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Two years ago, Mrs. Foozmich and I found ourselves in the Richmond, Virginia area. We had driven up for her office’s Christmas Party, and the next rainy winter day left us full of free time in this unfamiliar city. Through many twists and turns we found ourselves at a quaint little restaurant that we thought would be only a decent little hamburger shop. What we found was a life changing experience (for me anyway – the Mrs. complained of stomach pains afterward, but she is prone to illness). Two years later, during a visit to our very own Stuart Persons, I returned to Carytown Burgers and Fries.

When you first approach Carytown Burgers and Fries, you aren’t sure what you are getting into. You must first pass by the immense outdoor seating area in search of a place to place your order. Once you pass the threshold, you find yourself in a rather cramped room with the counter to place your order, the grills and kitchen machinery in plain sight! Surely a place of such small stature can’t produce anything of merit, you may scoff and think to yourself. The next things you notice are the chalkboards lining the back walls full of specials and options for you.

“Stuart, I can’t decide!” I yelled, “Worse, I can’t read all that with my poor vision, and a bunch of other patrons are looking annoyed behind us!”

“Slow down there and take this paper menu,” Stuart reassured me, “it has everything on the board and more!”

We stepped off to the side and looked at the menu. Choices galore! I saw combinations and sights that boggled the mind. Barbeque sauce on a hamburger? What liberal thinking! I settled on the “Bacon Cheddar Ranch” burger, as I like all of those things. I added an order of fries and a refreshing Diet Dr. Pepper as well, bringing up the combo price quite a bit. It was worth it though; as the saying I just invented goes, you only want your finest men in a battle!

After placing our orders, we took our place outside. There was additional seating in the floor above the kitchen, but it was a pleasant day, so the outside patio was an easy choice. Each moment seemed like an eternity as I waited for my meal to arrive. I was scared that maybe my order was lost, but perhaps more scared that it would not be nearly as good as my I remembered after two years of mentally building it up! Fortunately, as I was about to vent my anxiety to Stuart for a second time, our server came out the door with our food, quelling the first of my fears. Now it was time to face the second.

My burger and fries were both served in tiny individual containers, barely large enough to carry their cargo! I was afraid that in a moment of clumsiness I might tip the container, spilling my food onto the table and requiring me to throw it all away (I am a bit of a “germophobe”)! I gathered my composure and took a bite. Memories rushed back into my head from that glorious day two years ago in each magnificent bite! Everything was just as delicious as I had remembered. The ranch was hidden underneath the patty, delivering a payload of flavor without making a horrible mess on the table! Stuart and I completely neglected our prior conversation on toilet customs in China upon receiving our food, much to the delight of surrounding diners. We wrapped up our lunch and tossed the trash away, satisifed. I gave Stuart a hearty pat on the back, as if to say “Old friend, I now feel my life is complete”, and we headed out.

As we were leaving, I shook my fist at the nearby McDonalds.

“How can they even show their corporate faces around here? They are outmatched!” I shouted, taking the presence of the Golden Arches maybe a little too personally. Maybe not. I’ve never had a two year dream of going to the house that Ronald built.


WHAT’S GOOD

+ EVERYTHING

WHAT’S NOT

– It is two hours away from me.

FINAL RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

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