Stop number three.
Motz’s is south of the ballparks downtown, which are very close to Canada. I had no idea that the closest point to Canada in Detroit was on the southeast corner.
When I got to Motz’s it was 5:30 and they closed at 6:00. I had the place to myself. About ten stools in front of a long counter. The waitress asks me what I want, so I go with a double, no onions. While this is cooking, we start talking.
I tell her that I’m from Atlanta, and I’m here on the Hamburger America trail. She says, “So you know George? He’s the NICEST guy.” I ask her how long the two of them have been working here together. She says for the entire fifteen years she’s worked there she has worked this shift. Tammy, on the grill, has been there twenty-seven years. The girl that makes the burgers on the morning shift? Forty-three.
You know, there’s a lot to be said about working in a diner for THAT long. You get to know each other. You get to know your customers (several other folks came in while I was there and Tammy knew their orders and their names). And you really get to know how to make a burger. The burger?
This was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had, in its simplicity. Two eighth pound patties. Steamed bun. Mustard. Ketchup. It was incredible.
I left out an ingredient. I asked Tammy what made her burgers so good. “I add a secret ingredient.” What is it, you ask? “I put a little love in each burger.” Then she laughs.
I did, too. Then I ordered another burger, for dessert.