Sunday, November 01, 2009

Culinary Serendipity

This afternoon I'm taking GTO's friend home and taking GTO back to her mom.

Afterwards, I swing by Blockbuster to return the Halloween Party movies I rented for them:

Hot Rod
Step Brothers
The latest Friday the 13th

I had bought about $18 worth of Halloween candy and we only had 1 Trick or Treater, so I had a lot of left over sugar and calories that needed to go away.

I drove to the River Market and donated the candy to the Smiles Change Lives Candy Exchange. Except I didn't exchange it for anything, I just dumped it and ran away.

As I enjoyed the beautiful 75 degree November 1st (thanks to the AWESOME global warming...I still have my windows open!), I meandered my way back home via the most scenic routes (Independence Avenue) possible.

On a wild hair, I decided to grab some lunch at a place I had driven by many times. Clem's on 23rd St. in Independence.

I love checking out these ancient, local diners that have been around for 50-60 years.

As a rule, they never update their menu, they never change the way they do things, they just hunker down, crank out the grub and survive.

I've never been to Clem's before so I don't know the drill. The place is TINY. There is only one other car in he lot when I pull in. While I am assessing the situation, my first question is resolved when a curly-headed youngster carrying a pen and a pad comes out to my jeep to take my order.

This method of food service dates back to the Late Pleistocene when Wooly Rhinoceros ribs were popular fare.

He didn't bring a menu with him and there wasn't much of one posted outside.

So I just ordered a cheeseburger, fries and coke. Because every 50 year old diner serves that, right?

The waiter/carhop guy doesn't blink an eye or say anything other than he will have it out to me in a couple of minutes. Then he asks if I'd like that as a "combo" as it will save me about a buck. Channeling the most frugal person I know, I say "sure".

When he arrives with my grease stained paper sack full of food, the first thing I notice are the fries.

They assume that if you are coming to Clem's you either don't have a weight/blood pressure problem or you just don't give a flying fuck.

Plump, hot, moist and salty with a teasing hint of skin. The same way I like my women!

Definitely not dry, sterile and health conscience canola or peanut oil fries. I think these fuckers were fried in delicious LARD! These are the kind of french fries fast food places used to served before whiney Johnson County bitches started complaining about the size of their asses.

These days, I normally eat as few fries as possible. If there are fries left over after the last bite of burger, I pitch them as useless calories. But I found myself munching these tasty motherfuckers LONG after the sandwich was gone.

Speaking of the sandwich....

It was a goddamn guerilla Maid-Right!

It was a fucking loose meat cheeseburger, served without warning!

Now, I can't tell you if it was a good loose meat sandwich or a bad one. It's been so long since I've had a loose meat sandwich on purpose that I don't have a frame of reference to give you a comparison.

In all honesty, if I had known that Clem's only dished up loose meat sandwiches when you ordered a cheeseburger from jewfro boy I probably wouldn't have stopped there because it wasn't what I was looking for.

But the serendipity of the experience was notable enough to post about if only for the fact that I know that there are loose meat sandwich aficianados who are always searching for the elusive diners who still serve them.

So this is for you, loose meat fans! Add Clem's to your sloppy arsenal!


Donna said...

If you knew me, I would be the most frugal person you know. Trust me, I could teach M.V. a few things about frugal. I'm an old bargain biddie.

Leigh Ann said...

Ha ha. My cousins used to own that place, after Clem but before these folks. I was the curly-headed youth at one time doling out the loose-meats, but the fries were home-made curly fries. Most people came the tenderloin sandwich, though, and we had a deep-fried brain sandwich on the menu that brought people from far-off places. The root-beer and orange floats were also a big draw. Glad the place is back! I mourned its loss the last time it shuttered.

Midtown Miscreant said...

I'll have to check them out. I thought the little mugs Up on 23rd was the last place like that around here. The Zip burger/ whiz burger. Mugs up is the shit that killed Elvis.

That means its good........

Xavier Onassis said...

Leigh Ann - I'll go back and try the tenderloin, but I wouldn't eat brains on a bet! I ain't no zombie! LOL!

MM - Muggs Up is next up on my list.

Capt. Geoffrey Spaulding said...

Internal organs are always clashing when I pass into the Independence city limits: Clems or Hi-Boy's?

Clem's brain sandwiches made me one Hell of a smart ass too...



I Travel for JOOLS said...

I love the Maid Rite ! I grew up on them in Wisconsin at one of the first ever Maid Rite holes in the wall which is still there and which I cannot resist when I go home. Obviously this is not a Maid Rite franchise restaurant but I wonder how close they come to that highly protected secret recipe which as easy as it seems it must be, is illusive. I wonder if they steam their meat at this place? May have to take a trip to find out.

One in Ten said...

oh my daughter loves the maid rite
in lexington ugh I can't stand them but I do love a good brain sandwich and a homemade tenderloin

The DLC said...

That's funny XO, I heard that you were a big fan of loose meat.

m.v. said...

I ate brains once without knowing it and it was pretty good. I hope no one tries to feed me brains again.
Donna,some day I will challenge you to a cheap-off

Poodles said...

I don't care much for loose meat, I prefer mine firm... :)

Joe said...

It must be a Midwest thing casue I've not seen a loose meat sandwich anywhere in California.