Months after being advised to visit Roy's Big Burger, here, I finally made it to Northside for lunch there.
Anticipating long lines and men eating in their cars, we were surprised not to find the former but amazed to see the latter in spades.
There were two lone people waiting for pick-up when we arrived, but that was it.
I didn't even know they did hot dogs, but obviously I wasn't at a place called Roy's Big Burger for a dog.
Nope, I wanted a cheeseburger with grilled onions (my favorite burger add-on), fries and a chocolate shake.
The only difference between my friend's cheeseburger and mine was in the condiment department; I opted out of mayo and he declined ketchup.
We admired the rock sitting next to RBB's order checks (a legal pad), labeled "Security Department."
No doubt a deterrent, I have to assume that that's just how things are done in Lakeside.
Standing there waiting for our number to come up, I admired the simplicity of Roy's, a place that looks virtually unchanged from the vintage photograph of it in the window.
You know, the one with the sign advertising "35-cent quarter pound burgers on Merita rolls."
The car in the picture is clearly of another gas-guzzling era and the customers milling about are distinguished by how much better dressed they were than today's customers.
Well, that and none of them were obese.
When our order was ready, we took it to nearby Bryan Park rather than join the parking lot lunchers, who really were all men.
It's one thing to eat in your car at John's Drive-in at the beach with the ocean just across the street, but frankly there wasn't much appealing about eating alongside scenic Lakeside Avenue.
Shelter #3, on the other hand, provided tables and a shady escape on a sunny day.
I loved that the shelter had two enormous fireplaces at either end.
My friend commented on how wonderful and warm it would be in that shelter with both of them going on a cold day, making for a warm cold day.
That reminded me of how in my college days when my electricity was included in my rent, I would run the a/c but have all the windows open, to enjoy cool heat.
Luckily I outgrew that frivolous habit, but I think the concept is similar.
The glassless windows provided park views all around us.
It was a most pleasant place to unwrap our parchment paper-wrapped burgers and start sipping possibly the darkest chocolate shake I've ever sucked trhough a straw.
I don't know what I appreciated more, my greasy fingers or the grease stain left by my burger on the paper.
Either way, I scarfed mine down, along with fries and way too much milkshake (the beauty of which is enjoying dessert right along with the meal) while my manly friend ate only part of his burger and then wrapped up the rest for later.
So much for my dainty feminine appetite.
Afterwards, we watched two guys with red mohawks playing Frisbee golf and a less distinct-looking group of guys throwing things at a tree trying to retrieve someone's disc.
I'm no athlete, but clearly there are different hazards to Frisbee golf than the ball kind.
The only hazard to Roy's that my friend and I could think of was that a meal like that might put a person in need of a nap.
Or a coronary bypass, but the nap sounds so much more enticing.