Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Harold's Through the Looking Glass

You have a song that kind of takes you back to a time and place immediately? A song you really liked and can link to 5 or 6 fun memories from the past? You probably have 5 or 6 of those kinds of songs. When I hear the song “Brandy (You're a fine girl)” by Looking Glass. It takes me back to high school and college when I ate at a diner called Livingston's twice a week, sat in cars with my friends and drank in parking lots before we went to high school events and singing karaoke at Heroes on Friday nights (Brandy was and is my go to karaoke song). Go ahead and play the video while reading.

I only mention this because I went to Harold's Drive In on Admiral Boulevard for lunch today and I thought of the song “Brandy” while I was watching my burger (I got the single cheeseburger) being cooked on the griddle right behind the counter. You see, Harold's reminded me a whole lot of Livingston's, and not just because they have fried cauliflower on the menu.

Harold's is different in that it doesn't have any tables to eat at, hence the term drive-in, I suppose. You order from the counter, they only take cash, and your food is served to you in a paper bag. They may as well tell you to scram after you get your order.

But, Harold's is the type of place where they remember your name, when you were last there and what your likely order is going to be. It felt like a place I'd been to a hundred times over, like Livingston's. The customers were decidedly blue collar, paint specks could be seen on some items of clothing, one guy was wearing his orange road crew vest. I felt a bit overdressed and I wasn't even wearing socks.

My order of a single cheeseburger and fried cauliflower was around $5.40. The Harold's special (double cheeseburger, fries and medium soda) will set you back around the same amount after tax. For the big fellas in the audience, you can get a triple, fries and soda for $6.75.

The service was friendly, but not overly so. I think if I went back a couple more times over the next couple of weeks I would know all 4 ladies' names and they would all know mine. At about 10 visits I might be able to enter into a conversation about post menopause hot flashes with them (if I were so inclined).

My burger was pretty good, not something that would make a top 10 burgers in KC list, but for the $2.25 it costs, it could be in the conversation of top 10 burger bargains. The standard dress of the burgers is lettuce, tomato, onion and mustard. I got mine with only lettuce and onion and used some habanero ketchup I have in my office. The onions have a nice dice and add a lot of flavor, you definitely know they're there. The lettuce is shredded and doesn't offer much of anything of value.

The cauliflower was very good, but not the best I've had. I'm pretty sure it was frozen, but it wasn't like most of the frozen cauliflower you get at restaurants around town. It had a different type of breading, more a beer batter than fried cauliflower usually has. I don't know if they bread their own and freeze it or not. If you're a fan of fried cauliflower it is definitely worth the trip to Harold's to check it out. I'm glad my pals at the Mid-America Regional Council told me about it.

I almost forgot, as I walking out of Harold's Drive In with my grease stained carryout sack in hand, “Brandy” came on over the speakers. I didn't even notice music playing while I was waiting.

1 comment:

m.v. said...

they are two blocks from my work and they are the best deal in this part of town, tenderloin is pretty good too. not fancy, not the best but not a rip-off and that's what's important to me