If my house suddenly went up in flames, I'd be breaking out the hot dogs. If the sun mysteriously changed trajectory and headed for Earth, I'd mutter a hasty prayer of thanks and buy up all the chopped liver from here to the asteroid belt. That's how well-done I like my meat—and, until last week, only the peeps at Beverly Hills' Sunset Café and the kitchen at the Lincoln, Neb., Holiday Inn had spared me the lectures and prepared the stuff accordingly. Everybody else has meant well, of course, but I don't think they get the extent to which I crave gutted fare. The Holiday Inn lady demonstrated her comprehension with a slight wince underneath her politeness. Understandably, she was taken aback when I asked for lighter fluid instead of steak sauce as a condiment.
The waiter at one local eatery, however, kept a straight face and did her job. What followed was some of the best fare it's ever been my pleasure to digest. If you like third-degree burns with your meal, please stop at O'Hungry's restaurant and dig in; the food is made to order, and for a place in touristy Old Town, it's more than reasonably priced. I got a 6-ounce filet mignon and 75 pounds of veggies (plus my choice of soup or salad) for an infinitesimal $10—and amid the skyrocketing cost of lighter fluid, that becomes a comparable bargain. (I could tell they'd done as I asked, too, and placed the steak in the microwave after cooking it by hand. Not a trace of red or liquid declared itself as I butchered my way through the meal.)
O'Hungry's has a full complement of burgers, salads, sandwiches and alcohol on tap. The latter includes a yard-high beer glass (it holds 25 ounces), but you need to go to 2547 San Diego Ave., between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. every other day to see it (the number is 619-298-0133). You never know but that glass may come in handy. When it comes to lighter fluid and my taste in meat, anything can happen.