toronado

The last burger

by Michael Alderete on 3/11/2003

I just ate the last burger. The last hamburger sold by Rosamunde Sausage Grill.

Rosamunde’s is a sausage place (hence the name), but on Tuesdays — and only on Tuesdays — they served SF’s best hamburger. A large 1/2 pound patty of incredibly good beef, grilled perfectly, with lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, melted cheddar, and your selection of Rosamunde’s fabulous mustards. For $4. If you never had one, you missed out. Because I had the last one.

I ordered it about 2:30pm. I had gone by earlier, and it was too crowded for me to wait in line, order, and wait for a burger. I mean, it’s just a burger, right? Except it’s not. But they’ll just make more, right? Except they won’t.

So at 2:30pm, I decided the crowd wouldn’t go away any time soon, and I should get one. (Actually, I planned to get two, one for Rochelle.) There was only one person ahead of me in line, although Rosamunde’s itself was packed with people eating their burgers.

Rosamunde's is packed

We both waited patiently, as the four men behind the counter worked their way through the 10 or so burgers that had come up and needed to be distributed. One guy on the grill, two setting up buns and fixin’s and doing assembly, and one guy running the register and The List.

The List turned out to be important. It’s the only way the chaos of a Burger-Day could be managed. At any given time during lunch, there are 20-30 entries on The List, with different levels of doneness, different condiments, special requests, and above all, a name for the person who gets to pay for and eat it. There’s a fixed number of burgers on a Burger-Day, 120, and when they’re gone, it’s over. Wait until next week. Except there won’t be a next week.

After the latest burgers got distributed, a quick count of The List showed that there were two burgers left. Two. The woman in front of me, one of the neighborhood’s crack whores, got one. And I got the other. A few minutes later, a gang of seven slackers turned away en mass when they were informed there were no more. Not “OK, I’ll have a sausage instead.” They just turned and left, all seven. Good riddance.

So I left and bought batteries, and took a now-working flashlight out to my car, and pet the cats. And went back for my burger. It was the second-to-last burger off the grill, but the last went to the guy running The List. Mine was the last one sold.

I took it next door to Toronado, ordered a Big Daddy IPA, and ate it.

It was good. It was the last one. Because today is the last Burger-Day.

The last burger-day

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