Monday, March 22, 2010

Hefeweizen and a Crescent Moon

I took myself on a date Saturday night. After I got off work at 5 pm, I joined my friends, Schingy, Epic, Drama, and Jason at Mother Burger in World Wide Plaza for some hang time. They were drinking margarita's and Miller Lite. I was just there to soak up their company.

When I decided to head home, I walked to the E train on 50th Street. I checked earlier that morning and didn't see any service changes on the E train. Well, it seems there was something up with the E train that I missed. I was sitting there reading my Entertainment Weekly, thankful just to have a seat, when the doors closed at Queens Plaza and said the next stop was Jackson Heights - Roosevelt Avenue. You see, that's six stops from Queens Plaza and three stops past my stop. I should have gotten off at Queens Plaza to transfer to the R train. The problem was, I wasn't really paying attention because the E train usually runs local in Queens on the weekends. This particular day it was running express. I got off at Jackson Heights - Roosevelt Avenue and thankfully there was a Manhattan bound R train across the platform. Success! Homeward bound.

Upon arriving at my apartment, what I really wanted to do was go to dinner. I wasn't particularly thrilled with going by myself, but I did. I wanted to go to Bare Burger in Astoria. I had heard so much about it. I was told it was amazing. A little pricey, but amazing. Why not. It was only thirteen blocks away. An easy walk on such a lovely evening. When I arrived at Bare Burger it was pretty crowded. They didn't have space to seat even one person. I decided to wait instead of doing what my attitude wanted to do, which was leave. I had walked the thirteen blocks so I was by damn going to wait for a table and try this burger. The wait was brief actually. They have a table in the middle of the restaurant that will seat eight people comfortably. There was a two at one end and a three at the other. The waitress said I could take one of the seats in the middle if I wanted. I chose yes as the answer. As I passed one of the people making up the three at the end nearest the door he said something to the effect of, "This place is very gay. It's like Chelsea." That is a paraphrase. Before I closed myself behind a wall of insecurity, I decided to look over at him. Total homo sitting there with his boyfriend. It was merely a comment on the fact that there were a lot of gay people in the joint as opposed to a derogatory comment about me. Thank God. My shoulders relaxed.

Menu time. There were lots of choices from the burger (veggie, chicken, beef, bison, or ostrich) to the toppings. It was a mix and match plethora of goodness. I chose the California Bare Burger. It was topped with avocado, tomato, lettuce, red onion, and sauce. They suggested it with the veggie burger. I chose the beef burger on a 7-grain bun. Mind you this burger was $11.95. A little expensive, as I'd been told, but I was hoping worth it. I bit the bullet and added onion rings for another $4. Add my Hefeweizen for $6 and remind yourself that this isn't the burger joint back home. The burger arrived on a paper covered, rectangle tin pan. The burger was beautifully dressed and I couldn't wait to jump into the onion rings. Imagine my disappointment when I took my first bite of my $12 burger and it wasn't the best burger I'd ever had. It lacked flavor. With all those toppings, it lacked flavor. How is that possible? Give me my mom's burger seasoned with Lawry's Seasoning Salt and grilled to perfection any day. The onion rings were fine. I enjoyed them, but I've had better. I would say the best part of the meal was the beer. Organic Hefeweizen. So good. I have no real need to have another burger at Bare Burger, but I do want to go back and try their fries that come with three different dipping sauces. That, and of course another Hefeweizen, sounds like a nice summer treat.

Walking home, I had a sense of happiness. It was peaceful. I looked up at the sky. There was a crescent moon. I was reminded of a song that I wrote once that used the image of the crescent moon as a smile looking down on me. It reminded me of happy days. I realized that I am happy. I may hear the folks upstairs as they speak to each other in their native tongue, loudly, but it's nothing like what I had before. It's better. I just turn up my music or television a little bit and it helps to drown out the sound. Or maybe I walk into another room and the sound isn't audible. I don't know. I just know that I'm blessed. I'm at happy, on the way to happier. It's a good thing.