In the glass oasis on the northeast corner of City Gardens, I ate one of the best burgers I’ve had in a long time, one made more heavenly with the accompaniment of spicy fries and chili aioli sauce.
I was astonished when a nice young man from the kitchen delivered my plate and spent several minutes explaining that the burger, made from grass-fed beef, was so juicy and cheesy, I should take caution in eating it. Sometimes its ooziness cannot be contained, he explained. Now I’ve never had a tutorial come with my lunch; perhaps this is a service they provide all their senior citizens. Even so, it was a lovely touch, as well as entertaining.
Death in the Afternoon is the offspring of Adam Frager and T.J. Vytlacil, owners of the private dining club, Blood & Sand. The unusual name comes from the title of one of Ernest Hemingway’s non-fiction books about the glories of Spanish bullfighting and a drink that the writer created. Blood and Sand by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, is also about bullfighting, as well as the name of a cocktail. Hmm…I wonder if Adam and T. J. ever considered naming their glass café after Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie.
The hours at DIA are limited, they don’t serve dinner, and they’re not open on weekends. Still, the pleasant terrace seating and their exceptional lunchtime fare make it well worth the effort to get there. For those wanting a lighter lunch, there are soups, salads, and sandwiches, some with Asian and Mediterranean highlights. But it’s hard to pass up that burger.
Death in the Afternoon, 808 Chestnut St. Open: Mon.-Fri. 11a.-3p. Menu here. (Gone Out of Business)