Friday, August 26, 2011


Eastside Road, August 25, 2011—
I SUPPOSE THE HAMBURGER is the iconic, as is said, item of the American cuisine. No doubt millions are served daily; entire tropical forests have been sacrificed to the thing, and the potato quite redesigned. It isn't my favorite meal, but it has an appeal to Lindsey, and she generally knows how to order no matter where we are, so I often follow suit.

And so it was this night, when we were driving back from the coast with three friends after a job of figurehead removal, another staple American pleasure separating us from our cousins the Brits. First roadhouse was closed; second was serving only soup and mussels; but the third was doing great business with a wedding rehearsal party in the banquet room and a few tables occupied here and there, in spite of rather a late hour.

Before my hamburger, as an appetizer, I had a side of roasted green peppers, small anchos I think, served with sweet boquerones and capers. Too many capers, in the end, but lovely little white anchovies; how I love them. The burger itself was dense, meaty (Niman-Schell), flavorful, on a nice little oblong roll with not quite enough aïoli, and came with a cupful of French-fries, not quite matchstick, and a cup of tomato catsup.
Local wines by the glass: Balletto Pinot gris, 2009, austere; Seghesio Zinfandel, 2009, deep but forward

• French Garden Restaurant, 8050 Bodega Avenue, Sebastopol; (707) 824-2030

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