Spring sprung early; famous burgers beckonBRIAN MATUSZAK: So it’s spring, the time of year that a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of love, but his tummy turns to thoughts of Gordy’s Hi-Hat in Cloquet.
It’s actually action news: Gordy’s is open again
So it’s spring, the time of year that a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of love, but his tummy turns to thoughts of Gordy’s Hi-Hat in Cloquet.
For the past week, Sue, Kaylee, and I have been scouring the Budgeteer to catch a glimpse of that Announcement Ad that trumpets the return of this famous hamburger restaurant for the season. If you’re from these parts, specifically the Cloquet-Carlton area, you know that Gordy’s is open for only a few months every year, but during that small window of meat opportunity (“meat-ortunity”), they move enough hand-pressed beef to close up shop at the first hint of frosty breath and head south for the winter.
So while Mr. and Mrs. Gordy are lounging on the beaches of Somewhere Warm, we are left to survive the winter without gooey double cheeseburgers overflowing onto flimsy paper plates the size of Matchbox cars, or family-size french fry boxes, piled high with golden brown yumminess. (Seriously, those fries are so good, Mother Theresa would slap your reaching hand away.)
Those Gordy-less months seem to stretch out forever — I usually start pulling a Daniel Day-Lewis and eyein’ up my left foot if they’re still not open around Easter — but this year, we lucked out. The Northland winter was so mild, the robins and barn swallows flew back early and personally delivered Mr. and Mrs. Gordy to their world-famous restaurant, where they quickly unboarded the windows and fired up the grill. In fact, by the time you read this, all three* news channels will have breathlessly covered Gordy’s annual opening as though it were some Earth-shattering event that had never before happened in the entire recorded history of Northland news (that distinction is held by WDSM radio host Brad Bennett when, early in 2010, he pre-read a news story). Channel 10’s Darren Danielson will sagely nod and pretend to listen as the latest blonde reporter rambles all around the Gordy’s story:
DARREN: So, Trixie, you say Gordy’s is actually open and serving hamburgers?
TRIXIE: That’s right, Darren. That’s exactly what I think I’m actually saying.
DARREN: Hmm. And what time did they actually start to serve food, Dixie, do we actually know?
PIXIE: Darren, I’m told it was actually somewhere around the lunch hour, which could actually be anywhere from 10:30 to 1:45.
DARREN: Hmm. Looks like folks actually have a reason to stop in Cloquet now. Thanks for that report, Mixie.
HIXIE: Well, it wasn’t actually too tough, Darren. I actually just dug out last year’s script from Renee Passal’s desk and here we are.
In fact, by the time you read this, Sue, Kaylee, and I will have made our annual pilgrimage to Gordy’s and, among the three of us, consumed sandwiches and piles of fries the size of Justin Liles’ head.
Because when “meat-ortunity” knocks, we answer that deep-fried door, baby.
Brian Matuszak has been difficult and demanding since February 2008. He is the co-founder of Renegade Comedy Theatre, founder of Rubber Chicken Theater, and needs a new Gordy’s T-shirt but has been afraid to go in the crowded restaurant foyer to find one. What if he loses his place in line?
*I know there are actually four local TV news channels, but remember, one of those is Channel 3. Technically, I’m still right.