Posted by: Sara S. | December 4, 2009

The Hamburglar giveth, the Hamburglar taketh away

I don’t know if a freaking burger factory moved down the street from our offices or what, but I could not get flame-roasted red meat out of my head this afternoon. And then, there it was again, the smell of some nearby griddle tempting me as I walked across Washington Square Park tonight. I was being haunted by a two-patty cheddar cheese cheeseburger on a sesame-seed bun loaded with sauteed onions and pickles and ketchup and mustard and mayo. It chased me around the city like some hangdog Five Guys nightmare.

Needless to say, it was a difficult day in the dieting annals. In addition to beef, I was also jonesing for some chocolate and was forced to satiate that craving with a handful of dried apricots. (Anyone who has eaten both a Snickers and a dried apricot knows that the Snickers bar is like Tahiti to the apricot’s Duluth.)

Aside from my Thanksgiving bender, this is really the first time I’ve desperately craved my old standbys. I didn’t have to chain myself to my desk or anything, but I would have been more than happy to snag a bag of Haribo gummy bears on my way out of Duane Reade.

Time was, the thought of a big, fat, indulgent helping of baked ziti or an order of dumplings from Mr. Wonton was something to look forward to. It was comfort after a stressful day at work, or a means of relaxing on a weekend. Eating was my vice; I didn’t want to smoke or drink or inject heroin into my eyeballs, I just wanted to add a double order of tortilla chips to my XL burrito. Tonight, I indulged in a corn omelet. And that was like, “Whoa, Sara, where’s the fire?” Things have changed around here.

I think this is partially why I’ve resorted to cooking elaborate dishes and spending my Sundays in the kitchen. Eating is no longer an event for me, and I miss that. If I can’t go up to a counter and order a double-decker burger, the least I can do is spend three hours watching vegetable soup come to a boil on the stove. Because heaven knows, when restaurants like Stanton Social and Shake Shack and Haru turn their back on you, the trusty leek will never let you down!

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go stand outside the Monty Q’s storefront and salivate.

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