Posts Tagged ‘charlotte’

always carry cash.

11 May 2010

a little over a week ago, on a saturday night, i was lured to ri ra irish pub by a few customers who were in the store on friday night. they were amicable enough, and i felt a little guilty for turning down their invitation from the previous night, so i agreed to meet them, if only to give them a taste of southern hospitality (they were both originally from ohio, though one now lives in west virginia).

a coworker begrudgingly agreed to accompany me. we found them on the upstairs balcony, surrounded by another friend they had told us about in the store and a group of people from charlotte they had met the night before. we sat on the fringes, making jokes to ourselves and joining conversations when possible. one of the guys, ironically also from ohio, told us that he hated canadians because of the united states’s hockey loss at the olympics. then he softened, telling us, my coworker and i, that he respected us, shaking our hands as he told each of us in turn.

later, another guy in the group, exasperatedly said, i don’t understand your dry humor, and quickly added, another canadian acting like he’s superior. briefly, i thought about replying that canadian superiority is an oxymoron, neither held by canadians themselves (i mean, i myself believe canada is just america’s hat — america’s awesome hat, but still) nor, more importantly, any other person in the world aside from him, but thought he would just end up misinterpreting my tone and feel further maligned and indignant. if i had to make a guess about the cause of his anger, i would say he was likely molested by a canadian in his youth. this would also explain his homosexuality (geez, i’m kidding, i’m kidding, but, seriously, did you check out that article: stephen baldwin has become such a bigot since bio-dome).

since i was doing such a great job of making friends (there’s that incomprehensible, dry sense of humor again), i told them about my hatred for ohio state university, even showing them a picture of the license plate i’d recovered from the scene. see, i’d already asked them which state was high in the middle and round on both sides, so i had no other relevant material.

during the short night i had ordered a vodka and soda and two pints of fat tire. i went to close my tab after finishing the third drink. the bartender asked me to repeat my name, as she had each of the other times i had gone to her. she couldn’t find a record of my bill on the computer. i gave her my card and she looked it up again, shrugged and told me that it had been closed already. we shot confused looks at each other. i said, thanks, i guess, almost inaudibly.

the following day my bank account registered a charge for fifty-eight dollars. i argued that it was possible that this was the authorization amount, so i waited for it to clear. it did on tuesday, now seventy-eight dollars. i called ri ra and spoke with a manager who told me in addition to a vodka and soda and fat tire, i had also ordered eight shots of baby guinness and given the bartender a jackson (that’s what i call twenties now).

i called again wednesday. she said she’d call me back at four when the bartender from that night came in. she didn’t, so thursday i walked there to knock some heads together. unfortunately, this time the manager wasn’t there until four. this time, though, she called me, saying she wanted to get it settled that evening. the bartender told her that after i closed my tab, i returned ten minutes later trying to close it again, before walking away confused.

briefly i wondered if this could be true. maybe i was developing a split personality where my charitable side overlooked my pecuniary restraint. maybe i had entered a parallel universe of sorts where i knew what a baby guinness was and where i gave people that continuously could not recall even the first letter of my last name a tip that was larger than thirty percent. i broke out in a cold sweat.

the manager asked if i was near a computer, and if i would look at the receipt from that night. a few minutes later i received the following:

Scott Le Receipt1

needless to say, my card has been credited. i also asked for the bartender responsible to be fired, but i’m pretty sure she still works there.


they don’t really care about us.

28 June 2009

the bus in front of me turned left as i lightly pressed the accelerator to begin crossing the intersection. i was helped the rest of the way by another vehicle slamming into my car’s rearend, pushing it, the police report indicated, eighty feet before it stopped. in the rearview mirror, i saw the other car, silver in color, quickly turn right. i spun around, watching them disappear away from me, as i contemplated, first, driving in reverse and chasing after them, and, second, leaving my battered car and running to catch them.

i was too stunned to do either, traffic resuming while i sat in the driver’s seat. when i exited the vehicle to survey the damage, no one stopped to check on my condition; on the contrary: they honked, they glared, they sped off. it was just before midnight.

in the days that followed i took extended lunch breaks to walk to the site, making note of the cameras aimed at the area, offering spare change to the homeless for information, collecting evidence. i had found tiny pieces of red plastic embedded in my bumper, and, every time i came across a piece on the street, i picked it up, thinking it was a clue. i found a few larger segments, prying them from the asphalt as traffic continued unabated. at my desk, i pasted them together, returning to the streets to gather more before finding, face down under a parked car, the front bumper plate to which they were once attached. it turned out it belonged to an ohio state fan, irrevocably severing my relationship with that school.

