Only 18

At the end of last week, I journeyed with my family up to Boston. My youngest brother was receiving his hood from MIT. I think I might have mentioned it before but my brother just received his Ph.D. in Computer Science. We are all really proud of him. I cannot fathom the passion and dedication that my brother has poured into over two decades of school. He has an amazing intellect which is paired with a creative soul. We watched him actually get his hood on Thursday and then we watched him walk on Friday before rushing off to catch our plane. It is super impressive and our whole family is delighted that he has achieved this titanic milestone.

I would have walked right this place if I had not heard of the legend of the 18.

We were not in Cambridge long but we did get to hang out a bit and do some cool stuff. The main thing we did was we went to a weird little restaurant called Craigie on Main. On Wednesday, my mother told me that she had made reservations for 5:30 to get hamburgers at this place. Now, I usually eat dinner at six but I was thrown because the rest of my family does not eat until eight at least. Then my mother lets me know that my little brother really wanted a burger from this place. The catch was that the place only serves eighteen burgers a night and if you are number nineteen, you are out of luck. If you do not get a burger, the cheapest item costs about fifty bucks. So my mother and I traveled to stand in line outside of the restaurant before it opened at 5:30.

Did I mention there was really good rap music playing in the bar?

We ended up being numbers 3, 4, 5 and 6. One of our party opted out of one of the coveted hamburgers which astonished and amused the rest of us. The place probably had the most attentive service I have ever witnessed, especially since we were sitting in the bar area and not the restaurant area. En route to getting my burger, I had raw oysters for the first time. Except the things were doused in some sort of lemon juice which I did not like. Most people are turned off by the texture but I did not mind it. I minded the stinging fruitiness of that particular dish. Still, it was nice to cross that off of my list.

I want another one.

Finally, the burgers arrived and I could not be more pleased. They looked amazing. They had big fluffy buns, dark greens, and thoroughly melted cheese. Best of all, when I bit into it, I realized that the burger was cooked rare. I was blown away. It is a struggle to get places to cook things actually rare these days so I was glad to taste that burger. It was delicious. I am 99 percent sure that it is the best burger I ever tasted. The burger offered no resistance, each bite was as delicious as the first. There was no need for ketchup or any other condiments, the blood and grease of the burger was already soaking the top half of the bun. It was so good.

The Funky Bunch would be proud, I guess.

The weird addendum to this story is that as we walked through the airport around lunch time, I saw something I should have expected but I did not. It was a Wahlburgers restaurant. As my stomach grumbled, I knew I had to try one of their infamous burgers. It seemed almost profane to seek out a burger indirectly made by Mark and Donnie’s brother. But I had to. I had to check it out because if I ate at some faceless sandwich place instead, I would always wonder. As it is, I am still wondering what “Wahl sauce” is. This was the kind of burger that needs to be doused in condiments and the mysterious Wahl sauce did a great job of that. The burger was somewhere between medium and well done but I was so tired after getting through the endless names of a college commencement that I did not care. Besides, the burger scale goes from OK to excellent. There is no such thing as a bad burger.


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