Before we said our goodbyes, Derek, DaveRisner and I asked each other what’s the first thing we’re going to eat upon touching US soil. To a man, we said a burger – a nice, juicy, tasty piece of red meat served in between two substantial buns. Derek had Plan Check in Santa Monica in mind. DaveRisner was going to walk to Kuma’s Corner directly off the Belmont stop off the Blue Line. (I would have chosen Au Cheval- best burger in the world, but that’s a bit of a walk from DaveRisner’s house.) And I had Umami Burger salivating in my mind.
It took a bit to get here. First a family wedding near Philly, so I had to partake in a Philly cheesesteak at Jim’s Steaks on South & 4th near where my sister and her family used to live. Second, I had a Chicago dog at O’Hare (not quite the same as The Weiner Circle in Lincoln Park or Under Dawg in Wicker Park); it satisfied a craving. And then, fighting a fever, body aches, a head cold and congestion, I played hermit at home in Sausalito for a few days.
On a quiet Friday, a week after landing back in the States, and having a few days of quiet alone time with Taylor, I was ready to venture out. Contesting a speeding ticket from months ago, provided me with the perfect excuse to venture out into the Marina. Umami Burger here I come!
I ordered the Manly – “a house beer-cheddar cheese, bacon lardons, smoked-salt onion strings” piece of wonder with “umami ketchup, mustard spread”. It came with dipping sauces, including the jalapeño ketchup, Diablo hotsauce, and garlic aoili. Everything here is made from scratch inhouse. The burger looked perfect. I tasted even better.
India is officially in the rearview mirror.
I am in heaven.
I’m planning a few more dates with burgers.
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ALWAYS BE EPIC.