Goldilocks was onto something when she went around tasting the porridge of those three bears. One was too hot. One was too cold. One was just right. The lesson to be learned – aside from it not being cool to break into people’s homes – is that what works for some may not work for others.
For my grandma, she’s daunted by huge pieces of food set before her at your average American restaurant. She’s a tiny one, standing well below 5 feet tall in her inch-high orthopedic shoes. And she has a stomach to match. My stomach doesn’t hold much more.
So when she wanted a hamburger for lunch last Sunday I guess it was a misstep to take her to Ford’s Filling Station where portions run big. Lack of conversation let on her bewilderment as she quietly took a knife to her meal, cutting it into quarters and then eighths. She forked half over to me and Mikey. It was a passable burger for the most part – a hand-ground organic chuck smothered with blue cheese and caramelized onions – but it belonged on the plate of Papa Bear, not Baby Bear.
Down the street, the slab of meat and bun at Father’s Office is just as brawny, but mouthwateringly-juicy thanks to its dry-aged beef. The Gruyere, blue cheese and caramelized onions meld with the meat, making for a smooth, velvety burger. S. Irene Virbila isn’t a fan for that reason. I can’t get enough of it ($12; $4 cheaper than Ford’s).
We also tried the skirt steak sandwich – dressed with horseradish aioli and fried shallots – and a grilled eggplant sandwich with buratta cheese, leeks, peppers and pesto.
Blame my grinded-down molars but the steak's unrelenting nature kept me chewing and chewing (hmm, could I be as old as my grandma?). Again, a meal for Papa Bear. The eggplant was far more delicate and accompanied with a tasty red potato salad; Baby Bear for sure.
If I had a chance to offer Mr. Ford words of advice I'd tell him to change nothing. There's plenty of Papa Bears in this town. Enough to stay in business at least.
Ford's Filling Station
9531 Culver Blvd.
Culver City, CA