Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bar Burgers

M brought his laptop home from work so that I wouldn't start seeing giant pink spiders on the walls, which was totally wonderful of him. I hate internet withdrawals and even though I mostly managed just fine without internet for five whole days in early January it's nice to know that I can be here for the weekend and not start sweating and shaking. So here I am in rainy Charleston, happily poaching wireless, rereading Quicksilver, and watching M make some incredibly cool thing out of wood and copper wire and hemp twine. Brilliant.

Last night we went to Gene's Haufbrau which, when I was but a young, evil girl, was a boring bar full of old (like, they were in their doddering forties and fifties, probably. I mean, ewwww.) people located right next to Clays, which was a creepy redneck bar full of semi badass or badass wanna be mullet headed biker boys. I hung out at Clays, naturally. Clays, though, is gone along with all the other grotty relics of the late 70s and early 80s and Gene's Haufbrau has morphed into a really cool bar/restaurant where we drank a $5 pitcher of PBR (Five dollars. Yeah. This is a Good Thing.) and ate hamburgers and hung out with our friend H.

This is the third time we've gone out for bar burgers in Charleston and the first successful bar burger. I was contemplating starting a new blog devoted purely to the search for the perfect bar burger (the alliteration - Best Bar Burger Blog - pleases me) but then I decided instead to make it an occasional feature on this blog. Short version: the burgers at that Irish pub in that strange new North Charleston neighborhood somewhere near Montague Avenue are atrocious; the burgers at Buffalo South are also fairly loathesome and the burgers at Genes are quite passable. We will continue our search and expand it even into Asheville. Suggestions are welcome.

It's funny how the world has changed. Occasionally I wax indignant at young hipsters because they can just go to the mall or the internet and buy cool thrifty hipster clothes, whereas I actually had to work for my Dickensian waif like look and also, my outfits, similar to those everyone wears now, actually drew shocked looks of disdain, whereas nowadays, nobody cares if you have purple hair and are wearing fishnets and combat boots and a torn up jean miniskirt with patches. Also, back in those days, downtowns and strip malls from Charleston to Asheville to Baltimore and New York were eerie, deserted places full of vacant lots, rusted razor ribbon, skeins of barbed wire, boarded up windows, feral swarms of rats and, in the suburbs, the occasional Hallmark Shoppe, Waffle House or Rite Aid. In other words, they were excellent environments for disenfranchised teenagers with brains full of mescaline. Sometimes a group of rednecks roared by in an old pickup with a Confederate flag on the back and that was about it; the radio sucked (okay, some things never change,) there were only two or three kinds of beer and you had to know the right people to get a cassette copy of Combat Rock. Nowadays, there are nifty gifte shoppes full of cool artist made shit everywhere and helpful, funkily dressed twenty somethings in good moods listening to indie music on Ipods. It's all very nice and expensive and the battered Krispy Kreme is a shiny bank branch. It's good and all, I guess, but M and I kind of miss our pre/post apocalyptic landscapes of yesteryear. Which explains a lot about our generation.


zen said...

And not just Gene's Haufbrau that has morphed, but a little bit of Fliss too!

Glad you're having a good time.

Edgy Mama said...

I was pleasantly surprised by the bar burger at Tolliver's Crossing. They like soak the meat in Irish beer, which seems a waste of brew to me, but produces a fine burger.

Now I want to go to Charleston.

Arwen said...

I think I have commented before but if I haven't then I am now. I read pretty religiously...
"I kind of miss our pre/post apocalyptic landscapes of yesteryear" - I sort of get this but I sort of don't. I grew up in south suburban Boston and was the only kid in my HS with a mohawk. I hung out in Cambridge, listened to WFNX and had fun. But Cambridge is a pretty place, much like the re-invigorated downtowns of today. My dad lived in Northampton, MA which is the pilot for the re-invigorated downtowns of today. I remember watching Repoman and thinking how my punk landscapes definitely weren't the landscape of the movie. But then we still got funny looks for blue hair of fish nets. Now it's just blasse. I have even seen 'punk' kids at Asheville Mall. Do these kids not understand there are rules, and slumming at the mall is quite the verboten? Maybe they are all just posers now. Maybe it is radical to look like a Mormon missionary.

mygothlaundry said...

The food at Tollivers is surprisingly good. I'm not sure whether that's because the decor is so bleak, you expect the food to match and then it's okay and you think it's better than it is because you were expecting inedible glop, or whether it's because the food is actually good in and of itself. It is a mystery.

Arwen, yeah, cities actually did look a lot like Repo Man - that may be why we were all so addicted to Repo Man, or it may be just because it's an excellent movie, go figure. I even remember Cambridge being a little scary, but I may be a little older than you - this is increasingly, distressingly true of everyone I encounter, argh - but I do remember a lot of beggars and even some boarded up buildings in Harvard Square around, oh, 1979 or so. And then I kind of think that whatever you encounter in your teens and twenties (particularly if you're high enough and imprinting your brain) sort of becomes part of your aesthetic. Also, I'm jealous of young hipsters. And punks who go to the mall are not punks; they're idiots who shop at Hot Topic and they should be shunned.

Arwen said...

I was in Harvard Square about 5 years after you, so not too much later in life.
Hot Topix is just stupid.