This past weekend we took a whirlwind 24 hour trip down to the Crystal Coast, as I learned it is called, of North Carolina. As we were there only for the day on Sunday, there was not too much going on food-wise. Winter time in a beach community was desolate to say the least. Most of the restaurants were either closed or did not open until dinner. We drove down to buy some records in Morehead City, where there more places open and it was there that I got to eat this:
oyster "burger" and hushpuppies!
An oyster sandwich from an actual Drive -In! We pulled into the parking lot, there were no actual spots marked with white paint, just all willy nilly every which way parking and a woman clad in winter boots and a hat and sweatshirt came out and took our order. Ten bucks and about 8 minutes later- BANG. I’m eating a fab fried feast and happy as a clam ( sadly, they did not offer any clam items).
Also this happened:
In leaving NYC, one aspect of life I was looking forward to was the affordability of this area so it is ironic to me that what I find myself missing this week is that NYC delicacy known as the $16 burger. (OK, it starts out at $13 or $14, but you have to get cheese on it!)
I had been a vegetarian on and off for the better part of my life, my Dad cooked mostly chicken and seafood at home and tons and tons of fresh pasta (more on this later). We also had a large salad at every single meal. So, I have never been a huge burger (red meat) eater and when I ate burgers at friend’s cookouts, they often would upset my stomach.
Over the past few years, back in NYC, the hamburger (much like other humble American foods recently, for example – fried chicken, etc) experienced a high end makeover and has been elevated to pricey entree on menus throughout the city. This trend delighted me, a casual burger eater, willing to invest in more of a burger experience, shall we say.
A regular burger eater may snif at this but for me, forking over almost $20 bucks for a burger was an investment not only in tastiness, but quality. When eating beef, this is a pretty big concern for me. I like my burgers rare.
“So rare that you may feel afraid to serve it to me” is about how rare I prefer them.
I felt confident that when ordering a burger at Prime Meats or say Henry Public two neighborhood spots, that not only will they know how to treat the meat, but that what I was paying more for was quality.
In other words, the beef did not come from Sysco.
Last Monday, I suggested to my husband that my vital energy was low (blame my acupuncturist for that excuse) and I needed a hamburger. We quickly ran through our neighborhood options for a place I could order a delicious rare burger and feel ok about it and we came up dry. As I don’t cook meat at home, I just made a pizza instead but my desire for a truly well made burger still lingered all week.
It may seem I am putting on airs, I mean who wants to fork over an Andrew Jackson for something they can get for around $5-$10 bucks at almost any restaurant they walk into- but I have never become ill or disappointed with any of my “high-end burger” experiences.
So if Richmond is willing I have a twenty waiting in my wallet…
Posted in Burgers
Tagged Hamburger, NYC