Organic, schmorganic

illustration by MARK STIVERS

I get that it’s hip and cool for restaurants to be doing the fresh, local, organic thing. Their menus list every ingredient and cite the farms they source their tiny orange beets from and blah, blah, blah. Sometimes, though, I just want food that tastes good. Sometimes, I don’t care if the meat was humanely raised or if there’s more chemicals in my cake than in a university chemistry lab. Does it taste good? Excellent.

Take Hot Rods Burgers. Here is a place where the chili-cheese fries are almost guaranteed to stop your heart, and you can bet that the hot dog is most likely processed from many of God’s creatures and more of a scientist’s hard-to-pronounce fillers. The cheese has that shimmery oil-slick sheen that only processed cheese has, and the fries a mix of soft and crisp. Yet when you’re stupid drunk and need to sober up crazy fast, well, stumbling in there from Badlands is the best thing in the world. It’s hangover-slash-drunk food at its damn best. I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

I have a soft spot for joints like this. Good food doesn’t always have to be seasonal or fresh. Sometimes it just has to hit the right spot.