I am on a personal journey to find the best chicken sandwich. That journey led me to Lake & Irving, in Minneapolis, MN. It all started when I saw a grainy picture of the wouldbe sandwich in the back of a really bad magazine, right below a BDSM fetish ad.
After I stopped to pick up some shoulder-length latex gloves (20% off) and platform boots, I was on my way.
I took a seat at the bar. On my left, a lone woman desperately scrolling through her phone. On my right, two old-timers enjoying one of Lake & Irving's diverse beer selection. The waiter approached me:
Me: "I'm here for the c—"
Waiter: "Chicken sandwich? Fries or salad?"
What a beautiful interaction: simple, to the point; just how I like it. I want to speed through this next part, because this story isn't really about a chicken sandwich, no, this story is about what happened after Lake & Irving. First though, let me give praise where praise is due: the chicken sandwich at Lake & Irving is far and away the most delicious sandwich that I have encountered. The buttermilk-brined chicken receives a boost from the Duroc bacon. There is a healthy dose of pepperjack cheese, a pepperjack cheese that is the perfect amount of spicy and gooey. All of this is wonderful, but the x-factor, the element that really sets this sandwich off is the sourdough bread.
It is delicious.
If you are visiting, living, having an affair in Minnesota, go to Lake & Irving, NOW.
Things got really weird after I left Lake & Irving. I was on my way to a bookstore when a whiff of marijuana caught my attention. The nostalgic smell brought back fond memories of me being glued to a chair and Googling images of dogs wearing sombreros. I kept walking, only to find out the bookstore was closed. When I turned around to go back, I saw a woman, not much older than myself, in the passenger seat of a car coughing. I thought nothing of it until I caught the same whiff of marijuana — then I connected the dots.
I'm guess most people mind their own business and keep walking, but something made me stop. Then something made me turn around and go back to the car.
In the car were two, I would say, 30-40 something year old black women named Tasha and Amanda. I ducked my head in and asked them if they had any weed.
Amanda asked if I was a cop.
I was not.
When they determined I was "cool," Tasha magically pulled a joint from behind my ear or something and let me have a few drags. At this point I was standing outside of the car, getting high, and having some laughs with my new friends. I was about to leave when Amanda pulled a blunt out of nowhere, again!
They said they needed my help.
I always wanted to be a hero.
Amanda started cleaning her backseat full of little kid shit so I could get in. I jumped in and Tasha rolled the window up, which signals a hotbox. She lit the blunt and we were off. For the next 60 minutes I sat in a car with two black women whom I have never met, hotboxing their Buick. (Next commercial for Buick?) We talked about social injustice, their thoughts on police, white privilege, love, and much more. We laughed and cried and had real conversations about real things. I was sad when the blunt had dwindled to a roach. We exchanged numbers and said our goodbyes.
I was feeling sad about missing my new friends, until I woke up to this:
The point of all this?
Go try the chicken sandwich.
Don't be afraid to meet new people.
There is a sale on shoulder-length latex gloves.
Your Mother's Favorite,
Published by Nash Faulk