i asked the security of various buildings that lined the street if they would look at their tapes. i’d call back when they didn’t return my calls, pointing out to them, when they told me none of their cameras had a view of the street, that there were at least twelve that met such criteria — and i’d be willing to go through the archives myself.

i wrote to newspapers and put ads on craigslist. i handed the information over to the police officer in charge of my case. i sought the advice of lawyers.

nothing came of any of it. my insurance paid for the repairs, increasing my premium, and i was responsible for the deductible. i know it sounds silly, but something inside me broke when i watched the car that hit me drive away. stunned, i tried to focus on the brake lights of the vehicles dodging around me, converging into vast sea of red. the sensation in my fingertips when i pressed against an object was different, less substantial.

i scanned the parking garages for cars with front-end damage or other tell-tale signs of impact (or allegiance to ohio state university). i became a phantom, sifting under doors and through cracks, hating everyone. i wore the honda symbol from my trunk on a chain around my neck as a reminder that no one could be trusted, and everything would lead to pain.

that is how i changed in the days that followed the accident. for a few moments, though, before everything else, that is, the impuissance of the individual, et alia, entrenched itself in my brain, i was thankful i wasn’t killed, if only because, a year from now, when everyone was busy mourning those whose deaths were reaching a first anniversary, my name would only appear on the tip of the tongue but would remain unspoken, not even as a footnote, as those left behind moonwalked, grabbed their crotches, and tossed their hats aside in honor of michael jackson.

a call for bayou justice.

21 June 2009

in youth, our bladders send a signal to our brains when they are half full; as we grow older, this signal is less emphatic, causing our brains to receive it when our bladders are almost completely full. as we age our bladders become less elastic, preventing them from holding as much liquid. due to the union of these changes, i am sometimes forced to wake in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.

on one such occasion, i awoke in an unfamiliar room to see a hazy shadow in the doorway. it disappeared before i could focus, blinking my eyes to erase the film that had collected during sleep. i sat on the edge of the bed for a moment and then stood up, testing my feet on the carpeted floor, advancing slowly. from the entrance i looked left, again seeing the figure — at this point i was certain it was human — at the end of the hall. he was partially hidden behind the corner of the wall, sporadically revealing his head to see if i was still present. once in the bathroom, i quickly locked the door and washed my face in the sink in an effort to wake further.

the only scenario that seemed possible was that i had risen, by coincidence, at the exact moment someone’s boyfriend wandered into the room while looking for the bathroom himself. walking in on us, albeit by accident, gave him an intense feeling of awkwardness, so he tried to hide. the next morning i told my theory to the girl who slept through it all, the girl to whom the room belonged, and she brushed it aside, ruling that i had probably been dreaming. after all, her roommates never had guys over.

honestly, in her defense, there were a lot of loose ends: most notably (and embarrassingly), why would i lock myself in the bathroom like a chicken rather than approach the stranger? also, we had to account for my vivid, childlike imagination: that is, it wouldn’t be the first or most outlandish story i had conceived.

still, the next day, details kept filtering in, details that could never be confirmed and didn’t lead us any closer to determining fact from fiction, like, he was wearing a green or brown t-shirt, or, he had straight hair, sort of long. it wasn’t until after lunch with one of her friends, who chided her for so easily dismissing my vision, that she confided and, thus, my grasp on reality was confirmed: hey, i know who you saw.

it was someone from work who had dropped her off near her house once. they had had an abbreviated relationship that she ended. she didn’t seem shocked by this revelation, even after remembering that, while i was in the bathroom, he had sneaked back into her room, lowered the covers, and fondled her.

her friend and i were nonplussed by her relative stoicism. she appeared bothered more by our complete bewilderment than by the fact a guy had forced his way into her house in the middle of the night to touch her inappropriately. she assured us this wasn’t the case, regardless of her tone in discussing the matter, and that she planned to confront him at work.

i wish this story ended with a degree of retribution. anything, from him being hit by a car while leaving her house to his open eye being seasoned with a mix of cajun spices, would have been better than the truth. honestly, i don’t even want to type it out.

so let us pretend that he never had the opportunity to ignore her when she registered her complaint, replying that he had no idea what she was talking about. let us pretend he didn’t later apologize for his transgressions, but only because the course changed, robbing him of that chance. let us pretend, obviously, that she didn’t answer that late apology feebly, with, well, don’t intrude on anyone like that again.

let us, instead, pretend that when he returned to work the afternoon following the incident he was greeted by the large alligator statue, miraculously come alive, that balances on her hind legs in front of the restaurant. picture her draping a limb roughly across his shoulders, in the process, letting a claw or two scrape against his cheek like an omen, and escorting him to the walk-in freezer where she slowly — and excruciatingly — gnaws off his limbs.

le fabuleux destin d’amelie patisserie.

