Song Of The Day 4/27/2016: Kool & the Gang – “Raw Hamburger”

More Songs About Eating and Food – I have a complicated history with hamburgers. When I was a young religious kid my mom compensated me for Saturday mornings spent going out in the door-to-door field service with Quarter Pounders with Cheese. This weekly arrangement went on for a few years. Probably not the best reward scenario for nutritional reasons but I wasn't into salads yet. I still retain a sense of the specific umami of a Quarter Pounder with Cheese, though I've eaten maybe ten of them in the past fifteen years. That sense is vaguely tart and chemical. I liked the order and predictability of Quarter Pounders as well. This is an unfortunate by-product of growing up in the last days of styrofoam. I now prefer them messy, and I haven't eaten a McDonald's burger in ages. In fact the only corporate fast-food burgers I've had in the past three years or so were two Jumbo Jacks, and they were both free, because the Seahawks give 'em out to season ticket holders if the team gets three sacks in a game. Worth every penny. Thanks, Michael Bennett.

Nowadays I still use the hamburger as self-reward for overall endurance and fortitude. We don't do red meat at my house so I don't eat them very often anymore, which means by the time I have one I've really earned it. I have a personal and unique relationship with Big Tom's Eastside Burger in Olympia, Washington. We dated for a while. I like Five Guys in theory but have yet to be blown away by them. I'm told I have to go Red Mill up here in Seattle. I also love Katsu Burger in Georgetown, who use Tonkatsu sauce and actually deep-fry the burger patty. That can't end well, but who cares.

Still my favorite all-time burger, on points, is probably Joe's Cable Car Burgers in San Francisco, a gaudily festooned joint on the south end of Mission Street. Their motto is "Joe Grinds His Fresh Chuck Daily." Chuck's probably a little pissed off about that. By the way, and this is true, once I was there with my mother and we got into an argument about religion. Circle of Beef, friends. It'll be here long after you've shuffled off to Hummusville.

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