Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 19, 2012

Sometimes you need a burger

By JALETTA ALBRIGHT DESMOND
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— It was insanely delicious. And as I took the last bite of my Five Guys little cheeseburger, I marked the meal off my bucket list. For years, I had been wanting to try the famous burger. I had heard my friends rave about the messy meal, which is served in a brown sack filled with equally delicious and greasy French fries. The closest Five Guys is 45-minutes away from Mercer County, tucked inside the busy Hokie-friendly city of Blacksburg, Va. I have seen the sign, even driven past the restaurant, but never stepped inside the doors. I was always too busy shopping, driving to a game or looking for a healthier option.

This past weekend, I decided I needed a cheeseburger.

I don’t know if it was stress from work or just a random craving, but my taste buds were rebelling against salads, wraps and grilled chicken. I wanted a cheeseburger and French fries, with loads of ketchup — stat. I was already in North Carolina for the weekend, set to attend an indoor cycling workshop. The triad area — Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point — is home to several Five Guys locations. I told my cousin, who generously offered to take me out to eat on Saturday evening, that I wanted a cheeseburger.

He raised his eyebrows in disbelief. A former football player with a big appetite, he was more than ready to grant the request. Even I was a bit surprised. I am not a vegetarian. Nor have I ever really considered the option. I like meat, but I like salads better. Plus, I was there to receive my certification to teach indoor cycling at a local fitness center, not eat a cheeseburger. It was odd.

My friends, who knew my Saturday night destination, gave some tips. My friend Kristy said to order the little cheeseburger. A kid’s meal? Not really. I discovered a little cheeseburger has one patty; a regular cheeseburger is really a double cheeseburger in disguise. Secondly, I was warned about the French fries. Who gives warning about fries? In this restaurant, the fries are served in a brown bag. The workers place the bag on top of the fries and using a cup, scoop about two or more servings into a bag. Holy ketchup. They weren’t kidding. When I sat down at the table, I peeked inside the bag. Sure enough, the burger, wrapped in aluminum foil, sat on top of what seemed like a 100 fries. I immediately went back for more ketchup. The meal was epic. My cousin took home my leftover fries for a midnight snack.

Sometimes this girl needs a cheeseburger. It happens. A lot of times, coworkers and friends will ask questions about fitness and healthy food option. I am happy to answer. I love healthy food. When I eat healthy grains, fruit, veggies and good protein — eggs, peanut butter, chicken and turkey — I feel better. I can exercise hard, knowing I have fueled my body with proper foods. I am not a nutritionist, nor do I always know the best diets or foods for a healthy lifestyle. I only know how nutrition and exercise affects my lifestyle. The right tools — magazines, books, websites, personal trainers and nutritionist — are there to help us choose between the salad and French fries. Last weekend, I had both. It was a good balance. I need vegetables in life. And at times, I need a cheeseburger, just not everyday.

I am certified to teach indoor cycling now. It was a long day — eight hours inside a gym and two journeys on a bike. I didn’t share my dining experience with fellow classmates until one woman confessed to buying cheesecake the night before. 

Back home, my friends and family wanted to know about the workshop. I told them all about the gym, the bikes and how much I learned from the instructor. And of course, I also told them about the cheeseburger and fries.

It was worth every calorie and spin on the bike.

Jamie Parsell is the lifestyle editor of the Daily Telegraph. Contact her at jparsell@hotmail.com.