The Changing World

Isn’t satellite radio great?  You never have to change your radio station.  You can listen to “Willie’s Roadhouse” all the way from here to El Paso.  Satellite radio also gives you a chance to listen to old-time radio shows.  They have a station (maybe now it’s called a channel) Radio classics where you can listen to Gunsmoke, Bob Hope, Jack Benny and even the Shadow.  “Who knows what evil lurks . . .”  You know the rest.

The other day I flipped over to Radio Classics and guess what was on?  Duffy’s Tavern, “where the elite meet to eat.”  That got me thinking – where  have all the taverns gone?  When I was growing up there were taverns everywhere.  The corner tavern.

In high school, we were too young to go to a tavern.  There were drive-in diners and our favorite place, the “Parkway.”   You could go into the Parkway and for a reasonable price get a barbecue pork sandwich and a Coke.  And when no one was looking, you could carve your initials on the table.  You didn’t want to put your hand under the table.

I have fond memories of McDonald’s back in the 60’s.  You could get a burger, fries and a Coke for 35 cents.  Now that’s nostalgia.  In fact, as we were struggling to get me through law school, that was a big night out.

Now, there are all kinds of specialized burger places.  I’ve only been to 5 Guys a couple of times.  It seems like they only had about three tables, so I guess it’s mostly a carry-out place.  The burgers and fries aren’t too expensive and the grease is free.  Take a bunch of napkins.  BGR, The Burger Joint is a little more expensive, but the burgers are bigger.  BGR has on its menu “The 9 Pounder.”  It cost $80.00 and feeds 10-15 hungry people. It comes with a “river of Mojo sauce.”   I could devote a whole column to the 9 Pounder, but I’m going to stop right here.

The Springfield Mall is now the Springfield Town Center.  It went through a major renovation and is a vast improvement over the Mall.  You no longer have to fear being mugged in the parking lot.  They have a BGR and a Zinburger’s.  Zinburger is sort of an upscale burger joint.  I knew it was upscale, because when they gave me the menu listing burgers, they also gave me the wine list!  The Kobe Burger was $15.25.  No fries, they are extra.  But you can get double truffle fries for only six bucks.  Maybe a cabernet sauvignon is in order.  However, if you are ordering the Seared Ahi Sandwich, then, by all means, go with a white wine.

Written by PJ Rice at

Copyright 2017