15 June 2009

after a night spent sleeping in one’s car, waking with each passing vehicle or barking dog or imagined footstep, unable to return to sleep at dawn — the windshield glass intensifying the sun’s heat — one seeks a place to relax, indoors. the place needs to serve great food, provide free wireless internet, and, above all, never close. it’s not just a method of killing time while waiting for something else to open or just an escape from claustrophobia’s grasp: it’s a necessary step, separating one day from the next and signalling to your body that you have awakened, ready to produce.

my recommendation, if one requires such a site in charlotte, falls solely on amelie’s french bakery. they offer a selection of seasonal soups, like tomato fennel and farmhouse butternut squash and spinach asparagus leek, which are made fresh daily from local ingredients. they also serve sandwiches and tartines (basically, open-faced sandwiches topped with, for example, ham and melted gruyere cheese) on fresh baguettes.

many come here for the dessert cases, housing an array of pastries, tarts, and cakes. peering into them, you enter a dream state where apricots and peaches perform ballet, pirouetting on the counter in front of you before coquettishly dancing away; caramels following one another up a slide, then gleefully descending, arms raised, into a heated, salt-water pool where they splash around with delight; passion fruit petit fours and coconut macaroons taking turns on the trampoline or riding a ski lift to the top of a mountain, where they strap cinnamon raisin and pecan sticky buns, respectively, to their feet and expertly maneuver their way back down to the chalet.

bright colors shoot forth from every corner and you feel a spinning sensation. when your equilibrium returns, you notice a table to your right you hadn’t seen previously, a lingering symptom of your reverie. atop is a teapot, colored a pastel green, and a ramekin of creme brulee. a thin-lipped girl sits quietly, the faint trace of dimples on her cheeks, her skin pale as milk, made whiter still by the jet black of her hair, which ends just below her ears, and her dark eyes. positioned in her hand, a spoon, and you watch her close her eyes, breathe out deeply, and gently crack the crust of her creme brulee. her face becomes serene, as if an act of catharsis has taken place.

you leave, contemplating the small wonders of life and thinking of elaborate ways to impact the lives of others, becoming a sort of guardian angel, bringing them joy and satisfaction. just then you hear a ringing noise and, for the first time, notice a phone booth beside your car. you hold the receiver to your ear, but, before speaking, an old metal box catches your eye. you whip your head around, sensing that someone is watching you, but no one is there. your eyes brim with tears as you open the box and remember the tile in your childhood bathroom that you once hid it behind. you leaf through the memorabilia within, remembering happy events long forgotten, awash in emotion.

basically that’s how this place makes me feel every visit.

animal identification team.

18 May 2009

so, yeah, there is some kind of dead animal there, maybe an armadillo, anyway, who cares what it is. this declaration, delivered abruptly and dispassionately, was an attempt to leaven the enthusiasm i displayed while telling the story, but, of course, her interest was further piqued. she answered, you have to go back — and i’m coming with you.

we drove together as the events i had just finished describing to her repeated in my head. namely, while knocking on the front door loudly i was startled by movement behind and above me. wrens had built a nest in the porch’s overhang, and the mother bird had moved swiftly to an adjacent tree to chastise me. next her young tumbled to the ground near my feet and tried to hide itself, awkwardly fluttering into the patchy bushes that lined the house.

i weighed that which had transpired, determining that i was responsible for the baby bird. after all, it was forced into this world, before it was prepared, due to my error. however, before i could act as a surrogate — teaching it how to fly, passing nourishment from my beak to its darting tongue, keeping it warm when the temperature dropped — i had to find it. on hand and knees i pulled back tiny branches to get a glimpse within and beneath. i combed the area gingerly, nothing escaping my sight, until something stopped me and i jumped to my feet. just beyond where i was patting the ground sat a large oval mass of fur.

