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Friday, July 17, 2015

The Return of the King

Another day, another hamburger.  I was returning to Roberta's in Bushwick for their burger, which I ate last summer and loved.  Would it be as good as I remembered?  This is a constant problem in food.  What is the experience like, and what is the memory of the experience like, and how are they connected and similar or dissimilar?  We can't doubt that our memories at least sometimes inflate or deflate or somehow change the actual experience, but is the experience itself, in the moment, also altered so that we're not really experiencing the thing itself?  For instance, you eat a burger, and are like, "wow, this burger is wonderful!"  But is it really?  Are you lying to yourself, is your mind making you think or feel it's a great burger experience, even though it's not?  I pondered these matters on the train ride to Roberta's.  Then I arrived at my stop and got off the train and walked to Roberta's and sat at the bar and ordered the burger and waited for it to arrive and when it came I started eating.  I liked it.  The meat indeed seems to have a truly delicious quality.  This meat really is tasty, my brain is not making this up, I kept repeating to myself. However, I will say, it didn't seem quite as good as the last time. This time, it felt like the burger needed a bit more salt.  I've discussed the importance of salt for a good burger in these chronicles, and you need a good amount of salt for a great burger, not too much salt, but not too little.  The Roberta's burger, on this day, I felt and feel, needed a tad bit more salt to reach the quality of last time (or my memory of the last time).  Still, it was a very nice burger experience, but in a way it's frustrating when a burger is so close to great but just misses greatness. However, am I wrong and on this most recent visit my mind misperceived the burger and it really was a great burger and I just somehow didn't experience it the right way?  I sit here now frustrated.

Roberta's, Bushwick