All of a sudden I have a craving for a hamburger from Ziske’s Grocery Store. This is problematic on two levels.

  1. I am in Boston, Ziske’s is (was) in Aitkin, MN.
  2. Ziske’s is no longer in the hamburger-making business (see #1).

But oh, those hamburgers! The counter ladies at Ziske’s cooked them to perfection on a grill that was always clean, but perfectly seasoned from years of making burgers and frying onions. Whenever I used to go in, there were at least 2 or 3 farmers at the counter, wearing feed hats, shooting the breeze with each other and the cooks. I’d get a burger with onions (a cheeseburger if I was feeling adventurous) and whatever my mom wanted (this was in the days when she worked at the Patchwork Shop, a fabric store that was a couple of blocks away). They’d wrap up the burgers in waxed paper, and put them in a brown paper bag. By the time I’d get back to the store, the grease would have seeped through the waxed paper.

Casey’s here in Natick comes close to those burgers, but it’s just not the same without the farmers.

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