Okay to cheat.

March 28th, 2010

If you are reading this, you have at least considered cheating. The kind of person that gives in and then truly enjoys the experience guilt free is my kinda person!  Life is short and self control, according to Switch authors Chip and Dan Heath, is an exhaustible resource.   Liberate yourself! Confess with a post on this blog wall (emailing me doesn’t count). “The last food craving I surrendered to was….”

I may have outgrown it but there have been a few late nights, often after a healthy dose of culture, when I have wanted and had a chili cheese omelette.  The addiction started nearly 30 years ago in the French Quarter restaurant the Coffee Pot (thanks Lisa and Chris).  Before that in college I was known for dunking Pepperidge Farm Nassau cookies in a tub of Cool Whip.  Disgusting?  Which story?  Got me beat? Prove it, I say!

The trigger for this self confession was my last indulgence.  Earlier this month, I was cruising down Memorial Drive in Tulsa.  That’s when it hit me:  the scent and then the idea of a hamburger!   South of the two miles known as “Auto Row,” the heavily traveled street is peppered with fast food establishments and retail.

Now back when he was dancing with Ballet West in Salt Lake City, Joel hit Wendy’s regularly for a double cheeseburger.  When we met, however, he was living a beefless life.   “I am  sure to sprout feathers and gills any minute,” I told my mother, commenting on our dinner menus after a few months.  Somewhere in the first year that changed. When I was pregnant we each had an emergency Burger Street cheeseburger in the freezer.  At the red light I texted Joel.  “Carving a hamburger.”

Typos are my trademark; Joel knew what I meant and accepted the assignment to find the ideal Portland burger for Wednesday night. By holding out 48 hours I was contributing to my knowledge of my new hometown, not just given in to a craving.

Speaking of research, many people may not know the shapely, dancer-looking author, publicist and NPR commentator Connie Cronley (Sometimes A Wheel Falls Off is a delicious read) has a hamburger named after her.  I suspect as many people don’t know the hamburger was invented in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was! If Michael Wallis says it was (and the Dallas Morning News publishes it), who dares question his powerful, deep, entrancing voice that can only be the voice of authority?

Michael knows his stuff;  Athens, Texas can only lay claim to a “patty melt,” which is ground beef served between two pieces of bread.  Doesn’t count.  No bun, no burger.  Michael’s research revealed Oscar Weber Bilby was the first person to serve a real hamburger.  The date was July 4th, 1891 – how American!  But wait; does this dethrone the hot dog?

When Wednesday found me back in Portland we took a cab across the Willamette River to… Burgerville.  Not the Tulsa legendary Weber’s in Brookside but a Portland icon, Joel assured me.  The Yukon Gold Fries were very tasty but my money’s still on the burger at Blue Hour.  And in Tulsa, it is hard to beat a Baxter’s Interurban Grill Theta Burger – my way, sans pickles.

Bon appetite!  Trix

www.burgerville.com www.webersoftulsa.com www.bluehouronline.com

Tidbit: In French literature, Blue Hour means any time of heightened emotions.





7 Responses to “Okay to cheat.”

  • Connie McFarland Says:

    You got all of this right!!! I believe a good hamburger to be an indulgence, but it is an entire meal by itself. Goldies special with cheese is a Tulsa tradition, and let them keep the fries. Yum.

  • Trix Says:

    Connie: How could I overlook Goldies?!

  • Russell Says:

    Food isn’t my biggest weakness – that would be red wine. I heartily agree that Baxter’s burgers are great along with his “home fries.” The sweet potato fries at McNellies pub also a treat. Still like downtown coneys. Haven’t tried the reborn Nelson’s Ranch House — but Nelson’s chicken-fried steak is the golden standard. For outright debauchery I am more likely be tempted by the Thai buffet at Bangkok or maybe a great endless seafood buffet at a hotel. At that point, gluttony can set in.

    Not a dessert freak. I do like to load up a plate at the Bangkok Cafe or at a expansive salad spread.

  • Trix Says:

    debauchery. What a splendid word!

  • Becket Says:

    In my sparsly populated area of Arkansas the Ozark Cafe cannot be beat for a ‘burger. It’s a full quarter pound of a hand pressed beef patty dressed however you like, my favorite is traditional with a side of fresh cut fries. But, since Pizza on the Square opened next door I’ve had to choose between a totally awesome burger and a pizza made on a hand tossed crust with fresh cut ingredients. In a town with a population of under 500 I’ve got to do what I can to keep them busy ’cause less than 30 minutes away is the Big Springs Smoke House…

  • LKP Says:

    Oh man, I miss Goldie’s and their pickle bar, and Weber’s!! Nothing quite like a Weber’s burger with some of their amazing root beer!

  • Joseph Blanchette Says:

    Cheating?….Hmm an interesting concept. For me it implies the exlcusion by effort of will of some aspect of experience I am having a hard time finding an area of life where I “cheat”, as I rarely deny myself anything. This is the price one pays for being a “Pantheistic Transcendentalistic Judaic-Christos Varjianic Omnitheistical Hedonistic Indulgent Chela”, it is a difficult religion I know, but it is one well suited to my aspect. Other than promising my ex when we were married that I would never cheat on her (an interesting concept in itself, arising from the idea that one woman (or man) will always be enough to satisfy, either sexualy or of the heart, when all of us do “cheat” at some point, from harmless erotic reveries of a possible or past lover, or the full blown lie infected and hidden relationship(s) on the side. Needless to say a need for Food as a distraction is not an area of indulgence that moves me deeply, and while I can a good meal as good as the next individual, my weaknesses exist in the Female form. Being a man this does not surprise most women readers, though I believe they do not have the first hand experience of just how powerful this is. As a woman if your weakness if Food or sweets, imagine that you are allowed into a buffet of every delight you can imagine, each one bekons in its own taste and scent, but you are allowed only to eat one item only, forever. Of course there will be times you will linger over one tray, or another, almost drooling over some deseart denied you, and perhaps (looking right and left), sneaking your finger an unseen and breif taste before running away? I wonder if we are all “cheaters” of the heart as well. If a partner does not satisfy an even deeper demand to make us happy, do we cheat on them to gain a happiness we believe we were denied? Joseph

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