Wanderings – Cheeseburger in paradise

There is a great beach front bar and restaurant in Clearwater Beach. Started by a guy from the Montréal area who moved to Clearwater, Frenchy’s is a local institution. We “discovered” that place on our first family trip to Clearwater in the mid-2000s. It’s a great spot to sit and watch the sun set on the Gulf of Mexico while eating a Grouper sandwich, or a cheeseburger.

I could go for a cheeseburger right now. Listening to my coworkers talk about an ad for a new burger chain location in Winchester started my mind wandering towards food. A mozza-burger with onion rings on the side and a root beer. Such simple things bring happy thoughts.

Food has always been one of those comfort things for me. The expression “eat your feelings” applies here sometimes. New food experiences, or revisiting favourites, is one of the best parts of any vacation. And one of my favourite songs is Jimmy Buffett’s Cheeseburger in Paradise for a reason.

Of course going to said places are a bit of a no-no right now. The doctor has already lectured me on that one, as has my significant other.

Given that I need to lose a bit of weight, it’s frustrating when people assume because you’re overweight you need a larger portion of food.

Go to the store to get some take out, and the person on the other side of the counter always digs around to find the largest piece of chicken, just for you. Thanks.

If you do happen to order a salad, you get the oddest looks from the other side of glass. It reminds me of my Grade 3 teacher Mrs. Tait, who had a habit of looking over her glasses at you when you told her you didn’t do your homework (again).

It’s difficult to eat healthy. Those who says it isn’t, are lying! Really you are.

Tell me how to make carrots taste better without putting Tzatziki or ranch dressing on them? How do you make cauliflower not have the texture of Styrofoam packing peanuts, as well as the smell of muddy shoes? I know how, throw it in the garbage!

Celery is a stringy, grass-like, torture device. Chopped finely in a sauce celery is okay, but that’s all thank you.

Reading this, people may get the impression that I am a fussy eater – that isn’t an incorrect assumption. I prefer the term choosy.

I do like eating some healthy things. Carrots are tolerable, spinach is good, mushrooms are great on steak or a cheeseburger. Peppers are tasty, radishes are not. Cucumbers and zucchini are okay, but I’ll pass on the squash.

Berries and other fruit are in my wheelhouse, and my wife finally has me eating some pro-biotic blah-blah yogurt stuff with granola. However, bananas should only be mushed and baked in bread thank you.

My doctor looked at me like Mrs. Tait did when I said cows eat grass, and I eat steak, so steak is salad. The lecture again.

Switching from meat to tofu or fake meat is not an option. They are not meat and chemically modifying mung beans to look like meat should be criminal. Tofurky might as well be Soylent Green.

Eating healthier is more expensive. Trying to buy fruits and veggies that you like when they’re not in season is a bit pricey. Junk food is less expensive and definitely not healthier. It’s easy to see why poor food choices are made when cost is a primary factor.

All this talk of eating healthy doesn’t mean I am successful at it. When driving from place to place for work, or with the kids, a salad is not the easiest meal. Food wrapped in a neat tortilla envelope helps, but that gets a bit bland after a while.

What I need, what the world needs, is for some healthy food to be created that tastes good. Such food should be the healthiest possible, inexpensive, should not overly processed or laden with chemicals, hand held, and should not smell like wet feet. I don’t think I am asking a lot, am I?

There already is a food that meets most of this criteria, the humble cheeseburger.

It’s handheld, smells good, and is relatively inexpensive. Cheeseburgers are not overly healthy but science will get us there – I have faith.

Meanwhile I will try to tune out my coworkers and think happy thoughts of salads. And maybe a cheeseburger.