip of a lad. When my parents went out to dinner, we three boys were afforded the opportunity to enjoy a big sack full of McDonald's.
Let me say from the outset that I understand how different McDonald's is from cheeseburgers. I can best illustrate this by sharing this: I would be shocked and dismayed if I went to virtually any other hamburger stand on the planet and was handed a McDonald's cheeseburger. What is this barely there flat bun and patty combination with a couple of thin pickles and a sprinkle of diced onions held in place by mustard and ketchup smeared into the same temperature as the rest of it and served in a bit of wax paper that identifies it as a "cheeseburger?"
And yet, I have made pilgrimages, over the years to the Golden Arches to buy a big bag of those "meaty treats" because they are their own unique food group. Quarter Pounders, Big Macs, they are another matter. They don't qualify because they don't call them "burgers," do they?
And then there was Tom's Tavern. And The Branding Iron. It was at these two establishments that I had to explain to the friendly folks taking my order that I wanted two hamburgers, but I didn't need twice as many fries, or two scoops of that awful macaroni salad. I just wanted to double up on the burger portion. One plate, thanks. Two burgers.
When I discovered that we had moved into our new house just a few blocks from the nearest McDonald's, I felt that my future was assured. Buying my son his first Happy Meal with cheeseburger was a rite of passage. They even had a numbered meal on their menu that gave me those two cheeseburgers and one order of fries. Like they had anticipated my needs. Desires?
And somewhere along the line the McDonald's up the street closed and I began to question just how many buns I needed to consume along with my obsessive burger habit. And if the hill I was going to die on was going to be cheeseburgers, weren't there some more attractive options?
Nothing served on a plank, thank you, and no artisan buns. But Friday is cheeseburger night.