College is a dangerous world when it comes to home-cooked meals, which can be as lost as that homework due in 30 minutes.
Fortunately, there’s Fuel Café, a place in Midtown off Madison Avenue that can fill up any tired student with fresh-natural food that tastes as good as the food on your family’s kitchen table.
The owner of Fuel, Erik Proveaux, requires natural ingredients, all the way down to the condiments. “We are kind of like a restaurant version of Whole Foods,” Proveaux said.
After a hard day of slinging weights, I normally chug down a protein shake and call it a day. Today I need something more.
As my gym buddy Matt Freeman and I walk into this rustic gas station turned diner, we can’t help but feel slightly out of place. But who cares? Our sweat-drenched-workout tees might clash with the classic Americana décor of the restaurant, but we know what we are here for: The Bison Burger, a burger so juicy and lean that it won’t leave us hating ourselves tomorrow morning.
Fuel’s burger goes against the current trend of putting everything but the kitchen sink on the bun. They keep it simple, basic condiments, nothing fancy. The focus is on meat. The bison’s are grass fed and are not treated with hormones.
I’m hungry; I need protein. We don’t even look at the menu. Two burgers and fries coming up. A few minutes after we place our orders, we hear the sizzle from the kitchen, and the aroma of a meat almost as American as the Stars and Stripes fills the air. That kid in a candy store feeling over comes me as I anxiously twitch in my chair.
Then the food heads our way. Mountains of fries sit next to the burgers with cheese still bubbling on top. Matt and I laugh from sheer excitement. We put our diet of broccoli and boiled-tough-chicken breasts on hold while we try these patties that seem heaven-sent.
I dip one of the fries in the made-in-house spicy mayo to test if the mayo is worthy for my meal. It gets the green light, as I slather it on the burger. I take my first bite. It’s indulgent and practically guilt free. Juice runs down my hand and I wonder: Why haven’t I come here sooner for a burger with nearly half the calories of its beef counterpart that tastes just as good? Maybe even better?
Fuel Café gave us exactly what we wanted. Our primal instincts took over as we tore into the burger bite by bite. At $13, I can’t afford to indulge in bison burgers after every workout. But, I can easily see this meet up becoming a monthly-bro-date tradition.
Fuel Café; 1761 Madison Ave. (901) 725-9025