Wednesday, March 6, 2013

An Open Letter To Just Burgers

Dear Just Burgers,

Hey buddy - Matt Shafeek here. I live right around the corner from you in Astoria. You know The Acropolis, that large building complex that you're attached to? Yeah, right in there. Pretty interesting name, right? I actually just found out the other day that the word 'Acropolis' is Greek for 'City on the Extremity.' Now, that may be appropriate, geographically speaking, but it's definitely much less cool than what I came up with in my head, which was: 'Home Base For Autobots.' I dunno, maybe that's just me.

Anywho, I'm writing you today because when I passed by your storefront recently, I noticed you were closed, and I saw this sign on your front door and I got a little worried:

It's no secret that you've been going through a lot of changes in the past year or so. When I first arrived in Astoria, your menu remained pretty true to your namesake. I mean, you pretty much offered just burgers. Sure, there were fries on the menu, and hot dogs, and shakes and so on. No one's going to give you any shit for that. But then one day I noticed you had added chili to the menu. That was kinda weird, but hey, if you've got some extra meat, why not throw it in a pot with some spices and offer your customers another delicious beef-alternative (and by that I mean, an alternative way to ingest the beef they crave), right? Works for me.

Cookies were next. Those are fine, I guess? I mean, if you've committed to eating a burger, you're pretty much giving up on the idea of a healthy diet at that point, so why not continue indulging, right? Sure, whatever, cookie it up like there's no tomorrow.

Finally, you added a "Healthy Wraps" section to the menu. What the fuck? Healthy Wraps? What were you thinking Just Burgers? I want you think about this for a second. Think about two people sitting in their apartment in Astoria, getting ready to go out and grab a bite. I want you to tell me how this sounds to you:

"Holy shit, brah, I'm starvin'."

"Me too, broseph. Say, wanna go to Just Burgers and grab a bite?"

"Mmm, I dunno, what do the have to eat there again? I forget."

"Well has-bro, I'm glad you asked. They actually have a wide variety of options on their menu, including, but not limited to, burgers. They just added a 'healthy wraps' option the other day."

"Ah, bil-bro baggins, that's great news! I was just thinking about how much I really wanted to go a burger joint and get something that would not stand out in any way taste-wise from any other corner deli or say, McDonald's."

"Totes Magotes. Which reminds me, how many times have we ordered healthy wraps and salads from McDonalds?"

"Oh man, that's a tough question brahnanana-nananana. Probably like a million times, right?"

"Yeah, bro, that sounds exactly right."

If that sounds at all realistic to you Just Burgers, I've got some sour news for you: it's not. I mean c'mon, "Totes Magotes?" These were highly fictional characters portraying a totally unrealistic scenario. If Lena Dunham had written this scene into an episode of Girls, she'd be lambasted by the AV Club's Todd VanDerWerff for 'lack of verisimilitude,' and also for 'seeming like she randomly inserted an unconnected scene containing two strange, never before seen characters that had nothing to do with anything.' Are you starting to get it?

Look, I understand. You're going through that awkward teenage restaurant phase right now. You were popular for a while until Bare Burger came into town, and wowed everyone with their 100% organic menu and multiple meat offerings (for the record, I thought their boar tasted kinda like shitty ham). You want to be everything to everyone. But you gotta be true to yourself brother. You're not Bare Burger. You never have been, and you never will be.

Yeah, I get it. You're jealous. This is the Joseph Gordon Levitt of your world.
I'm gonna share a little story with you. I'm a short guy. When I first realized that girls liked tall guys, I tried walking on stilts for a month. True story. And in the five seconds I was stable on them before I inevitably fell over, I would shout to any girl within an earshot: "LOVE ME, FOR I AM THE TALLEST  MAN!" And yet, for some reason they didn't love me. You know why? Because any attraction they briefly had for the towering figure before them was tainted by the stench of my desperation. And that's whats going on with you right now Just Burgers. These constant changes all seem pretty desperate. You're like Matt Shafeek on stilts times a hundred, plus one.

In conclusion Just Burgers, I hope that these renovations you're going through are leading to a reboot of sorts. I hope that when you reopen I'll see a menu stripped of all unnecessary offerings, and in it's place a return to the restaurant you know you've always been, with the delicious meat, cheese and bun combinations I once indulged in regularly, or at least whenever I was took lazy to walk all the way over to Bare Burger.

Remember that spicy Mexi-burger you had, with jack cheese and jalapenos? That was excellent! And that veggie burger...well, uh, let's just say if you decided to focus your menu even further, that maybe wouldn't be so bad.

So please, forget everything else you were trying to do and focus on just motherfucking burgers. Or else please, just change your blatantly misleading name. Here are some suggestions, free of charge:

'Burgers And Such' 
'Burgers & Other, Non-Burger Shit' 
'Just A Burrrr-geoning Restaurant of Yummy Goodness!'
'Burgers And Also Whatever Else Diners Have - Yeah I Guess We're Basically A Really Small Diner'
'BEAR Burger (LOL, Rowrrr!!)*' 
'Just Whatever'
'Just Please Give Us Your Money'
'We Are The Post-Pinkerton Weezer Of Food'
'Here's A Blank Menu - Just Write Something On It And We'll Try Our Best To Make Whatever It Is! Oh Come On, 'Spaghetti And Dick Balls With Fart Sauce?' Seriously? Fine, Whatever, As Long As You Pay For It, And Also Leave Us A Positive Review On Yelp'

[*note you will have to order actual bear meat in order to not get sued. Also, Bare Burger might still sue you]

I look forward to your re-opening.

Matt Shafeek
Astoria Resident, Burger Enthusiast