April 16, 2009

Bubba Bernie Smiles on Hawthorne.

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I know, I know. I've got to stop. Enough already with the 12th and Hawthorne food carts! But I'm not quite done. You see, the last couple of times I've been over there, Bubba Bernie has been perched on the picnic table by his cart. He sells Po' Boys, Pastrami Sandwiches, Hot Dogs, including a Monster Chili Dog and a Bacon Dog (!!), Jambalaya and other such Louisiana delights.

He's an older guy, with white hair and a chef's coat and hat. His bright red trailer looks shiny and new. "What's good tonight?" I asked him as I looked over the menu. "Everything's good every night," he said matter-of-factly. Then, as if giving a second thought to his helpful statement, he said "How hungry are you?" "Medium," I said. "Then a sandwich'l do ya." Perfect.

I ordered the pastrami sandwich, with mustard and pickle ($6.75). I watched him slice it and toss it on the grill. "You want your mustard and pickle on the sandwich or on the side?" "Oh definitely on it," I said. What a great sandwich. Pastrami just warm enough for the fat to be all melty and easily consumed, on outwardly-crispy, inwardly-fluffy french bread, with tangy mustard and a crunchy pickle. No other vegetables distracting or watering down the simple pleasure of the meat and bread. I loved it. (Of course if you want lettuce and tomato, they are available upon request.)

Tonight I went back with my parents (I'm trying to expand their horizons) and my mom ordered the shrimp po'boy ($6.75). I ordered. The. Monster. Chili. Dog. Onions? Yeah. Cheese? Yep. Knife and fork? Yep. My mom got her sandwich first. A french roll stuffed to over flowing with crispy deep fried shrimp, lettuce and tomato with a just-spicy-enough remoulade. She was a little overwhelmed. We all picked some shrimp off to help her out. Then she managed to eat it, but not without considerable stretching of her mouth!

The Monster Chili Dog ($6.00) came out a few minutes later - a big fat long hot dog, smothered in chili and onions and cheese. The chili was slightly sweet - and had a subtle heat that woke up my tongue. In a bite with the salty meat, the melty cheddar, the crunchy onions - the chili brought them all together into a mouthful of guilty pleasure. Monster is right.

Both times I've eaten at Bubba Bernie's, he's come out of the trailer afterwards and asks how we like our food - and he asks with a confident smile on his face, like he knows what we're going to say. He seems pleased when I answer that everything tastes great. I think he knows - his food rocks.

So when you see Bubba Bernie perched on the picnic table, be sure you head over to the bright red trailer and order some good Louisiana food.

Bubba Bernie's
SE 12th and Hawthorne Food Carts
6 pm - 12 am M - Th
6 pm - 2 am F - Sa
(He'll stay open later if business demands!)