The other day, Dave sent me a text asking if I wanted to go to lunch with him and I said sure.
"Is Jake's okay with you?" he asked. "I know you don't really like the place."
It's not that I don't like the place, I replied, it's just that I don't understand why you like the place so much. Remember the comedy of errors the last two times we went?" (The second-to-last time we ate there, it had taken quite a long time to get our burgers, though at least we got them; our last time there, the waiter lost our ticket completely and it took him more than half an hour to realize it.)
"Oh yeah," Dave laughed. "Hopefully it won't be like that again."
After fifteen minutes the waitress grabbed two baskets of burgers that the cooks had finished cooking and walked over to us. One of them was topped with a fried egg, which neither of us had ordered.
"Which one of you has the egg?" she asked.
"I had fried pickles," I offered," but not a fried egg."
"Oh that's just like me to do," she said. "Do you still want the fried pickles?"
"Do you want the fried egg as well?"
I looked at Dave as she walked away carrying my basket. He gave me a knowing smile as if to say Okay, next time we go to lunch we can go somewhere else.
It only took about five minutes to get my burger correct, and the waitress did seem genuinely sorry about her mistake, so all is forgiven. And to be completely honest, this isn't a Green Street Tavern burger, it's just regular supermarket-quality ground beef; having it sit on the counter for five minutes while they fried the pickles wasn't going to make that much of a difference.
Dave also got an order of fries and told me to help myself. I'm not a big fan of Jake's fries - they are the same previously-frozen fries that you will find at any bowling alley cafe - but I was pretty hungry and had quite a few fries while my burger was being made properly.
I can't really say that I like Jake's, but it seems too harsh for me to say that I don't like it. It's obviously popular - I've never been there for lunch when it hasn't been packed - and if it stands as a bulwark against the complete malling of Old Town, then I hope it lasts forever. It's certainly a nice visual break on a block featuring Cheesecake Factory, H&M and American Apparel. But their burgers are nothing more than just okay to me. With Fatburger and Firefly both two miles away, Hutch's ten blocks away, and that burger at Green Street Tavern just 200 yards away, I just don't see any need for Jake's in my life.