What this town needs, my husband has been saying for years, is a really good burger.
God forbid we should get a McDonald’s or a Burger King — let alone a Walmart or a big Marriott. That’s not Dubois at all.
But the drive-thru burger joint on our main street, opened a month ago by a pair of locals, fits in handsomely.
Handsomest of all is that wonderful moose out front (of which more, later).
The Moose Outpost replaces an ice cream and coffee stand that failed last summer. The reasons why the Outpost ought to succeed say a lot about our town. It’s a commercial venture, sure, but it’s more.
Waiting for Travis to finish my car repairs today, I took the chance to nip across the street and order a cheeseburger. I was not disappointed.
Karrie and Bob Davis advertise that they’re serving fresh ingredients and hand-made orders at the Outpost. I couldn’t resist chomping down before snapping the photo.
As the patty slid around on the ciabatta bun and the tender onions tried to divorce themselves from that bright-red slice of August tomato, I had to run back inside for more napkins.
Just look at that lettuce leaf.
“So how long is your lease?” I asked Karrie, fully expecting her to say “through the end of the summer.”
“Five years,” she replied.
“And how’s business?” I asked.
Unbelievable, she said. She added that even the Sysco people are surprised at how much meat and produce she is ordering. But it’s also, predictably, crazy.
Her job ads haven’t brought in enough helpers. “If it wasn’t for my church family,” she added, “we’d never be able to make it.”
Burger stand as a church mission: That fits too. The venture is crucial for the town (which needs good eateries not only in the busy tourist season but year-round) and typical of the helpful spirit in this place that seems to run on volunteers.
As I sat on the porch enjoying my burger, I admired the magnificent moose from behind. He seemed to be guarding the folks at the picnic tables. The creation of Karrie’s Dad, artist and sculptor Vic Lemmon, he used to stand outside another restaurant that her family owned elsewhere in town. For a long time, he’s lived near the highway east of Dubois, in a spot where he wasn’t noticeable.
Inbetween, Kerrie told me, he’s has been shot at, stolen (and returned), inappropriately painted, and driven to Utah to oversee Christmas tree sales. Now he’s challenging the jackalope down the street as our town mascot.
Just yesterday, I read a post on TripAdvisor asking where to see a moose in Yellowstone. The odds aren’t great. But as they pass this way en route home, at least people can see what one looks like.
© Lois Wingerson, 2018
You can see new entries of Living Dubois every week if you sign up at the top of the right column at www.livingdubois.com.