I am supremely stubborn. If you tell me I’m going to love something, I will resist imminent pleasure before I give in and let you be right. Similar to being in the car with my father (who, according to Rob, I borrow most of my traits from)—when a song comes on and you remark that it’s one of your favorites, he’ll subconsciously switch the station moments later. I’ve wasted years missing out on things until deciding I’d come to my own conclusion about them, and in my own sweet time—sushi, vodka, Macs, Yankee boys, going to bed early…
The Fireplace, though, was one big exception to the rule.
You can’t miss it when you’re driving up Rt. 17 in Jersey. That and the oddly beautiful Bergen Jaguar dealership. Like clockwork, I’d say, “Man, I bet you I would love the food there,” and Rob would reply, “Best burgers in the world.” I have no idea why we didn’t hit the brakes years ago.
Today was our second pilgrimage—nourishment on our way out of the city.
The cockpit went silent, but for a few plastic straw honks and a burp. We’d make eye contact while chewing and grunt. It was a zen moment for me, warmly welcoming someone else’s lifelong favorite into my own repertoire with zero hesitation. Maybe this fissure is due to the fact I’m a Fireplace Legacy-in-law—Rob’s dad worked there as a kid.
Perfect, crusty toasted bun. Generous helping of cheese. Wrapped and resting on a little paper plate. I left my heart at The Fireplace.
Next time you’re going down 17, pull in and get a burger and a shake to go.
But not because I told you to.
p.s. A souvenir from our first visit lives in this post.