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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Last Cheeseburger in Paradise

The Mr. and I tend to avoid the chain restaurants, but once in awhile, we decide to give in and try one.  Just so happens, our local Cheeseburger in Paradise has been open 9 years and we've never been inside until we stopped in for lunch.

I immediately feel a little bit like a tourist in a beach town trying to meet preconceived stereotypes about what a dive-by-the-shore should like like morphed with a sports bar complete with about a dozen flat screens tuned to various athletic events and news.  No identity crisis happening here and as long as the food is good, I can look past the decor including a sign that states, "No visitors PASSED this point."  Ugh.

Like most of the big box restaurants, a number of menus are available to choose food and drink and include table top cards calling out specials by the day.  I decide to simply ask for a margarita on the rocks (I don't like the frozen version) with a salt rim and was happy to receive this version:

Next thoughts on a cold January day in the North East are for soup.  I scanned the offerings repeatedly and could not find a soup and just when I was ready to give up, I saw gumbo and knew that would be a perfect starter.

The gumbo was both hot and warming.  The broth was thick and stocked with flavors

For the Mr. a mushroom Swiss burger.  Unfortunately, I cannot show scale well in this photo, but the burger was quite large and it took some concentrated effort for him to finish the meal.

For me, the Shrimp Po Boy.  The shrimp were battered and fried then drizzled with both tarter and cocktail sauce.  I'm not much for battering and frying, but the shrimp were fairly juicy and the fries were fabulous.  I left the roll behind and ate the contents of the sandwich with a fork.

We were checked on throughout the meal by a very smiling and polite young lady.  Hours after we left, I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and someone posted they were at Cheeseburger in Paradise for the last time.  Yes, it's true.  We were able to get in just before the doors closed.  Rumor has it another chain will be calling the location their own, but how does this happen.  The grapevine also indicates the staff were not made aware of the closing until it was happening (likely to ensure they had staff for the finale, but it hardly seems fair).

Well, we hand a nice lunch date and the dubious honor of being among the last diners to visit the area's Cheeseburger in Paradise.  We were Fed Well and look forward to returning to the small and privately owned restaurants in the area we have come to love.