When in Rome
The only burgers i have eaten in Spain until last night was at Mcdonalds (I’m embarrassed to admit that I have eaten there, and on more than one occasion, but moving on . . . ) – So, somehow in my mind I have convinced myself that those are “safe.” It’s not like i’m scared of meat being “unsafely” handled or sitting out all day, as i may be wary of in some countries, but in general I get weirded out when i don’t know where the meat came from – meaning cow or some unknown animal or parts that shouldn’t be in the mix. I realize it’s completely irrational to have that “fear” while out of the U.S. when i should probably be just as concerned in the U.S.
Anyway, I decided to follow up on a tip from a student who said this was “the best” burger place as it is just a couple of blocks from the family’s apartment that I go to in Sarriá (a very wealthy part of Barcelona) from 6-7:30 and I happened to be free afterwards since my 8-9 p.m. student is busy this week. The place called OK Sarriá is a small bar decorated with pennants from all different U.S. sports teams and universities, neon Budweiser signs on the wall and a juke box in the corner. The tiny dark wooden, circular tables are so low, they’re barely off the ground and there are little stools assembled around each.
The burger arrived in a basket with chips and packs of Heinz 57 ketchup on the side that I promptly opened and slathered on the burger. The first bite was heavenly, but mostly consisted of the perfect, soft warmed sesame seed bun. The next bite was delicious and the burger was very “tender” . . . and with the next few bites my eye caught a glance of the burger and the fact that it looked close to raw on the inside. I had ordered the burger a la “When in Rome” – so all I asked for was a burger and I didn’t specify how I wanted it cooked (as customer input is a ridiculous concept here) or that Idid in fact want the burger cooked. While I didn’t quite throw caution to the wind, I was determined to stick to “When in Rome” so I hesitantly proceeded. I ate around the burger’s perimeter without making eye contact with the interior. And since I’m still alive and well over 24-hours later, it looks like I’m going to survive having eaten a burger that practically still had a pulse.