Lunch 5/6/23

“Fun Guy” Burger – mushrooms, onion rings, blue cheese and horseradish sauce

On Saturday we had to drive up to Maine to go get a pair of kittens from a pet shelter. Our old cats passed away six months apart, one in October and the other a couple of weeks ago, and so it was time to welcome a new pair of kitties to our family.

We stopped in Portsmouth, NH for a quick lunch on the way up. We went to Lexie’s Joint, which has locations around Southern New Hampshire and Northern Massachusetts. You wouldn’t stumble upon it walking along the main part of downtown Portsmouth where most visitors go, but it’s not too far from downtown on another street.We found it very easily with GPS.

I feel like the big burger craze from a few years ago has cooled off a bit, but there are still plenty of places that specialize like this. In all honesty, I don’t want a ton of stuff on my burger/ I want a really good patty cooked the way I like (medium), and some (but not a lot) of good toppings. I don’t even understand how or why people would eat those burgers that are stacked about 18 inches tall with every topping under the sun. Lately, my burger of choice is usually topped with sauteed mushrooms and onions, with Swiss cheese, but I also love a burger topped with just an over-easy fried egg.

The “Fun Guy” came the closes to my usual musroom-onion-Swiss combo. Instead of sauteed onions, it had two pretty good sized fried onion rings, and instead of Swiss cheese it had blue cheese crumbles. It was also drizzled with a horseradish sauce that wasn’t particularly horseradish-y. Though I really like horseradish, I didn’t mind the weakness of the sauce, TBH, because it let the other flavors have a chance. The mushrooms were well-grilled and tasty, and the addded crunch from the onion rings was nice. The patty was 4 ounces, but I wish it had been 6 ounces. A half-pound burger is almost too much for me to eat, but a 6 ounce burger is pretty much the perfect size and more amenable to cooking to a medium doneness instead of well-done. Nevertheless, it was a prety good lunchtime burger, and we also shared an order of fries and an order of fried pickles.

I agreed with Bridget’s assessment that it’s probably not a place I would actively seek out if I wanted a great hamburger, but would gladly stop at a Lexie’s over any fast-food joint if it was nearby.

Lunch 1/14/23

Barbecue brisket and hot sausage combo plate with cornbread and macaroni & cheese

Got together for lunch on Saturday with my three high school/college buddies Mark, Tony and Joe in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. They were all at my brother’s funeral in 2021, but otherwise we hadn’t gotten together since before the pandemic, so it was fun to hang out for a few hours. We ate at Portsmouth Feed Co., in the old Pourtsmouth Savings Bank building in downtown, and I hadn’t been to Portsmouth for several years, either. The blurring of time from the pandemic really washes away one’s connections to the world.

The food was okay but not memorable. There are some barbecue joints around New England that do a good job, but there are a lot of mediocre places, and even some terrible ones. This was middling, but acceptable because the food wasn’t really the point. Frankly, I thought the mac & cheese was the best thing on the plate. The brisket was lean, which is how I prefer it, but without any serious smoke or bark. The sausage was spicy, but dry. There was a much better barbecue place in downtown Portsmuth a few years ago, but it closed even befoe the pandemic. Our server also seemed less than enthusiastic to have a table of geezers.

Anyway, we sat and chatted, then walked around downtown for a bit, before landing in a coffee shop to get out of the cold. All the kids are grown up and leading their own lives, some of the parents are passed away and others dealing with the ravages of afvanced age, and we’re not the wild and crazy guys we used to be, but there is an ease with old friends you can’t find anywhere else.