Two chomps into my second double-cheese-pickle, a question came to mind:
Do Huddy Burgers really deserve to be ranked among the planet’s best-damned hamburgers, or am I deluded?
To me there’s no debate.
These meat bombs are divine, proof that less really can be more.
I was initiated into the wonders of Hudson’s Hamburgers on a scalding July day in 1976.
I had just blown into Coeur d’Alene to take the sports editor’s job at The Coeur d’Alene Press. My editor, a lanky ex-Marine named George Cecil, took me to lunch, first explaining that we weren’t just going to lunch, he was introducing me to a civic institution.
A short walk later found us waiting for parking space inside the narrow, overcrowded Sherman Avenue landmark.
The great Roger Hudson, who has since gone to glory, was manning the small grill, cranking out burgers with a fluidity that can only come after at least 10,000 hours of practice.
As we waited Cecil filled me in on the eccentricities of the Huddy Burger. No lettuce. No tomatoes. And whatever you do, “for gawd’s sake don’t ask for fries,” barked Cecil. “Roger’ll throw your ass outta here.”
Pure hyperbole, of course. I always found Roger to be a good-humored gentleman, a natural storyteller and a generous guy.
Being a new kid in town, however, I felt the fear trickle into my toes.
And so it began, my love affair with the Double Cheese Pickle.
Don’t like raw onions – the Huddy’s only other veggie add-on.
I’m a ketchup guy, too. No other sauces will do. I squirt the ketchup into a plate pond and then dip my Huddy into it as needed.
But what makes these things more addictive than crack?
Roger once gave me a five-minute dissertation on the quality of the meat. It was quite expensive, as I recall. He also told me about grill temp and patty formation and a whole lot of other insider baseball stuff I’ve forgotten.
I’ve heard a few folks grouse about Huddy Burgers over the years. They can’t get past the lack of fries and frills, saying the burgers are too plain and overrated.
You’ll never convince me. I’ve got a 38-year Huddy Burger love affair going and there’s no end in sight.