Happy National Cheeseburger Day To You!

It appears that today, Sept. 18th, is National Cheeseburger Day here in the states, so CNN’s Eatocracy blog has made you one with everything–history, recipes, controversy, world records. I can’t compete with that, so I’m going the lazy way and reposting the story of my own best cheeseburger experience ever:

The cook leaned up against the no-smoking sign,
Lit one cigarette from another, and gave us a look.
It was late, near closing; his friends were leaving to find
A party somewhere, and couldn’t wait for the cook.
We were four Americans; the cook must have guessed
We were better entertainment. He turned, re-lit the grill,
And asked us what we wanted. “What’s your best?”
So, burgers it was—but no run-of-the-mill
Ground beef; we could choose chicken or pork,
With mayonnaise, fried egg, and yellow cheese
For condiments, and french fries to eat with a fork.
“To drink?” “Four large diet cokes, if you please.”
We sat, the four of us, and ate, and drank, and talked.
The cook looked on, amused by us, no doubt;
Once strangers, now our group of friends had walked
Through Greece and Bulgaria together, and were just about
To say goodbye, perhaps for good. We knew
Each other, loved each other, and this perfect night
Was ours. We ate our meals and looked back through
The past five weeks. I complained that the flight
Back home was coming all too soon for me.
We would have stayed there talking through the night
If we could have; the cook’s face said we should go.
We left—so very happy, so very sad.
Sure, it probably was the company, but I know…
That was the best damn cheeseburger I ever had.

(This is the place. If you are ever in Sofia, Bulgaria, there are scores of better places to eat. Unless you are with friends, and have walked the whole town looking for just the right place for a pork burger with mayo, yellow cheese, and fried egg, on a soft white roll. In which case, this is the very best place on earth. It’s on Shipka street, about a block from the University.)


  1. davidhart says

    Talking of Bulgarian things, Cuttlefish, you may be pleased to hear I’ve just taken delivery of a big compilation of recordings of Boris Karlov, the first person to make a career of playing Bulgarian traditional dances on the accordion (and inventor of that distinctive semitone trill style that is now ubiquitous in Bulgarian accordion technique). If I’m feeling extra-diligent, I may even transcribe some and try to play them myself…but it’s pretty frantic stuff.

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