This is my favorite burger joint and I am going with my favorite burger friends, Tuttie and Patty. In fact, today is the 8th anniversary of when I met Tuttie.
I was dating their brother, Mic in 2001. I met him at his house after the disturbing news of the day and his sister was home. Mic and I worked opposite schedules so we usually only saw one another on weekends and Tut was at her boyfriend’s house then. We met for dinner and I recall we didn’t talk much, but what was there to say?
Since then Mic and I have dissolved and Tut and Patty have become two of my best friends. I value their friendship immensely and even with Mic getting a new love and me dating a few different options, we have remained almost as close as family. Lately schedules have been conflicted and dynamics have changed, but we still try to make time for one another.
So tonight is the old haunt on a budget, El Cap’s, the best burger place in town. I just love their burgers and even though I am not feeling my best, a beer and a burger may help me a touch. Their meals are no nonsense with each burger served ala carte on a tiny plate the barely holds the bun. And they are real meat which isn’t something you find in your staple fast food joint. No fancy drinks here as beer and wine flow freely and the Rays or other Florida teams fill the boob tubes on every wall. The tables are close and some of the patrons probably haven’t bathed in a few days, but where else in the city can the posh rub shoulders with the homeless drinking Bud Light and damning the visiting teams?
But what better way to start off the next phase of my life than with some of my closest friends, Patty and Tuttie. We spent the weekend together going out to eat, watching movies, playing Trivial Pursuit and going to the flea market. They are the kind of people that you can do that with: a little bit of something and a little bit of nothing.
The weekend started with an old favorite, El Caps. These are the best burgers in town with no frills, but I never can say enough about how much I love it there. Nothing fancy with the Rays on the screen and people bullshitting one another happy for the weekend. We laughed and joked and got some weird stares as we duplicated the interesting behaviors of others, but all was peaceful. We spotted a woman working too hard to look young sitting at the bar and wondered if this would be us in about 20 years. “Nah,” was the response, “We may look like her, but with you bitches with me I won’t look so sad.”
Afterward we made our way to downtown and to Sheps. Sheps is a convenient store with the very best beer selection. It was pretty busy as people were making their own six packs and sharing what we liked about each brew. Tuttie and I sort of get lost in there since the choices are outstanding, but choosing (especially when we have already had a few) is difficult. I ended up with a big bottle of Delirium Tremens, my favorite. Back at the house we drank, laughed some more and finished watching Flight of the Concords.