Now, when I say "went in search of" I really mean it. Abbey road is probably about 10-15 minuted from the office, but since we had never been there Wes took care of directions. Twenty minutes later while cruising around deepest darkest residential Cary we realized that Wes had actually googled the directions for Abbey Lane the road not Abbey Road the restaurant. By the time Dan and I had stopped laughing, Wes had corrected out course and we were back on track. What would have been an annoying detour turned into a bizzard trip through a campy Christmas wonderland when we had to turn around in a cul-de-sac where every house was covered from foundation to chimney in garish inflatable Christmas decorations somehow made tackier by the presence of pouring rain.
By the time we found the bar I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was a separate non-smoking section. I had been warned that although the food was good the place was smokey. Nothing kills the impact of good food like cigarette smoke. The walls of Abbey rod are covered in 45's, posters, magazine covers and pictures from the 60's and 70's. We were seated immediately by an efficient and pleasant if not overly friendly waitress and given enough room to peruse the menus. They do have a decent lunch menu with sandwiches and wraps, but we were there for burgers so the poor wraps got ignored.
All of the Beatles named burgers looked good, but I settled on the George - bacon and cheese with a side of onion rings. I haven't had onion rings in months and couldn't resist. Dan and Karen were much more disciplined and got salads while Wes committed 110% and went with cheese fries. I don't remember what burgers they ordered.
When the food arrived I was both pleased and dismayed to see that the patty was the size of my fist and just as thick. The first bite is always the best part, the most telling and the George did not disappoint. I got bun, lettuce, pickle, cheese bacon and burger all together but I could taste each element separately. The meat was perfectly cooked, medium rare and I got that wonderful dribble down my chin. It was a mess and I loved it. I don't usually think of myself as a tactile person but for some reason I need to feel my food. The crunch of vegetables, the tear of a steak the snap of an apple that's what is satisfying about food. That's what is missing, for me, from the mushy flat Quarter Pounder- the feel of it. This burger felt great, it felt satisfying.
And now , sadly, a word about onion rings. They should be rings. Circles of perfectly fried onion, easy to hold, easy to dip in ketchup and able to deliver onion napalm directly into the mouth, a painful but necessary part. They are not strips, the batter should not be hard and they should never EVER arrive in a clump.
I will happily return to Abbey Road when I get a burger craving but I'll be sticking to the fries.