Friday, April 07, 2006


The Burger Joint, at Le Parker Meridien on 57th between 6th and 7th Avenues:

I said "I'M gonna WRITE ABOUT IT!"

And I said "YOU'RE gonna READ ABOUT IT!"


So here is my review of its burgers, its ambiance, and my dining companion, Chris.

Mealtime was set for 2:30pm. It WAS our first meal together, but Chris and I coordinated the meet-up like First Class Dum-Dums. He was waiting for me at the 56th Street entrance, while I was waiting for him ON LINE AT THE ACTUAL RESTAURANT. We did NOT exchange cell phone numbers. IDIOTS!! By 2:43pm I got anxious and exasperated, so I left my place in line and eventually found him. Once inside the line was very short and we waited only five minutes to place our orders, which were:

Megan: A Cheeseburger cooked Medium with The Works and a Diet Coke (I know, WTF?! A DIET COKE?! Well, I FELT LIKE IT!). "The Works" includes lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, mustard, mayo, and ketchup. Total cost: $8.25. They asked my name and told me they'd call it when my order was ready.

Chris: A Cheeseburger cooked Medium with The Works, a regular Fries, and a Coke (I know, WTF?! A COKE?! GUYS NEVER WORRY ABOUT CALORIES!). Total cost: I don't know. I was looking for seating when Chris paid.

Though it lives inside a relatively fancy hotel, The Burger Joint is anything but fancy. It's a small space: probably about 500 square feet. There are two sets of five booths opposing each other, some high stools and a communal table next to the grill, and then two-top tables and chairs against the back wall. Decor is unpretentious and non-descript, mostly framed magazine and newspaper reviews. Cozy. Comfortable. What'd you'd expect from a place called The Burger Joint.

I found us a two-top and told Chris that I would be helping myself to his fries, though I had refused to order any for myself. He was in full compliance with this declaration. Which was a smart move on his part, because A) I like to get my way and B) I would have had to resort to thievery had he said no.

My burger was ready first and did it look GLORIOUS. Wrapped simply in opaque white paper, this juicy little package was squat and adorable. Really: it was a CUTE burger! The bun was of the cheap, soft variety, which I find to be perfect for soaking up meat grease. I appreciated the use of red onion over white, because it meant that I could return to work without poisoning my co-workers' faces everytime I opened my mouth. I decided to postpone biting into it until Chris' burger was ready, even though he said it'd be perfectly fine for me to start. I think he was lying. And I was raised right.

His order was up soon after mine, and his burger was identical. His fries? Thin, crisp, and GLORIOUS! You could SEE their fat turn the bottom of their brown paper bag translucent. Which, for me, is an awesome sign of french fry goodness. I availed myself of them IMMEDIATELY. Chris did not bat an eyelash. Impressive. They were damn good.

Then it was time to dig into the Main Event, and our Main Events were pretty much DELICIOUS. My one quibble was that I thought my meat might have been overcooked. It didn't POP with juiciness as I had expected, but it was still terribly good-tasting in my mouth. And is there a better flavor complement to good meat than melted cheese, crisp pickles and raw onions? Probably not. Or at least: not many.

As we ate our Main Events, Chris and I got to know each other. I was clearly way more self-conscious than Chris was, as I kept punctuating our silences with -- and I am not kidding -- "What else?!" I even asked this narcissistic question at one point: "Is there anything you want to know about me? Because I will tell you!" Being much cooler than I, Chris sort of shook his head no. Smooth. Chris was a delightful conversationalist, except when he took large bites of burger and/or fries into his mouth. Then, he would stop talking and proceed to chew until all the food was ready to enter his esophagus and, ultimately, his stomach. These periods should have been natural pauses in our conversation, but, again, I was a little self-conscious and used that "quiet time" to badger Chris with questions. Deeply personal questions, like "How's your job?" and "What are your hours?" and "Where does initiative come from?" After chewing for what seemed like HOURS, Chris politely answered. He also said, "I am a slow eater." It was nice to see him be so self-aware.

Everything was going great until Chris De Burgh's "Lady In Red" started playing in the background. I kept trying to ignore it but I couldn't. I interrupted Chris and confessed that "Lady In Red was my FAVORITE song when I was twelve. I thought that one day I would grow up and be the Lady In Red, or at least someone's Lady In Red and right now I am freaking out a little because this song is on." Chris laughed at me and said he was picturing me at twelve years old in a red dress and smearing adult lipstick on my mouth. I told him that was not an inaccurate picture.

