November 19, 2009

Practically a First Name Basis

"Hubert arrived in a dream of mine last night," I texted a friend. This is just the latest of a long series of texts that began late last night when I had a brief, yet life altering brush with celebrity.

These texts weren't just knee jerk name dropping, but precise, well timed and calculated salvos of self-importance.

My friend's reply was perfect. He played along and swooned like the foodie I knew him to be. In the name dropping world this is referred to as the "direct hit."

"Wearing nothing but a chef's hat and an apron, he whispered, "you know, I could have kicked that stupid Italian Chiarello's ass."

I could feel his jealousy wash over me. "This must be what Palpatine felt when he threw Mace Windu out that window," I thought to myself.

My celebrity is Hubert Keller, world-renowned chef and owner of such restaurants as Fleur de Lys and Burger Bar. We encountered this French dynamo at the latter.

Oh the hair! The style! The utter machismo that is Hubert Keller. We watched him patrol his domain to watch over his underlings and sycophants unworthy of his love. But I was worthy.

"No, we didn't speak to Hubert per se," I told my mother. "But he did walk close to us, make eye contact, and say hello." I then paused for dramatic effect and repeated the words "Eye contact."

Food tastes better beneath Hubert's watchful smile as it beams at you from the menu, posters, LCD TVs, and in my case, the man himself.

My tasty, self-designed burger was paired perfectly with buttermilk onion rings, crispy fries, and an amazing vanilla shake stuffed with strawberries. My girlfriend's Hubert Keller burger of buffalo, caramelized onions, baby spinach, blue cheese and a ciabatta bun initially evoked jealousy from me. What is it the Hubert Keller burger does that I cannot? Was she going to leave me for Hubert? Did she even love me any more?

But I quickly got over that. If she's going to leave me for someone, I want it to be Hubert or his delicious burgers. I'm hooked and sporting a "Hubert Bonert." I'm just glad the two of us are such good friends now.

The San Francisco Burger Bar is located on the sixth floor of the Macy's located at Union Square. Though a tinge more expensive than your typical burger, the food is tasty and the view is great. Plus, Hubert.

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