In & Out
Some of my New York friends talk dreamily about In & Out Burger, a little bitter that they don’t have it in New York, or in the East in general. A photo of a sign reading “Coming soon: In & Out Burger” had folks all over Manhattan all hot and bothered; turns out it was an April Fool’s prank.
There are plenty of places to get a hamburger in Manhattan, but I must say I never had a to die for burger in NYC, not even at the Corner Bistro… for me, the burgers in New York lacked something… maybe it was beefiness, maybe it was salt, but I was never that impressed.
So as I walked into In & Out the other day I wondered for a split second why there is no In & Out in New York, but it only took a split second to realize why. The place was slammed with customers in the dining room and in the drive through; there was a crew of five wearing immaculate whites, turning out burgers every few seconds, looking very calm and focused. The kid that took my order smiled genuinely at me and looked me in the eye, addressed me as “sir,” got my order right the first time WITHOUT me having to repeat it. When there was a lull at the cash register he would go without a word and refill the lemonade dispenser or help the fry cook with the fries. My point is that I never experienced this level of service at a fast food place in Manhattan, never.
In Manhattan, that kind of competence is only found in bartenders. If I owned In & Out, I wouldn’t open in NYC either… unless I got a liquor license.
A Seattle Thing?
So I met Eb at Mudville 9 to watch some World Cup matches over a pint or two of hefeweizen. Eb was on the final legs of his grand tour of the Americas, has a job waiting for him back in London, and was in NYC for the weekend.
Anyway, the bartender came over and asked us what we wanted to order, and I said, “Could we please have the firehouse fries… and 20 wings… the wow-wings, please.” It amuses me sometimes to use the stupid wording on the menu.
Eb looked amused as well and asked “is saying “please” a Seattle thing?”
“Well, I’m from Seattle,” I said.
See, I’m polite; a Welsh guy said so. Just the week before, L had teased me about ordering around the waitstaff at dimsum; apparently I make “加一点茶水吧” sound like boot camp. Guh, that’s just what Chinese sounds like!
Dr. K asked me if I’d been taking my vitamins, “and don’t tell me the doctor didn’t tell you because I know they did.” I was baffled, and he showed me my lab results. In December, my level was 8 units, and in March it was 6 units. Healthy vitamin D levels was 35 units. He says that might improve my mood as well, might perk me up.
Sheesh. So now I’m taking 20,000 IUs of Vitamin D daily and trying to get some sunlight. I wonder how much of my winter misery I can blame on a vitamin D deficiency…
I’m planning a great American road trip in August, from Vegas to San Francisco, up the Pacific Coast to Olympia and Seattle. Anyone want to join me?