Thursday, February 23, 2006

Burgers and Cokes

Last weekend I was waiting for a table at Sidetrack, a pub and grill in Ypsilanti. Ahead of me, someone commented, "We were here a year ago and there was nobody in here."

The joint was jumping now. Why? The magazine GQ recently honored Sidetrack as one of 20 restaurants nationwide that prepare a burger which GQ says we all must have before we die. So now Sidetrack is the chic venue to be seen chowing down a third-pound of cow meat with the complements.

Yes, the burger is tasty. But my favorite remains the double whopper at Burger King. Now there is a burger to die for (in more ways than one according to my worrywart doc).

The double whopper is cheaper too. The "famous" burger at Sidetrack, with a side of fries, retails for $7.25, sans tip. Oh sure, you get ambience with that. We had a huge moose, his head anyway, watching over us while we ate. Can't get that at BK.

Still, having GQ pick a burger joint for me seems akin to having Sports Illustrated select the best French restaurant. Playboy rating the best Hooters restaurants? Now that one makes sense.

Although a burger and a Coke is something you would think you could enjoy most anywhere, not so in Ann Arbor. Or at least at the University of Michigan. The U has banned Coke products, at least temporarily, because the soft drink giant allegedly has been stonewalling investigations into working conditions at its plants outside the U.S.

So when Coke is sold out of the machines on campus, the machines will sit empty for now. I'm a Coke fan. I even chose Coke when I took the "Pepsi challenge" many years ago. Remember that? The gimmick was that the tester poured warm versions of both Coke and Pepsi. Pepsi retains a sweeter taste that way while Coke must be imbibed ice cold or else it quickly goes flat.

Wonder if I could make money smuggling Coke onto the University grounds. Wonder if using the phrase "make money smuggling Coke" might raise some alarms at the NSA, or FBI, or CIA, or whoever is spying on us Americans now?

COUPLE NOTES: Since I have a few regular visitors here from the Seattle area, I should mention that Red Mill Burgers in Seattle also scored one of the top 20 GQ burgers. Also, a little while back I did a blog entitled "Report to Shareholder." Yesterday, the shareholder responded. His comment is the last on that particular blog now.


Blogger bornfool said...

I am a burger conniseur. While there are a lot of burgers and burger places I like better, DQ is hard to beat for the price.

5:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I prefer an ice cold beer with my burger

6:12 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

If you and your wife ever come to Texas, I've just got to recommend "Centerpoint Station." It's an old train depot, so you get atmosphere AND GREAT burgers; cheap too.

6:38 AM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Yeah, I'm with you. Price does not a burger make.

About the sitemeter, Dave, you have to sign up for one (free) at

10:01 AM  
Anonymous kristy said...

Thanks for the Seattle tip. I'll have to keep my eyes open for Red Mill Burgers--don't think I've heard of it before. It must be in the actual city instead of out here in the 'burbs.

12:23 PM  
Blogger poopie said...

Wendy's dollar menu is my salvation when there's nothing but change in my pocket ;) I can see the headlines now..........Michigan man smuggling coke to college students claims the fifth.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Maria said...

Burger King's Whopper. . . now that is a manly burger if ever there was one. The teacher in me frowns at the idea that it isn't any good if it isn't all over your face. Okay, confession time. It is my favorite burger, too.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Dave ~~ Decisions ~ decisions ~Which
burger to go for. Life does get difficult, doesn't it? We get Coke,
Diet Coke, and Zero coke in Australia.
Thanks for your visit to Herons Nest.
I am chicken about flying too, have never been on a plane and I'm nearly 72.
I liked your list and cannot think who
else died in cars. Celebritys I mean.
Expecting Peter, his daughter Vicki and her husband Rex any time today. It has been great having Peter here. Cheers.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

I worked at BK for 14 years, and it was a requirement that you spend a few days a year in a restaurant. I'll bet I could still assemble a pretty mean Double Whopper.

9:38 AM  
Blogger schnoodlepooh said...

Red Mill burgers?? I live in the Seattle area and I don't know of them. I do like Red Robin burgers though. Actually, to be honest, I am a vegetarian, so my criteria for judging a burger are in the veggie burger variety. And Red Robin does very well. Another that I like is from Burgermaster. I think that's just a local fast food joint. And yeah for coke. Make mine a diet, please, and I like it flat too!

2:43 PM  
Blogger WordWhiz said...

Paul and I were going to try a new restaurant that was written up in the paper recently. A coworker of his had raved about it. We walked in to find decor I can only describe as artsy/trendy. Molded plastic seats (not exactly comfortable) implied a sort of futuristic atmosphere. No carpeting on the floor and just a curtain hung over the entry way. The dining area was just one big room - not sectioned off in any way - and the walls featured large, black and white prints. The menu included starters, salads and entrees, all sold individually. (No salad came WITH the meal and the salads on the menu were all pricey.) Only about a half dozen entrees were featured and all were in the $20-$30 range. Add a salad, one drink and a tip, and you can figure on dropping $100 for two people for dinner. We left without ordering. From now on, I'll ask to see a menu BEFORE allowing a host to seat me. How can someplace with such uncomfortable chairs and strikingly stark decor charge that much for a meal??

My tastes are not that demanding. A good old family restaurant is a perfectly wonderful night out for me!!

6:46 PM  
Blogger Miss Cellania said...

A really good hamburger is one of life's greatest pleasures. I'm not surprised that people come from far and wide to try one. I got hungry reading about it!

1:10 AM  
Anonymous Terri said...

I'm not that much of a burger person, but I can never pass by a Fudruckers without stopping in. It would be interesting to hear the other places on that GQ list.

5:07 AM  
Anonymous bonnie said...

Big Dave is criticizing the U of M?! The apocalypse is nigh!

XXX Root Beer Drive-In, in my hometown, beats Red Mill. They DO have veggie burgers for Schnoodlepooh at Red Mill, but definitely NOT at XXX.

A mouth-watering post, indeed!

8:12 AM  
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