the Village Idiot, where last year I had my favorite fish & chips I've ever eaten in Los Angeles. I was a little jealous. So I decided to make something really good for dinner. I couple of days earlier I had developed a strong craving for a brisket sandwich. At Ralph's, however, they only had one little plain brisket left. So I decided to get a corned beef brisket instead (they had a four-pounder).
I sent my friend Carla an email asking if she wanted to join me for dinner. She said yes and revealed that she had never actually had corned beef before. (This surprised me, but my other two dinner companions were Tim and Tracie; the former said he didn't think he'd had it since he was a kid and the latter said she wasn't sure if she'd ever had it before. So I guess corned beef isn't as common as I thought.)
Like many things I used to dislike and now love - onions, peppers, cilantro, sushi, etc. - I started eating pickles because someone else was ordering them and I didn't want to be rude or difficult. Years ago I used to meet up with a group of friends on Sundays at Jake's in Old Town to watch NFL games. (I've never actually had a favorite NFL team. In my younger years when people would ask what my favorite team is I would answer: "I don't have one; I just cheer for whoever is playing the Raiders or the Redskins, and 95% of the time that answer was met with approval. These days the list has grown to include the Patriots and the Cowboys.)
The routine used to be this: the first person to arrive would order a plate of sliders. Other people would filter in one-by-one and often help themselves to any sliders that were already on the table, then place an order themselves and reciprocate. There were days when I may have eaten at least a dozen of Jake's mini burgers.
And they always had pickles on them. There was no way I was going to order them without pickles and I didn't feel like picking them off, so I just ate the slider as is. And I realized: Wait a second, pickles on burgers are freaking delicious. I started buying amazing garlic and spicy pickles at the Victory Park farmers market (although I haven't seen the guy there in years). On a trip to New York City I made sure I visited The Pickle Guys. These days I cannot even conceive of ordering a burger or sandwich without pickles.
So I bought a giant dill pickle at the store to serve with the sandwiches.
Everyone finished their plates. I mean finished them clean. I mentioned that I had more buns and leftover beef, but everyone was full. Which means I get to have another sandwich for lunch today, which is just fine by me.