Column: Memories of burgers past

• Originally published in the Kane County Chronicle on March 2, 2011

I suppose I shouldn’t feel slightly sad that a Five Guys Burgers and Fries recently signed a lease to open a restaurant at Geneva Commons in the spring.

But I do because it reminds me of all the food I shouldn’t – and don’t – eat anymore.

I was placed on a strict sodium-restricted diet earlier this year, and I have been very good to that diet. No more greasy pizza. No more submarine sandwiches loaded with processed meats and cheese. No more fried chicken sandwiches. No more burgers and fries.

And, no cheating. I can’t stick to a diet if I allow myself to cheat. I’m either all in with a diet or stuffing my face at a buffet. (I will, however, allow myself to cheat – just a little – for my birthday and at Thanksgiving. My self control can wait in the car on those days.)

The diet hasn’t been easy, but I’ve gotten used to it.

Along comes Five Guys, which has quite a cult following and is well-known for its burgers and fries. Even worse, I’ve never eaten at one. Before my diet days, I would have been one of the first in line to try it out.

However, those days have passed and instead I’m left with the memories of burgers past.

Of course, I looked at their menu anyway and I suppose I could get a veggie sandwich. But what would be the point? Seriously? It would be like going to a fancy steakhouse and ordering a house salad with no dressing on it. It would just make me sadder.

Instead, I will continue to eat my fruits, vegetables, pastas, rice and lean meats. I’m a healthier person for it. Though perhaps a slightly sadder one.

But I surely can daydream about burgers and fries – and that wonderful, magical, imaginary place where they are considered a health food.

Joe Grace is the editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at or call him at 630-845-5368.

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