Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ode to the Big Boy

THE GAME: Warriors vs Clippers

I was out for a walk at sunset the other evening and a strong sense of deja vu overcame me. As usually happens in such instances, I couldn't quite place it. Something was familiar... but what?

The sky was blue and orange and I considered that perhaps I was thinking back on childhood summers spent at the beach. But that wasn't it.

The air was cool and crisp and reminded me of the autumn I lived in the Rocky Mountains, the way the town cooled down in the afternoon as the sun slipped behind the front range. But it was something more. I walked another 100 feet, past the closed-down dry cleaners and the escrow office.

And then I realized what I was thinking of: on this location, more than two decades ago, was Bob's Big Boy.

I ate there more times in my childhood than any restaurant save one.

But in all the years since, I've only eaten at Bob's twice - once in Glendale and once in Pasadena, both locations long gone - and both were mediocre at best.

Still, a Big Boy-style burger sounded damn good last night, to eat while watching the Clippers to see if they can beat the Warriors for the first time since Christmas... 2014.

NOTES ON THE FOOD: 

  • Where the actual Big Boy utilizes American cheese, I used Swiss. American cheese just doesn't do anything for me. 
  • Likewise, I substituted a potato bun for Bob's sesame-seeded version.
  • Bob's uses a red relish that they claim is "famous." I admit, in my memory, it was good, but to be honest, I don't think I've ever heard another human being mention it.  
  • E. Waldo Ward, a company from my hometown, makes a chili sauce that is much more similar to a relish than chili. They don't use anything but natural ingredients. If you like either chili or relish, I highly recommend you try it. I slathered this over both patties while they grilled on the cast iron. 
  • Both the bottom and middle buns received a dollop of Bob's Thousand Island dressing - which you can find in most supermarkets in Southern California - and lettuce. 
  • A few weeks ago I realized that soaking dehydrated onions in water for 30 minutes provides the iconic fast food/diner-style burger taste that I often crave. 
  • I fried up some Trader Joe's "Handsome Cut" fries on the side. 
  • This was the best burger I have had in 2017, and probably better than all but two burgers I ate in 2016. 

NOTES ON THE GAME: 
  • I do like the Clippers all-black jerseys, but I still hate that logo. 
  • I sometimes forget for weeks at a time that Paul Pierce is on this Clippers team. 
  • The Clippers go on a 11-0 run at the start of the 2nd quarter to take the lead. What will the difference be at halftime? 
  • The Clippers now lead by 3, which Marv Albert informs us is the largest lead the Clippers have had over the Warriors in 4 games this season. (By comparison, the Warriors largest lead over the Clippers has been 48 points. That's not a misprint.)
  • Marv just called Golden State GM Bob Myers "former UCLA basketball player Bob Myers." I mean, yes, technically that is true, but I probably watched 98% of the games when Myers was on the team, and I only remember him playing once. 
  • Kevin Durant deserves to have an all-time nickname. It's too bad Jamaal Wilkes took "Silk," because that's exactly what I think when I watch KD play. 
  • The Warriors look as lifeless as I have seen them all season and they trail by 12 at the half. 
  • DeAndre Jordan just got called for a technical foul for throwing the ball after the halftime buzzer sounded. 
  • I'm really looking forward to this second half. If the Clippers can hold on and win in Oakland and without CP3, they suddenly know they can play with the Warriors. But if the Warriors come back and win, running the streak to 10 games, they have to be in the Clippers' heads. 
  • Austin Rivers stripped KD on one end then drained a 3 on the other. He's actually 6-12 this game, which blows me away, as it seems like he's made every shot he's attempted. 
  • Steph Curry to Klay Thompson to Kevin Durant for the 3. It's just not fair having those three playing on the same team. 
  • Literally as soon as I typed those words, Durant hits another 3 and it's all tied up. 
  • Two technical fouls in 45 seconds. God, I love watching these two teams play each other. 
  • Steph Curry with 20 points in the 3rd quarter. My God. I'm gonna go ahead and tell LaVar Ball that if you swap Curry for Lonzo Ball, the Warriors wouldn't be as good. 
  • The Clippers were up 16. Now they're down 21.
  • After scoring 18 points in the second quarter, the Warriors scored 50 in the third. 
  • Curry ends the game with 35 points in 32 minutes because of his white-hot 3rd quarter, but KD was more impressive to me: 25 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists. 
  • I can't tell you how much I hope these teams meet in the playoffs. 
  • If it's possible to have a rivalry when one team has won 10 games in a row, this is it. 

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