We did not “strike out” at the James Beard awards. It was the first time in quite a while that we did not have a chef or restaurant win one of the categories that are announced a the main event, but Melissa Martin won for her cookbook Mosquito Supper Club, and that ain’t nothing.
We are blessed to live in New Orleans, where most people know how good food tastes. We can start a conversation with anyone, anywhere and apart from the potholes and taxes and crime and so forth, we’re doing ok.
We live in a place where in a few months I’ll start hearing the marching bands practice, and where women I have never met call me “baby.” It’s hot and humid and way more expensive to live here than it should be, but what’s a person to do?
I have lived in other places, where people did not enjoy food, or life, the way we do here and I have heard people un-ironically said, “let’s go to Applebee’s!” There is nothing wrong with Applebee’s, but I cannot recall anyone saying, “let’s go to Applebee’s,” in my presence, in New Orleans, with anything but resignation in their voice.
In other news, I had one of the best hamburgers I’ve had in New Orleans. Bear with me as the story has some twists and turns.
Recently, my wife and I were visiting my father-in-law in Mid-City and he expressed an interest in hamburgers. My wife suggested McDonald’s and, as he is not all that mobile, I was sent off to buy cheeseburgers.
I don’t know if you’ve tried to go to a McDonald’s around lunchtime lately? I tried one spot and waited in the drive-thru line for 10 minutes without moving, and the drive-thru was the only option. I left there and went to another location, but it had a longer line than the first joint and while I will eat McDonald’s food, I won’t wait 30 minutes for the privilege of eating McDonald’s food.
Once I stopped saying things that one is not allowed to say on broadcast media, it occurred to me that there is a burger spot a few blocks from my father-in-law’s house that I hadn’t checked out. I’m very glad it occurred to me when it did, because Bub’s Burgers makes the kind of hamburger that I like.
These are flat, thin burgers cooked on a griddle and served with grilled onions, American cheese, “Bub’s sauce” and bread and butter pickles on a toasted bun. The default is two patties, but we went with the single and I do not regret it because the burger was spectacular. Yes, I was hungry and I may be comparing it to McDonald’s, but I believe I am objective about this and I freaking love that burger.
If you are of the “Port of Call is the BEST BURGER” tribe then you may not like Bub’s. You could fit three or four of Bub’s patties in the same vertical space that the Port of Call burger occupies, but Bub’s burgers spread out beyond the border of the bun and ultimately if you like a thin, griddled burger this is your place and I’m not kidding.
Am I missing a new burger place, though? Let me know.