Any time I would go to Delaware with my parents, we would all point and laugh as we passed by the Charcoal Pit. With its dark shabby appearance and sky-high neon sign, my parents and I thought it looked like the type of joint that gave you complimentary salmonella with your burger.
"Emily," my parents would say, "that's where your wedding reception will be one day."
"Never!," I would protest from the backseat.
Well, fast forward to 2014 and none other than President Obama decides to grab lunch at the Charcoal Pit. So now you're telling me this place, I thought should have been condemned decades ago, is now at the Presidential level? Absurd. Has to be a joke.
Horrified, I started asking my inner circle of foodies and found out this place is actually sort of really popular. Known for their milkshakes and burgers, it is a local staple. How did I not know this? Oh right, because I immediately judged it based on appearance and never gave it a chance. Oops.
I knew what I had to do. It was time to eat my words, literally.
Two years after President Obama left his mark on the place and I still had yet to go. Just so happens that I don't go to Delaware all that much (even with the tax free shopping). I wasn't avoiding going, it was just a bit of an inconvenience.
About two weeks ago, my moment came and this time, it was convenient. Almost as convenient as a champagne cork popping as I walk through the door after a long day at work (if only). Brit and I had an event in Wilmington for Tesoro and had to setup the Friday before the show. Our setup time was 1pm, so we left around 11:45 in case we happened to get lost. Lost we did not get, but we knew we would be hungry after setting up, so a brainstorming session ensued.
Like magic, the Charcoal Pit seemed to appear our of nowhere just as our stomachs pressured us to make a quick decision. "The Charcoal Pit!" I exclaimed. "Uh, what?" asked Brit with understandable hesitation. Explaining to her how they were known for their burgers, she was instantly sold and we agreed to stop on the way home.
I couldn't wait to tell my parents. They would be shocked. This is how I shock my parents, by going to restaurants we made fun of. Guess you could say I've been an easy child.
Lucky for us, setup took no time at all. Back in the car and towards the Charcoal Pit we went.
Practically skipping with delight, we walked in to find that the Charcoal Pit is an old-school diner.
Instantly cool (they have little jukeboxes on each table), it was like stepping back in time. At least I imagine that's what the 50s would have been like after watching countless episodes of Laverne & Shirley and Happy Days.
Barely needing to look at the menu, we instantly put our order in for a burger and fries each, hold the milkshakes. Brit was distracted for a moment when she spotted soft shell crab on the menu but quickly came to her senses.
Not kidding when I tell you the food came out before I had a chance to finish my word search on the children's placemats they gave us. Disappointed I had yet to find all the words (I'm not competitive...), I quickly got over it when I saw my burger.
You know when you go to a BBQ and your uncle does the grilling, but you love it because the burgers have that made with love taste? This was like that, but so much better. I wasn't surrounded by family (Brit was there but she's family by choice) and there weren't tons of little kids coughing on all the condiments. Quite the Kodak moment.
Naturally, on the way out we had to take a few pictures. No way was I leaving without photographic evidence that I did indeed eat at the Charcoal Pit.
And you know what else...I loved it.
Consider my words eaten.
Overall rating: full lip nudity