Monday, April 5, 2010

The Elbow Room

This is a gentle response to red Ravine, a blog devoted to writing. When it comes to serious writing, I tend to be more of a consumer than a producer. I enjoy reading other peoples work, rather than doing my own (see Vic below). The thing that pushed me a little too close to the edge on this was a "writing topic", an invitation to write about "your favorite coffee shop". Huh? This smacked a little of an eighth grade English assignment. Those of you who were in school with me know, that even then, I rarely turned in any of my assignments. I fought my way out of school so I wouldn't have to do assignments. And furthermore, Starbucks and the other chain coffee shops give me vague feelings of uneasiness. They're like a nicely appointed fern bar, only with coffee instead of alcohol.

Instead of a preciously decorated coffee shop, this where I go - The Elbow Room. The coffee it serves is strong and bitter, with a slightly oily sheen. The beer is only 3.2% alcohol and is mostly light. What it does have is the best hamburgers on the planet. This is only a slight exaggeration. They are good enough that after a poll by a Minneapolis T.V. station on the Best Burgers, they were surprised to be sending a crew down to do a piece on the Elbow Room. Keep in mind, the poll was taken 100 miles away. It may not be Starbucks, but it is the real deal.

Vic holding court with a couple of local winners. Vic and Mary are the owners. This is Vic's idea of work. Mary is not pictured because she is in back washing dishes.

Gloria and Lloyd Schumacher in booth 6. Oakwooders. Small woman, big hair. Mrs. Schumacher is rather ...ah...eccentric. But she is an off-color riot with a couple of drinks in her. A very funny woman.
Bob's backside. Bob is too loud, too proud, even obnoxious at times. I don't care, the man is a god on the griddle and he remembers that I want my onion rings very crispy. A hint: one or two small tips for the cook and you can eat well forever.

9 comments:

Jonny Hamachi said...

Let's see the burger Berg!!

Gunnar Berg said...

I think taking pictures of food must be a left coast thing. In the midwest when food is put in front of us we tend to eat it, not take photos. In my experience, photographs NEVER capture aromas and flavors.

Okay, next time I'm there ... if I'm not eating the four piece fried chicken, something sooo simple, yet almost never done that well.

Justine Valinotti said...

I can start my diet tomorrow! ;-)

Debb said...

I was an Elbow Room virgin, until TODAY! A friend and I had lunch at the Elbow Room.. I had a burger and it was very, very good..
definitely something on my bucket list..

Gunnar Berg said...

Welcome to the club. Where the hell have you been? Next time try the fried chicken - a religious experience.

IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER!

Mimbres Man said...

Now I have to go to Albert Lea to get a hamburger. I love hamburgers, especially with green chile (its a NM thing). I think the best are at the Owl Bar in tiny San Antonio, New Mexico, but that's debatable even San Antonio itself with Manny's Buckhorn Burgers across the street...

jusvelos said...

red or green onions?sometimes I miss america..good post gunnar

Gunnar Berg said...

Red onions. I like a cheeseburger with pickles on the bottom, fried onions on top. Buns toasted crispy on a greasy spot on the grille.

or

Or deep fried chicken. Oil so hot that it's crispy on the outside and juicy without being greasy.

Gunnar Berg said...

Richard,
I think my daughter is missing home a little too. Facebook: "I wish I was in a bicycle friendly city. I wish I had my bicycle to ride in my bicycle friendly city. I wish I had a good beer to drink while riding my bicycle around my bicycle friendly city... oy!"