it was too large to be a rat; it’s posture was inconsistent with a sleeping cat curled into a ball. my best guess was that it was a furry armadillo. i was convinced that it had consumed the bird i was charged with protecting, which left me reeling with paroxysms of sadness broken only when my friend arrived home. she suggested that we follow the protocol pertaining to these situations. that is, we poke the unknown creature (she had summarily struck down my armadillo-judgment) with a stick. she, being braver than me, leaned toward the dead animal, nudging it. she jumped back, insisting that the carcass released a foul odor, and i was inclined to believe her as my own sense of smell is not well developed. we parted, she going to work and i to lunch, hoping that the scent wouldn’t linger and, moreover, something larger would carry the source away.

on the return trip, i was scared. not only had i failed at mothering a bird but i had further alienated myself from the spirit world by disrupting one’s final resting place. at this point, i thought, i may as well build a house on an indian burial ground. i imagined an eagle pecking out my liver for all of eternity. on the other hand, i had gone this far, so, upon arrival, i grabbed a stick and walked with purpose, hand covering my nose, toward the spot. i prodded the animal, finding it tougher than expected, as if it were in the process of turning to stone from the inside.

as my courage peaked, i noticed something peculiar and threw the stick aside. i gasped, reaching to grasp the object and retrieve it. the peculiarity i had spotted was a small white tag attached to the leg of a stuffed hedgehog, muddy and water-logged.

i sent my friend a text telling her i’d gone back to her house to find that the animal was a large hedgehog. i told her i had set it on her porch for her. for the next few hours i received messages berating my actions. of course i’m angry; you left a corpse on my steps. why can’t you call someone to pick it up?

later she phoned from home to call me a fucking asshole. she had approached cautiously and then laughed while again wedging the stuffed animal between the house and bushes where it belonged.

a cautionary tale about cougars.

23 April 2009

(the following was printed in the fall 2009 issue of stir magazine and represents the first time i received payment for a piece of writing)

this is how they do it:

they make some benign comment about men their own age. for instance, in passing, she’ll mention the high-ranking executive with whom she’s recently broken up and how at dinner he once told her she’d look better with more makeup. before you have time to respond, she’ll emit a sound of disgust and say that he lacked spunk and wasn’t spontaneous enough for her.

it’s difficult to look at someone close to your mom’s age and tell her, straight out, that it’s her fault she remains single. you want to suggest that maybe if she tried applying some foundation to brighten her skin and subtle eyeshadow to emphasize her eyes, which, admittedly, are really nice, her problems would disappear; perhaps men her age become more rigid because she meets them for dinner with hair disheveled. it’s not as if you believe in anachronistic roles for men and women, you just think it’s polite to look like you put effort into dressing up when you’re eating an expensive meal with someone whom you are affectionate toward. for now you’ll conceal your values and reply with a knowing nod that betrays your youth and tell her that you think she looks fine just the way she is (and, anyway, it’s true).

look at this from another angle though. for a moment, take the view that the woman who is asking you about her appearance is not only close to your mom’s age but is hypersexual. suddenly you’re no longer merely giving her relationship advice. instead you’re playing an awkward game of cat and mouse where the mouse (you) is blind and the cat’s house smells like cheese (i know, it’s a terrible comparison and worse simile, but work with me on this).

by day, she works as a physician or lawyer or widow with inherited fortunes (she’ll let you know which is the case as soon as you begin talking with her), but at night she wears as a dress a piece of clothing that was originally sold as a shirt. it’s extremely form fitting and features a combination of writing about dark subjects, with cyrillic thrown in for good measure, and images, including at least one of the following: hawks, swords, religious iconography, or skulls. she talks quickly, with a kind of chirping cadence, in order to confuse you and appear much younger than her years. in short, she is on the prowl.

i’ll tell you that all older women do not look like demi moore. but, then again, you yourself are no ashton kutcher, even if you did once bring a picture of him in to your hairstylist. maybe you’re still intrigued. as is said, appearances are not always what they seem. for instance, maybe you don’t realize that two of the toes on mr. kutcher’s left foot are fused together (yeah, i read an unauthorized biography, but not because i’m obsessed with him or anything).

i’m still going to attempt to dissaude you from continuing when she denounces men her age, not because i necessarily think persuing her is a bad idea, but, more so, because i like assuming the role of the voice of reason. in the future, simply tell her to keep putting herself out there, sooner or later she’ll find someone who can match her spontaneity and overall lust for life. it’s not you, though, so excuse yourself and walk away. do not, under any circumstances, stick around as she tells you she lives in the same building as your friend and then suggests that you knock on her door the next time you visit.

whatever you do, don’t joke with her. she has no time for humor. don’t tell her that one of the biggest draws of your friend’s apartment is that he has a drum set and ask if hers has similar amenities.

she’ll smile, the wrinkles around her mouth and eyes resembling a map of tributaries leading into the mississippi river, oh, so you’re looking for something to bang.

the hardwood club.

