Meat It Is I Set It Down

New York is at its best when you can shake your head and smile and say, “Only here; this could only happen here; only in New York.” Tuesday night the upper reaches of the A train whisk me to the rainswept battlements of 181st Street, near the tip of the island, where I hear mysterious luminous fish haunt the rivers and the winds roar into a tunnel to the middle of the world. All right, maybe not, but I rarely get above 14th Street so it is miles foreign and the subway does run as much as 19 stories underground up there. Does that count as the middle of the world?

And perhaps “whisk” isn’t precisely the word; I could have walked most of the way there in the time it took.

Torrential rain chases the last of the Hot Nights/Cool Sounds outdoor summer concerts indoors, and the gleeful machinations of the subway leave me too late for the opening act. But six pieces’ worth of bluegrass band set up in the haven of the Fort Tryon Jewish Center across the way, and soon enough The Dixie Bee-Liners are tangling along through a thicket of classics on banjo, mandolin, fiddle, doghouse bass, and guitars. Kids cavort, one guy in the audience knows all the words, and we all have the startled look of people who haven’t been to temple in a good long time.

I’m jubilant. The text message I send to Pierre is:

> I am seeing bluegrass in a synagogue!

Only in New York.

Open Wide!There’s the Beef: Over at Ramblings of Silverblue we spy the story of the Monster 6-Pound Burger out of Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub in Clearfield, Pennsylvania.

There’s something frightening about that much meat slathered between two trammels of bread. I have in the past terrorized visiting Europeans by taking them to eat at Jackson Hole Burgers, where the sizzling promontory of meat and drippy toppings has more beef in it than a reasonable person needs to see over the course of several weeks. This takes the field to new extremes.

The whole wahoonie thumps in at 9 pounds soaking wet, and if you can finish it in three hours or less it’s yours for free (medical intervention not included). Otherwise your boasting rights will run you $23.95 with a Great Dane of a doggie bag. The beast is made from

  • 6 pounds of beef
  • Two whole tomatoes
  • A half-head of lettuce
  • 12 slices of American cheese
  • A full cup of peppers
  • Two entire onions
  • A river of mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard

The Beer Barrel reports that no one has finished it to time yet. At least we all have something to look forward to, something to strive for, a dream to drive us through the days. Paging Morgan Spurlock

Weekend Alert: I’m reuning with my family up in Maine this weekend, starting on Friday. It’s unlikely that there will be any blogging on my part until I’m back in the City; wish me luck with the allergies, and don’t forget to frolic. It’s almost August, after all.

About Linus

The man behind the curtain. But couldn't we get a nicer curtain?
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6 Responses to Meat It Is I Set It Down

  1. Pingback: Pepper of the Earth - The Home Office Record & Mostly Daily Gazette » Eat Me, Kate: a Three-Hour Tour de Burger

  2. Harvey says:

    Bluegrass in a synagogue, 9 pound burgers.

    Now I know why I read you every day.

    You remind me what a wonderful country America is :-)

  3. Linus says:

    I’m with you on that, Harvey: when we get it right, this American life is an extraordinary thing.

    Mind you, it’s not that easy digging up material to keep you entertained. Or, actually, there’s plenty of material. It’s not that easy to find the time to talk about it. Now, why don’t they ever have any “be interesting and blog about it, salary $60K+” positions available when I check the papers …?

  4. jess says:

    What’s with the “enter this code” business?

    My ex-boyfriend, a heroic eater if there ever was one, was obsessed with the 9-pound burger. He was even talking about renting a van to bring people to watch him eat it. I don’t know if he ever tried — but now I know if he did, he did not succeed.

  5. Linus says:

    The Enter this code business is our step against comment spam, which was starting to become a problem. We never got to the infested thousands, as some other bloggers have, but we were getting sweeps of a dozen or two at a time, and so we put this up to stop it. Please let me know if you have trouble with it; we’ve already removed O and 0 from the character pool because they were too hard to tell apart.

    Damn spammers.

    The 9-pound burger, well, it’s a prodigious notion. I’m really tempted to get a few people together and go down there to have one. Innarested?

  6. Stan says:

    “bluegrass band set up in the haven of the Fort Tryon Jewish Center across the way”

    The great variety of individuals and cultures are one thing I love about this country, and New York is the place you’ll find them all!

    Keep having these adventures and keep sharing them with us, Linus!

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