Saturday, October 27, 2012

Like a Flash of Lighting, It was Gone

Back in the early '90's when I was living with my grandparents in southwest Michigan, I was introduced to Hot N' Now as the go-to place for a burger.  As farmers, they were more conservative with their cash and Hot N' Now provided the most bang for their buck.  Their burgers sold for 39¢ which was a great deal less than McDonald's which if I remember right, were selling for 69¢.  In Niles, this caused a burger war with McDonald's which began to sell hamburgers for 25¢ on Tuesdays as a special.

There were at least three places in the area but they all closed.  They had started getting a bad rap with perceived degrading quality.  In school, us kids were apt to call it "Cold N' Later."  The last one that I saw was in Charlotte.  Since graduation, I had heard of rumors of Hot N' Nows existing in far flung pockets of Michigan but I had accepted that I would probably would never see one again.

My sister texted me the other day and revealed that she had just visited one in Bay City.  I couldn't take this challenge lying down.  I couldn't go to Bay City either.  With a quick Google search I found out that there were only three locations left and would you believe that that there was still one in my own back yard.  Well, the backyard that I never visit.

Fifty miles away in Sturgis, there is a stand.  I went there this evening.  I hadn't been to Sturgis before and there was a Hot N' Now.  Good enough reasons for me.  Unfortunately, I discovered that the food from the 90's was nothing like the food that they serve now.  It tastes like the generic frozen foods that you can pick up at Walmart.  Blech.

I will have to remember Hot N' Now as that burger place, that for a precious few years, was a great place to get a fast, simple, and cheap-as-hell meal.  A place that my grandma would stop by when we were done with work on the farm.  A place that my dad would get a sack of burgers.  That weird place that was drive-thru only.  I'll miss it.

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