Just a Good Ole Fashioned…

2008.Jan.27 Sunday · 3 comments

in Restaurants

“Comfort food is not just what gives you momentary pleasure or stress relief. That’s… ‘Whereupon she employed a scientific term that rhymes with ‘perturbation’.”

– Colin Goh, Comfort Me With Burgers

Paul’s Place - St. Mark’s Burger

Buenos Aires – I’m sorry, but Woo Yen Yen is simply wrong, burgers are absolutely comfort food, if… they comfort you. Though I agree with her assessment as she continues on with her explanation about it evoking associations with security and pleasure – so perhaps she doesn’t have those, but there are people who do. I’m sorry, but I don’t need to get all Proustian and wax poetic about madeleines in order to call it “comfort food”. Now, the burger wars, as they may be styled by various writers, and to which I suppose I’ve contributed my share, will probably continue long after you and I are gone. “The best burger in New York”, or perhaps for that matter any city where there are competing offerings, will simply never be settled. It will always be a matter of opinion. It occurred to me a day or so ago, when I was out wandering the East Village, that over the years I’ve probably stopped in and had more burgers at Paul’s Place, 131 2nd Avenue, than anywhere else. Maybe it’s the sign out front that greets you with “When was the last time you had a really great burger? No, I mean a really great burger!” Maybe it’s the huge, sloppy, dripping with grease burger topped with anything you might care to order that they have in the house (I go, always, with the St. Mark’s Burger – topped with grilled onions, mushrooms, and choice of cheese). Maybe it’s the truly great onion rings, or the thick cut fries. Or the root beer or coke floats. I don’t know. But I’m happy there, munching away, and I feel no urge to perturbate…


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

David S January 27, 2008 at 23:50

Now that’s a Burger!

Ken Sternberg January 30, 2008 at 00:16

Burgers not comfort food!? I’m with you, Dan. I think under the right conditions a great burger is positively therapeutic. Since Argentina is so beef-centric, are hamburgers popular there?

dan January 30, 2008 at 19:11

They’re popular, but not particularly good – as noted in the link above. The problem is simply either a) the wrong kind of beef – after all, most of what’s served here is grass-fed free-range beef and is too lean to make a good burger; or, b) that the Argentines simply don’t understand burgers. I generally lean towards the latter, because there’s enough beef around that has fat to give the burger juiciness that they can make goods ones if they want – instead, they seem to opt for the thin, pressed patties that are roughly the size of a couple of CDs stacked together, and like much of the rest of their beef, of course, cooked way too long.

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