June 28, 2010

Killing Them Softly at Redrum

20 minutes into the drive, I felt my stomach begin to grumble. What must have been a 10 mile drive felt like a mission to the moon. My belly, who shall be known as Hidalgo, cried from its depths in complete and misled hunger…yearning, desiring, longing for that instant satisfaction to be filled with the lies I’ve been feeding it.

“Graaalalalaghghgggh…” translated to, “Please sir, you must believe me, I need sustenance, I need…I NEED…I need Murder Burger.”

“Quiet you fool! You get salad and carrots and watuh!!!!” Little did Hidalgo know I was already on my way to satisfy my craving with old habits instead of the usual grilled chicken, salad, almonds or whatever healthier alternatives I’ve been feasting on lately.

For days, this was the relationship between my stomach and my will power, the battle between craving and self-control. This was Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior, David vs. Goliath, Megatron vs. Prime. This was the never-ending clash between good and evil.

The time was now, the decision on a whim. Satisfaction was destined to be. By the final turn into the parking lot, my sebaceous glands lost control and I felt like my late and dear old friend Chavez waiting for a patty to drop from the grill in a display of patience and drool only a dog can exhibit.

Immediately upon entry I am greeted with the delightfully overwhelming aroma of freshly seasoned ground beef on the flat top waiting to be embraced by warm buttery buns. Once my eyes regain focus after a momentary lapse of my senses, I notice the d├ęcor. Typical diner adornments: Gottfried Helnwein's painting Boulevard of Broken Dreams, dust coated Murder Burger shirts, aged awards from the good old days and of course, hand written notices of today’s specials.

As I made the trek to the counter, the eyes of James Dean himself follow me and transmitted a subliminal message. White noise, I swear. “Get the ½ pound kid…with cheddar and all the trimmin’s. And wash it down with a Diet Coke.” Good lookin’ out snake.

And I do just that: half-pound burger with cheddar and all the trimmings, 86 mayo, fresh cut fries and a diet coke to let Hidalgo know that he can’t have it all.

Upon arrival, I scramble to find the first bite. A burger six inches in diameter and with the mass of 8 ounces of beef deserves the appropriate amount of time to determine where the point of attack will take place. Indeed I find it and the rush begins.

Oh the burger was fresh. By my experience, I know these burgers are not frozen. Great pick Dean, this burger was seasoned well enough, adding a subtle edge of savory flavor to mesh with the surprisingly lightly greased beef patty. I’ve come to expect flavors to be disguised by loads of grease at these types of joints. It was a pleasant surprise to experience otherwise. Accompanied by the perfect medley of medium-sharp cheddar cheese, sliced tomatoes, red onions, pickle chips and crisp lettuce, this burger deserved to be nestled between a warm and flaky buttery roll. It was a great team effort by all players involved.

My experience was fine at Murder Burger, now called Redrum Burger. I didn’t wait painstakingly long for my food. The building was cozy and welcoming. The diner feel was legit. And the food was tasty to say the least.

All great things to say, yes, but my quest still continues for the best burger of my life. Who will knock out MendoBurger, the current champion from Mendocino? Murder Burger, you put up a valiant effort and I acknowledge your stab at it, but I must say, you did not take the title for best burger in my book. Look at the bright side though, you most definitely without a doubt beat Squeeze Inn.

And so it goes one more burger joint for the books. Let it be known! Salads cannot stand in between me and my lifelong passion for a delicious burger! It just won’t happen no matter how strong my will power is.

There are others out there. For this reason, the quest continues. Send your suggestions. Show me the burger light. Give me your best.

“I'm not telling you, 'Never eat a hamburger.' Just eat the good ones with real beef, you know, like the ones from that mom-and-pop diner down the street, ... And it's so good that when you take a bite out of that burger, you just know somewhere in the world a vegan is crying.” -Homer Simpson