I pretty much couldn't concentrate on anything else while "Lady In Red" was playing. I decided to channel the romantic feelings that the song was stirring inside of me towards my very lovable cheeseburger. So here is how the song would go if I was in love with my cheeseburger. Which I was, a little bit:

I've never seen you looking so lovely as you did to(day)
I've never seen you shine so bright
I've never seen so many men ask you if you wanted to dance (inside their tummies)
They're looking for a little romance, given half a chance
I have never seen that (bun) you're wearing
Or the highlights in your (meat) that catch your (grease) I have been blind
The (cheeseburger) in red is dancing (in) me (meat) to (meat)
There's nobody here, it's just you and me, It's where I wanna be
But I hardly know this (cheeseburger) by my side
I'll never for get, the way you look to(day)

I've never seen you looking so gorgeous as you did to(day)
I've never seen you (taste) so bright you were amazing
I've never seen so many people want to be there by your side
And when you (were in me) and (digesting), It took my breath away
I have never had such a feeling
Such a feeling of complete and utter love, as I do to(day)

The way you (taste) to(day)
I never will forget, the way you taste to(day)
The (cheeseburger) in red
The (cheeseburger) in red
The (cheeseburger) in red
My (cheeseburger) in red (I love you.)

I'm not sure if Burger Joint's cheeseburger is The Most Delicious I have ever eaten, but it is the The Most Nostalgia-Inducing. And that's worth SOMETHING!

Thursday, April 06, 2006


I have a somewhat embarrassing confession to make:

I don't like water.
At least, I don't like DRINKING water.
I love to bathe in it, shower in it, swim in it, and live near to it.

Don't tell me that water has no taste. It DOES! It tastes like NOTHING! Which is exactly WHY I don't like drinking it! It feels WEIRD to swallow something that tastes like NOTHING!

This, of course, leaves me in a state of perpetual dehydration, as I don't really go in for other beverages like soda, milk, or juice. I like milkshakes and smoothies, but those are practically MEALS you can sip. I am pretty much addicted to coffee and tea, and while they are comprised almost entirely of water, they are not considered thirst-quenchers. Or are they? I consider them quite "quenchy" actually.

In any case, I've been TRYING to drink more water, because it's "supposedly" good for you and I am partial to taking care of myself.

So today I went into the Corporate Kitchen where I work in an attempt to refill my month-old Gatorade bottle with some fresh Poland Spring. When I arrived, the Poland Spring Water Cooler was empty. But there were replacement water jugs on a table to the side, weighing approximately 50 lbs. each.

I'm strong, right?! And the Lord helps those who help themselves, right?!


Because when I helped myself, by lifting this 50 lb. plastic Poland Spring Water Cannon and peeling its spout open and THEN trying to flip it upside down into the cooler I MADE A HUGE WET MESS ALL OVER MYSELF AND THE KITCHEN. I basically flooded the vending machine next to it, soaked my jeans and shirt, SQUEALED OUT LOUD FOR A LENGTH OF TIME THAT CAN ONLY BE DESCRIBED AS HUMILIATING, and then, in trying to gather paper towels from the paper towel dispenser, managed to BREAK THE DISPENSER in my panic/enthusiasm.

When someone walked in from another department and saw what I had done I meekly whispered, "...I...uh...I broke...the...I" And this person had the GALL to suggest to me that maybe next time I ask someone else to replace the Poland Spring Water Jugs.

This water: the drinking of it? Dangerous business.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Gross. Something just occurred to me as I was eating my free Chicken Pad Thai (my producer was generous with his lunch budget today): is it morally wrong to combine an unborn chicken fetus with adult chicken meat and call it lunch? Because there is a lot of egg in my Pad Thai, and quite a bit of chicken meat as well. And I'm sure egg-laying chickens are kept separate from slaughtered chickens, so it's unlikely that I'm eating Mother and Child in these industrialized times, but just seems like the most egregious insult to Nature!

Which is, like, not entirely appetizing. I should probably try not to think so much about shit like this, right?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Heydidja know?! I'm a GIRL!
And didja know this?! GIRLS LOVE FLATTERY!

