Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Little Piece of Home (Heaven)

One place I always visit when I go back "home" to Arlington, VA, is Five Guys. In the late 90s, it used to be this dive, literally, right next to Brenner's, the local bakery on Glebe Road and Columbia Pike. Brenner's furnished the buns, the "guys" did the rest. There were literally five guys, Arlingtonians a little younger than I, who started the place--in there grilling and frying burgers and fries. (Bet they're retired by now!) They brought the fries straight from the Eastern Shore boardwalk --complete with lots of ketchup and malt vinegar to douse the cup they were served in. A little hand-written sign would tell you where the potatoes of the day were brought in from--normally an obscure town in Idaho. The burgers, each special made just for you, slathered with what you told them to put on them were so tasty. Too tasty (trouble with a capital T!). But, I always felt it was Brenner's semi-sweet bun that made the taste. I don't even recall a place to sit down in the first joint, just lots of peanut shells on the floor which you dropped as you ate as many peanuts as you could waiting in line. There was always a line, no matter what time of day it was. I got wise after a while, and would call our orders in, ready to be picked up when I arrived. Ah, memories.

I had read they were coming to Nashville but had since forgot. Until today. I was in Green Hills (the Beverly Hills of Nashville--tutt tutt tutt) picking up some stationary for a friend I'm helping make invitations. While searching for a parking spot, I eyed Five Guys! How exciting!! I called the hub right away and asked if they wanted a Five Guy burger for lunch. Well, they were already getting lunch so it was just a burger and fries for moi.

While I know Brenner's has since closed its doors after many decades there in Arlington, and even the original dive (I think) has closed also, I wish somehow they could have bribed Brenner's for the recipe for those special buns. While still a good and tasty (and oh-so fattening) burger, it's just not the same. Probably a good thing. I don't need to be eating these things. Will everyone else love them? Of course. Nashville is a good ol' meat and potatoes kinda place. They won't know the difference.

I still miss home.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Terrific! For a European like me, this thing about dropping peanut shells on the floor is hilarious and incredible



Jeanie said...

Is it ever the same? I don't think so -- but I'm glad it's close! It's fun to have one of those old favorites be close at hand!



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