Last week, bars and restaurants in several states across this fair nation began to reopen. The news was filled with photos of Wisconsinites packing themselves into bars and Atlantans carelessly sprawled on the grass in outdoor shopping malls, sipping wine and asserting their right to live freely. This was followed by much tutting on social media, but probably a fair amount of private envy. How nice it would be to sit at a bar, to eat some nice greasy bar food and drink a beer and watch the game (remember games?) and talk to complete strangers!
In Illinois, where I live, everything is still closed. On Saturday my dog, Joe, and I went to visit my mom. We had a socially distanced chat in the backyard while Joe chased after tennis balls and rolled in the grass, and then we all went for a socially distanced walk, during which we passed a house where the inhabitants were celebrating someone’s graduation from business school with a backyard barbecue (not socially distanced, we suspected). The smell of cooking meat came wafting over the fence and my mother inhaled it sadly. She has spoken often over the past few months of her wish to have a nice, grilled hamburger. Ideally, this would be at one of the nearby dive bars that also does great onion rings and chili, but at this point, she’s not choosy. She’s almost ready to buy a hibachi and risk censure by her neighborhood homeowners association in order to have one.
I, too, would like a nice, juicy bar burger. That was my last meal out before I went into quarantine. I have a grill at home, but somehow it’s just not the same. So a pub burger, medium-rare, with American cheese and extra-crispy fries is probably what I’d go for, too. Or maybe Korean barbecue. Or Chinese hot pot. Or dim sum. Or a nice cocktail at my local bar, where they once had a dog birthday party... It’s so hard to choose!
What’s the first thing you’ll have when you get out again?