In Search of Cache Valley Cuisine

(Originally ran on October 27th, 2003)

Only a fool would drive a half-hour for a three-dollar hamburger. Unless, of course, the fool was me, and the hamburger was from Maddox in Brigham City. On more than one occasion I've taken a nice cruise through Sardine Canyon and put up with twenty-five miles of idiots that don't realize that you're supposed to yield the left-hand lane to faster traffic just to have a hamburger.

"Josh," you ask, "are Maddox hamburgers that good? Is there no place in Logan that can make a decent hamburger? Am I really supposed to use this lever on my steering column to signal my turning intentions?"

My answer to all three questions, dear readers, is yes. Oh yes.

Of course, I remain open to the possibility that there may still be a decent place in Cache Valley to eat, but I can be a tough sell. Growing up a lad in Davis County, I was perhaps the pickiest child on the face of the earth. I hated most everything from lasagna to tuna fish (still hate tuna fish, actually), yet for some unexplained reason I had a taste for McDonalds hamburgers. During the refining years of my adolescence at Tolman Elementary, I was a proud member of the "home lunch" crowd. The only time I dared eat school lunch was when they served hamburgers or what may have been chicken nuggets, even when I was a lunchroom worker.

Incidentally, can anyone explain to me what took place between the sixth and seventh grades to change lunch duty from the coolest, most coveted job in town to the haven of geekdom?

At times, however, I'd even betray the old reliables. In the first ten years of my life I estimate that I ingested approximately 2,376 of the Billions and Billions of hamburgers that McDonald's has served. I guess that was back before I lost my taste for horsemeat. Yet during one unfortunate but unforgettable episode I decided at my parent's kitchen table that the hamburger sitting before me was "too flat." I probably didn't like the Happy Meal toy, either.

Anyway, my parents officially hit their limit at that point.

"Too flat?" my mother asked incredulously, "you want to see too flat?"

And with that she reduced the already pathetic excuse for a burger to an unrecognizable skid mark with one stroke of her outstretched palm.

Of course, as I matured into the strapping young lad you know and love today, my eating habits also evolved, leaving behind the fast food excesses and finding a home among the finer restaurants in the dining Mecca that is Salt Lake City. * In the past eight years I've also ingested more than my share of nasty foods to avoid offending the charitable sensibilities of a kindhearted cook. I can think of few times in life when I've felt pure terror more than I did when confronted with a fresh plate of chitlin's.

But for the life of me, I can't find a good spot to eat in Logan. I'd ask you readers to give me suggestions, but I know you people won't write in to the paper unless I say something about gay marriage or George W. Bush, and I don't want to write about those topics. They're not funny.

So I suppose I'm stuck cruising Sardine for now. It's probably not such a bad thing; I can't afford to go out much anyway.

My cooking habits worry me, though. One of my recent Lee's receipts listed a purchase order of half a dozen hostess fruit pies, six packages of extra hot taco seasoning, and some grapes. (WARNING: Simultaneous consumption of the preceding items will result in death. The author's intent was to use the items in a variety of stimulating meals.)

Speaking of tight budgets, I'd like to take the time to congratulate Peanuts creator Charles Schultz for making 32 million dollars this past year for being dead. He's on a list Forbes.com put together of famous dead people that are still pulling in some serious bucks. Chuck came in second on the list to Elvis; maybe he'll pull through for the title next year. Actually, Chuck should be number one, cause the King ain't really dead, anyway,

Do you think tacos cause baldness?

*I'm not kidding about this. If you don't believe me, try the Thai Siam, the Red Iguana, or the Greek Souvlaki II. Then tell me that any place in Cache Valley can hold a candle to these places.