Let's face it there's bad food. There's okay food. There's good food. There's really good food. And there is GREAT FOOD!
There's bad men, there's okay men. There's good men. There's really good men. And there are GREAT MEN! (just ask the gals from "Sex And The City") ....especially Samantha! (lol)
So what happens when they collide? I mean, we've all been on dates with bad men and okay food, great men with bad food, okay men with GOOD FOOD ...well, you're pickin' up what I'm throwin' down! Well, what happens is, to quote Martha Stewart, not "a good thing." However what IS good is GREAT FOOD!
So my first memory of BAD FOOD would be the English pea. There's just no getting around it - it was bad and I don't ever want to eat one again. Like, not e-v-e-r! How old was I you ask? Seriously, I just don't remember - thankfully, I have blocked most of that horrific event out of my memory. BLECH.
My first memory of OKAY FOOD was "the taco" that my Mother insisted we eat no less than 3x a week. I think it had something to do with the fact I was 5 years old and I was just not "all so excited" about hot sauce - which my Mother highly encouraged me to use because, as she excitedly explained to me, "it just completes the taco Lisa." I do, however, remember being EXTREMELY excited about the meat & cheese. I liked the crispiness and crunchiness of the taco shell. I liked the cheese (I think in another life I would be a block of NY super sharp cheddar cheese). And I definitely liked the "meat" part of it - I mean, come on - what kid doesn't love hamburger meat? Am I right or am I right? I still love "the taco" - although present day, I must ingest a Prilosec on the morning of the day I plan to eat "the taco." Oh, and I ....love hot sauce on "the taco!" Thanks Mom for standing your ground with hot sauce - you'd be proud of me.
My first memory of GOOD FOOD was the poor lobster who gave its life for me at "Red Lobster" in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Man oh man - the taste! The drawn butter! The fact I could repeatedly dip my lobster in the drawn butter ....and not get in trouble! The beautiful red shell the lobster was in! I remember that I wanted to take the lobster shell home with me and put it in my sandbox in the backyard - right next to the bright, shiny plastic pails and shovels. I shared this idea with my Mother and Pappy and let's just say this ......ummmm, they were NOT impressed! The lobster stayed in my stomach and the beautiful red lobster shell stayed at "Red Lobster."
My first memory of REALLY GOOD FOOD was a salad with blue cheese dressing at "Red Lobster" with Pappy. I loved my Pappy. No, I adored my Pappy. He was the most loving, caring, gentle man. He loved me unconditionally and I him. There was nowhere I wanted to be more than with Pappy. So, when we were at "Red Lobster" (and I was dressed in my favorite dress because I was on "a date" with my Pappy) and the waitress brought our salads ...with blue cheese dressing.....well, at that moment, it really didn't matter if I would like it or not because if Pappy was eating it and if Pappy liked it well, then, I ....loved it! And....I loved it! And I still love it present day! Much to my husband Chris' dismay - he simply can't wrap his head around blue cheese. And it okay - I love it enough for both of us.
My first memory of GREAT FOOD was in Pocos de Caldas, Brazil. The restaurant was "Cafe Americana." The entree was a cheeseburger. I was 9 years old.
Now, hang on - for those of you who are exhaling deeply with disappointment over "the cheeseburger." This was NO ordinary cheeseburger! The buns were gynormous and greasy and had this taste that I can still taste (no, I'm not kidding). I can still SEE the buns. I can still SMELL the buns. Oh, and these buns were the size of hubcaps on a Greyhound Bus. Now in between the buns is where we "got down to serious business." There was this cheese - I don't know what kind of cheese it was but it wasn't yellow and it wasn't white but it was the best cheese I had ever tasted in my life .....and by age 9, let me assure you, I had eaten plenty of cheese! Present day - I am a cheese GIRL! I do love my cheese! (my fave would be the feta cheese)
What the cheese rested on top of was this meat that was cooked to perfection and salty and peppery and so good you just couldn't eat it fast enough. This meat had the kind of flavor that needed nothing else to accompany it. This cheeseburger didn't need catsup. This cheeseburger didn't need mayonnaise. This cheeseburger didn't need mustard. This cheeseburger didn't need tomato. This cheeseburger didn't need lettuce. This cheeseburger didn't need pickle. This cheeseburger didn't need onion. This magnificent, beautiful, glistening, tantalizing cheeseburger needed NOTHING but a bun, cheese and meat. Period. The End.
I think about "Cafe Americana" every time - and I do mean e-v-e-r-y time I eat a cheeseburger. Now, don't get me wrong - I make a mean cheeseburger (like, with pointy teeth mean!) and I've had some good cheeseburgers but NOTHING has ever come close (never held a candle to) the cheeseburgers I ate at "Cafe Americana" in Pocos de Caldas, Brazil. Nothing. Nowhere. No how. It simply hasn't happened. Again, I was 9 years old. (chuckle)
So now, to slam this Blog into sixth gear reverse for a moment - perhaps you're asking ...now Lisa, what about the "Man" part of this Blog? Ha, ha ha - such a beyond good try! Sorry, I'm not goin' there! Nope! Absolutely not! Fahhhgetttabahhhttttitttt. Other than to say I've had the bad and the okay and blah, blah - I've now got the GREAT (actually, Chris is so beyond GREAT!) and this is ALL that matters! Oh, and Chris does make rockin', slap-yo-mamma good 1lb cheeseburgers on his Big Green Egg with homemade buns!! We actually offer these cheeseburgers at our B&B. Visit the right hand side of my Blog page and become a fan of our inn, MOUNT VICTORIA. We want you to! We really do!
My goal? My goal is that one day Chris & I go back (btw...Chris doesn't have a Passport, so....it's an excellent goal) to Pocos de Caldas, Brazil and share a GREAT FOOD cheeseburger at "Cafe Americana." Is it still there, you might be thinking? I really don't know. I did actually try and Google it some time back and came up empty. Surely, the Gods can't all be crazy.....right? Surely "Cafe Americana" is still serving GREAT FOOD!
Below is my recipe for cheeseburgers - get 'ta steppin' and fire your grill up!
2lbs ground beef (not the lean - you need good 'ole ground beef)
1/2 of a purple onion - diced
1 small handful of parsley - chopped
5-6 turns of fresh cracked pepper
3-4 tosses of salt
2-3 shakes of Tabasco
About 1 good pour of beer (any flavor)
In a large mixing bowl mix all ingredients with your hands until blended evenly. Shape the patties to your size liking and make sure you press a "well" into the center of the patties so they don't resemble softballs as you grill.
I top mine with good 'ole American Cheese and dress it with mustard only. DIG IN!
Always "Push The Parsley!"
~ A Girl Cook