Saturday, September 11, 2010

Unexpected pleasures

We were taking in an activity in Silver Lake, LA's hipster haven, but before we began, we thought we wanted to grab a quick bite to eat. Maybe a taco, to hold us over. We had a silly squabble over parking places, so as we surveyed the intersection of Sunset and Silver Lake, and the only place seemed to be Tom's Burgers. When [The Man I Love] said, "How about there?" in a somewhat irritated tone, I replied in an equally graceless tone, "Sure." Whatever.

It was a funny joint, with iron bars on the window covering up the handpainted signs on the glass. Inside, the counter had a clutter of signs and a menu that offered everything from chili cheese fries to pastrami to tacos to burgers.

We ordered from a lady wearing a baseball cap printed with red hot chili peppers. We both ordered cheeseburgers - they cost about $4 - and sodas. "Do you want hot peppers with that?" she asked? "Sure," we said. We slid into a booth upholstered in lavender vinyl. The floor was made of square terrazzo tiles with colorful stone chips.

We sat, and we looked at one another, and waited for our burgers. I had pretty low expectations, but all I wanted was a little snack to hold me over. As we waited, we watched a couple of tattooed young men walk past, emaciated as Andersonville survivors, heads bowed to their I-phones, texting away. Some guy riding a crazy three-wheel scooter rolled past.

When the burger arrived, I was surprised. A nice big sesame bun, stuffed full, two slices of tomato, lots of fresh romaine lettuce and chopped onions. A pinkish dressing - Thousand Island, maybe? - and on top of the bun, two nicely charred jalapenos. All considerately wrapped in yellow paper, to make it tidier to eat.

Wow, can I eat this much?

Truth be told, the hamburger patty itself was as thin as the sole of a worn leather shoe, although it at least matched the diameter of the bun itself. But it was nicely grilled and tasty, and the lettuce and tomato (two slices!) were fresh and good. We scarfed them up, licking the sauce off our fingers when it dripped out of the paper wrapping. And the grilled peppers? Delicious.

"Wow. This is really good," I said.

[The Man I Love] dabbed a bit of sauce off the front of his shirt. "I'm sorry for earlier, sweetie," he said.

"Me too," I said. Our greasy fingers touched in the middle of the formica table.

"This is really good," he said.

A guy with dreadlocks in a pony tail came through the door and bellied up to the counter. We finished, and I put our paper wrappings and plates in the trash and left the plastic tray on the pile. [The Man I Love] dipped into his pocket and put a couple bucks in the tip cup. The dreadlocked guy nodded and said, "Have a good day, man."

"You too," we responded.

"Thanks, you guys!" said the lady with the chili pepper hat.

"No, thank you!" we said.


CorvusCorax12 said...

that is so cool and teaches us again about this book and cover thing :), The burger looks almost healthy LOL

smalltownme said...

My newphew-in-law the chef raves about Tom's burgers.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

A salad and bread burger! Nothing wrong with that when the bread and salad are good.

I'm glad it worked out for you, Aunt Snow.

cactus petunia said...

Sometimes all it takes is a good burger to cure a grumpy mood!

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

What a happy (and rather healthy) surprise!
I'm glad I'm not the only one who turns into a class-A grouch when I'm hungry. ;)