11 April 2009

we turned into an underground parking lot beneath the arena, lined with newly-waxed black cars. handing off the keys to the valet, she turned to us and said, they wash your car during the game. we continued through the arch of a metal detector, entering the building where the charlotte bobcats were about to play their last home game of the season against the philadelphia seventy-sixers. everyone came up to greet us as we walked along the concrete floors in the bowels of the coliseum, then passed through a curtain, finding our seats between the visitor’s bench and scorekeeper’s table.

they had purchased the tickets one night out of boredom, looking for something to do at night. they bought two extra so they could entertain friends. everyone was so polite to them that we felt it worth mentioning, as if they hadn’t noticed. they told us that that year before they had been invited on a road trip to minnesota, aboard the team jet, because they had always stopped to talk to everyone associated with the organization, and that was their reward, they supposed, for being generous with their time.

they lead us toward a restaurant full of season ticket holders, and we inquired if that was where we were headed. no, that club has three hundred members; ours has thirty. after talking with the ushers assembled in the doorway, we passed into a small room with three high tables in the middle and plush chairs along the outside. there was a chef slicing prime rib and a buffet counter with trays of asparagus, mashed potatoes, rolls, and corn-on-the-cob. we filled our plates turning to the bar where a man asked us if we wanted a single or double. what’s the price difference?, my friend asked, in similar amazement at being brought here as a guest. they’re both free, was the reply. we both ordered doubles and a shot of whiskey, also at no charge. while we ate, we took note of a man asking if the chef could put his prime rib on a roll, and she obliged.

we returned to our seats for the first quarter, players standing within feet of us as they waited to be substituted into the game. i glanced at the computer to my right, then announced to the group a team’s shooting percentage or how a certain player already had two fouls. when the buzzer sounded, we returned to the club, choosing a prime rib sandwich, another double, and an accompanying shot. it was getting warm, so our hosts suggested placing our jackets in their locker. we went down the row of lockers, reading the names — so-and-so motorsports, the blank corporation, this-and-that incorporated (not actual company names) — until we arrived at theirs, merely listed under their surname. also, they had two.

we continued in this pattern: watching some basketball and returning to the club for drink refills. during halftime we stepped outside. we helped ourselves to the pile of candy left for the players on the announce table. late in the game, after someone running the length of the court lofted his gum toward the desk, we even advised the other players to watch their step. during the fourth quarter, aided by the free drinks and, likely also, by the idea that we were in a dream, we stood up, alternating between shouting encouragement to the home team and lambasting the referees for their botched calls.

at the end of the game, we told our hosts that we would like to tell our friends about our night but no one would believe us. my knowledge of basketball hadn’t increased much. i knew a few more names and a few more statistics thanks to my seating position (by the way, raymond felton scored a career high thirty-two points). most importantly, the bobcats won by three, so now i’m seen as a lucky charm or talisman to be welcomed to games next season.

love in unexpected places.

6 April 2009

i sent my dad a text telling him that, during a fashion show, i was responsible for making sure no nipples were exposed. i sped back and forth between the two dressing rooms, handing outfits to models and making sure the clothes they were removing were being stored properly. i manipulated the necklines of dresses and blouses so that the proper amounts of collarbone and breast were revealed, using double-sided tape to adhere garments to the girls’ skin.

my dad called to tell me about a trip to paris my parents had taken a few years ago, specifically how he envied the people whose job was to apply ice to the nipples of the female performers in moulin rouge. it was his dream job. his declaration reminded me of his first visit to new york city. upon returning, he repeated enthusiastically that he wanted to become a taxi driver, transporting people across the boroughs, stopping at delicatessens along the way. you wouldn’t believe these sandwiches, he said, mom and i shared one for dinner and we still had enough for lunch the next day.

in the end we both agreed that eating a sandwich is more intimate than getting paid to make someone’s nipples properly erect or to ensure they are hidden from view. it’s like josh hartnett’s dream in the incomprehensible forty days and forty nights where he floats over and under detached breasts. it becomes non human, one blending into the next like a wall. in the same manner, one continues icing and taping in a daze, each movement automatic, operations become robotic, later unable to tell one breast from another.

sandwiches are different. there’s one i initially tasted on the third floor of the time warner center in new york city that i’ve been trying to recreate: cashew butter and apricot jam on a soft and crunchy brioche with a side of banana chips. for a short time trader joe’s carried pureed cashews but have since discontinued the item. i am at a loss for purveyors of such a product, but i shuffle on, scanning grocery shelves lovelorn in a quest for the unrequited.

my girlfriend is a watermelon.

