By Mike Pound
When I stepped outside early Wednesday morning, winter slapped me right in the face.
I’m not a fan of winter, but its absence in January makes me uneasy. On Monday and Tuesday, I wore shorts and I opened windows in our house. Shorts and open windows in January, while nice, aren’t normal. So even though I don’t like cold weather, I was sort of glad to see it return.
The cold weather got me thinking about winter foods, and that got me thinking about cheeseburgers. Granted, a cheeseburger is just not a winter food, but whenever I think of food, I always get around to thinking about cheeseburgers.
When I started thinking about cheeseburgers, I decided that having one would warm me up. So, around noon, I got in my car and went looking for a good cheeseburger. I had no idea where I wanted to go for my cheeseburger, but since it was cold, I decided to head south. I figured that after a while, something would pop into my head.
I’m not a big planner.
When I got to Interstate 44, I decided where I wanted to go. I took I-44 to I-49 and headed south for a few miles. Then I got off at the Diamond exit, turned right and then turned left, and drove about four miles until I reached the parking lot in front of the Undercliff Grill and Bar.
I hadn’t been to the Undercliff in quite a while. The only excuse I can offer up to explain that is that I am a moron.
On Wednesday, when I walked in, I remembered why I love the Undercliff. It’s not just the food — although that is a pretty good reason to love the Undercliff — it’s also the atmosphere. The Undercliff is just one of those places where a guy could comfortably while away an afternoon.
The folks there don’t call it a bar and grill; they call it a grill and bar, which is a more accurate description of the place. While it is a bar, the food is the star at the Undercliff.
Before I sat down, I noticed on the little black chalkboard that they were serving French onion soup. When the nice lady handed me a menu, I asked for a cup of the soup. Then I asked for a burger with jalapeno cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, mustard, bacon and anything else the cook could put on my burger.
And a side of fries.
The nice lady said that wouldn’t be a problem and took my order to the kitchen.
I was tempted to try one of the specialty burgers on the menu. In particular, I was tempted to try the Reuben burger, a hamburger patty with Swiss cheese, corned beef, sauerkraut and a special sauce. But for some reason, I opted to go with the traditional cheeseburger.
Maybe next time.
When my burger arrived, I had to ask the nice lady for a knife so I could cut it into two pieces. It’s always a good sign when you have to ask for a knife to cut your burger in half.
You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but my burger was terrific. When I was done, I paid the check and reluctantly got back into my car.
It was, I decided, a nice lunch. I also decided that sometimes it’s good not to have a plan.
And before I forget, in my Wednesday column I wrote about an upcoming benefit basketball game between the faculty and staff at Carthage Middle School and the folks at KSNF and KODE television stations. I mentioned that the game, to benefit Shelby Shores and her family, will be played at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 2. What I neglected to mention is that the game will be played at Carthage Middle School. Sorry for the confusion.
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