Thursday, August 31, 2006

Massachusetts Beefcake

Guest Post by Courtney



I know, the word "beefcake" conjures up images of men in low-cut leather pants, partially unzipped, lounging around on a... sorry, distracted there.� Anyway, this is not that kind of beefcake (although if Brownie wants to come pose for a picture for me, bring it, hon).� This is the first installment in a very unusual series I'm starting about my hometown.

Norwood, MA has an unusual number of bars and restaurants.� Many of these local establishments have tried to "upscale" themselves in recent years, and bring in the family crowd.� Each of these bars is known for something (other than the place Sully got into a fight with Jonesy and they both got arrested).� These bars all have some sort of beef specialty as their claim to fame.� So, like the lifer I am, I'm going to chronicle each and every one of these specialties, and maybe, declare a "Best Beefcake of Norwood" at the end.� It's also possible that I'll be too drunk and/or constipated to declare a winner.� Go figure.

First up, Lewis'.� For many years, Lewis' was one of those "unmentionable" places for reputable ladies of the 'Wood.� Maybe it's the nudie oil paintings on the wall of the main bar, who knows?� All I know is that, growing up, Lewis' was labelled "scary", and only certain people went there.� In recent years, the owners have redefined the "back bar" of Lewis' from a divy sports-themed performance space, to a grill pub-like, upolstered booth, generic town bar.� Oh well.� Maybe they're trying to reclaim the local lunch crowd.� At any rate, Lewis', naturally, has a specialty.� Well, a dual specialty.� A "bucket" of beer, and the Lewis Burger, shown in the picture.�

The Lewis Burger, for all intents and purposes, is a heart attack on a bun.� Take a look at the picture, and we'll start at the bottom.� You have� a medium rare cheeseburger, American cheese, of course, then a piece of white toast.� On top of the white toast, you have lettuce, tomato, red onion, mayo, and EGG SALAD.� That's right, egg salad, folks.� Start popping the Lipitor and the Protonix now.� Then, the top of the bun.� Served with fries, naturally, and a big ole draft beer.�

In true Norwood tradition, I had my first Lewis Burger at age 19.� Yes, the drinking age in MA is 21.� I could make the story less interesting, but I won't.� Suffice to say, this burger is the most nasty and alternately satisfying burger you'll ever eat.� Filling doesn't even BEGIN to describe the feeling you experience once you've finished this burger (if you can).� This burger is a Norwood legend, and if any of you are ever here in my hometown, you can bet your asses I'm taking you for one.

Stay tuned for further installments, where I dissect the differences between the 9000 varieties of steak tips served in this town (I'm only slightly exaggerating).

((You can read Courtney daily at her Midvale School for the Gifted))

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