27 March 2009

a girl once told me that she likes the way i tell stories, not eliminating or glossing over the parts that make me look bad. let me point out then, before i begin, that the following incident has nothing to do with me. i repeat: i only transcribed the text you are about to read. it happened to a friend (also, those italics mean nothing — my finger slipped and inserted some html code that i was unable to erase).

perhaps you’ve been looking for love but the conversations you’ve started with potential suitors in the produce section of grocery stores or between games of billiards at a bar or outside the church where your alcohol anonymous meetings are held have yet to bear fruit. some people, i’m told, turn to nonhuman companions, items that remind them of their desired suitor. they may only be able to fall asleep when they cuddle up next to a pillow or a stuffed animal. the more perverse-minded may seek out items with which to pleasure themselves. the friend to whom i alluded in the first paragraph falls into this last group, and the events i’m about to chronicle follow a similar vein, so if you’re a family member or you’re under some delusion that i am anything but a base creature then you may want to skip to another entry.

throughout history men and women have contemplated using food, primarily fruits and vegetables, in a sexual context. women probably have an easier time of it with all the phallic cucumbers and bananas at their disposal. men, on the other hand, have to do a little more work: research is involved, not to mention some tools. my friend relayed this information to me before saying that he settled on a watermelon and then cut it into eight equal wedges — he used one of them.

he detailed making a circular incision through the rind and into the pink flesh, adjusting it to make the hole larger, carving the bits like a master craftsman. he reported being in a sort of trance as he continued, as if a higher being was guiding him to put the fruit in the microwave for thirty-second intervals until it was warm, then placing it on the kitchen counter, his hands steadying it.

the whole thing was kind of surreal to me, envisioning the process and the dedication required to achieve the goal. when he finished, after i had returned to equilibrium, my mind was filled with jokes, so i tried one out on him. i guess you’ll think twice now before spitting out a watermelon seed since it didn’t seem to have a problem with yours.

have it your way.

21 March 2009

with the opening of big daddy’s burger bar in december 2007, frank scibelli’s stable of restaurant franchises grew to three, preceded by mama ricotta’s and cantina 1511. after tackling italian and mexican cuisines, the newest concept showcases the most american of foods (if you don’t count hot dogs and, maybe, apple pies), the hamburger, and allows its patrons to create one specific to their individual palates. those previous restaurants make cameos here, as a hamburger with housemade mozzarella, pesto, vine-ripened tomatoes, and olive oil, and a black bean burger with green chiles, cheddar and monterey jack cheeses, avocado, and chipotle ranch appear on the menu.

while similar burger joints exist, i think this represents the best incarnation in charlotte. while they collectively allow one to choose toppings a la carte, big daddy’s competitors do so in such a confusing way that the meal invariably costs twenty dollars by the time one is finished ordering. in an effort to combat this sticker shock, big daddy’s menu contains more suggested combinations, thus one can select an entree and add or subtract a few ingredients without worrying about being surprised by the bill. the prices also include a side (french fries, sweet potato fries, house slaw, onion straws, tater tots, or housemade potato chips). on friday, saturday, and sunday, for an additional charge, they serve french fries cooked in duck fat, which doesn’t alter the flavor much; the change is more tactile, the fries are crispier.

i’m sorry that i’m one step away from sounding like a generic website — i just need to add something like, come join us on saturday nights when the patio gets jumping. before i change directions though, i should tell you that your options include beef, turkey, chicken, and buffalo, as well as portabella mushroom caps and black beans for those who prefer something other than meat.

there is another burger bar, located in las vegas’s mandalay bay and owned by hubert keller, where one can order a kobe beef burger named after a fourteenth century italian composer whose love for fine food was legendary. the rossini is topped with sauteed foie gras, shaved black truffles, and a madeira wine reduction on an onion bun. for your sixty dollars you also get skinny fries and, i think, a blowjob. luckily for those that cannot make it to vegas (or are sane enough not to drop that much money on a burger), i’ve found a recipe courtesy of saveur.

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