Beyond being told that I'm "pretty" or "smell good" or that my voice doesn't "sound like a man's," I also like being told that people actually read Put It In Your Mouth, or what I like to call My Personal Information K-hole.

I just received an oh-so-nice and oh-so-flattering e-mail inviting me to write about The (or if you're French, Le) Parker Meridien's Burger Joint. I've never had their burger but have been hard-up for one for a good long while. So around lunchtime sometime this week I'm gonna go get a BURGER with a FRIEND at the BURGER JOINT in The/Le Parker Meridien!

And then I'M gonna WRITE ABOUT IT!

And then YOU'RE gonna READ ABOUT IT!

It will be mutually pleasurable. Regarding the subject of food. And more specifically, ground beef. Preferably cooked medium/medium rare.

I like fun times!
It's AWESOME being so UNIQUE!


That's what my Kashi Trail Mix bar promised on its wrapper. Besides its 4g of Fiber and 5g of Protein, it had me at "tasty little chewies," because a) I love tasty! b) I currently have the capacity to eat very little and c) I'm not gonna say no to a "chewy", singular or plural.

A CHEWY. Come on, you know that sounds totally sexual, which for me is a total bonus!

I'm like a ten year old boy or a dirty old man in that respect; I become genuinely titillated (that's a good word!) by foods that are accompanied by any sort of sexual innuendo. Let's be honest: I'm not that into granola bars, but I am DEFINITELY into something called a Tasty Little Chewy. Even though, as I chew on this birdseed-buckwheat-chicory-nutblast as a cow chews its cud, I'm the furthest thing from anything that could ever be considered sexy. But I continue to sneak glances at that wrapper, and I keep getting the most miniscule charge out of it.

Seriously, what is wrong with me?

Monday, April 03, 2006



This apathy has to stop; I'm TIRED of being disinterested in food! It's BORING.

Eating suits me.

And the world is just too delicious!

Sunday, April 02, 2006


I went home this weekend, to the house where I grew up. My parents were kind enough to pick me up in the city, making it possible for me to avoid public transportation as well as to make an exchange of all my bags of winter clothing for all my bags of spring wear. Before heading out of the city we decided to get lunch at Junior's Restaurant in Brooklyn. It may be famous for its cheesecake, but Junior's is actually an IMPORTANT restaurant for my family. My parents have been eating there, and taking their children there, for over 30 years. Though I was raised outside the city, my older brothers and I were born in Brooklyn, and Junior's is THE Brooklyn restaurant that my family returns to again and again. And I have always loved going back. I love its old-fashioned ambience and its old-fashioned menu and its inherent BROOKLYN-NESS.

But yesterday was a bust. I wasn't hungry and even Junior's, a restaurant that wins my heart with Something Different (a sandwich composed of thick slices of brisket layered between two fried potato pancakes -- atrocious and amazing), couldn't coax me. It made me sad to say no to the bowls of free condiments (pickled beets, crisp cole slaw, pickles, a generous bread basket with hot seeded rolls and warm buttery corn bread); it made me sad that I didn't even come close to finishing the bowl of matzoh ball soup that I forced myself to order. It made me sad that Junior's, my family's Old Reliable, couldn't rely on me, on my Old Reliable: my appetite.

My parents are feeders. They feed me, and that's how they nurture me. And I went home to be nurtured, but I failed at it this weekend. I couldn't do it. I just couldn't eat. When my mother made homemade waffles this morning and sliced fresh strawberries on top I couldn't drum up any enthusiasm for her offer. I simply wasn't appetized by anything. It made me feel so sad to be home and incapable of accepting the things that make home what it is: a place of nourishment. It's something I've always been good at: Saying yes. Eating. Being fed. I have ALWAYS been the hungry one.

And right now, I just am not.

I want SOMETHING, but I don't know what. I can't place it. Sweet? Savory? I don't know what I'm craving, so nothing seems appetizing. And if I eat the wrong thing, will it really matter? My body will digest what it needs and leave the rest to waste, and whatever I consume will become a part of me, or it won't, so what does it matter? Do I wait for the thing that makes me salivate or do I fill up on junk or should I just be spare and healthy?

I am talking about food.
Of course I am not talking about food.
I went home.
But I am always home.