Who wants Burger King when there’s the Putah Creek Cafe?

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Enterprise columnist

The burger wars rage on down here on Far West Russell Boulevard, and some folks in town didnÕt have it their way at the Winters Planning Commission meeting last week. Despite much outcry from the public, in the end, the Planning Commission had no legal reason to prevent the construction of a Burger King in Winters.

This just devastated some folks, who are sure Burger King will be the end of life as we know it, because itÕll foul our cityÕs entrance with ugly, plastic corporate clutter (unlike the Chevron station thatÕs already there, or the Round Table and Subway just beyond it). Others are dismayed about the negative health impacts from all that junk food being allowed into town (because bacon double cheeseburgers and fries at Putah Creek Cafe are completely calorie-free).

Some folks just donÕt want our townÕs image to become synonymous with Burger King, ignoring my recent report on a McDonaldÕs, KFC and Taco Bell all at the gateway to Healdsburg, which is cute, classy and cozy, and what we wannabe. Visitors neither notice nor care about those establishments, nor do they associate Healdsburg with McDonaldÕs, let alone travel there to visit Ronald and friends, but the angst-ridden were unconvinced.

For some, Burger King is the end of the world in Winters. Personally, I view the abrupt closure of the Irish Pub & Coffeehouse as the end of the world in Winters, but there wasnÕt even a peep down at City Hall about that. Which illustrates that people prefer different businesses, and here in America weÕre allowed to spend our money based on those preferences, even if it disgusts others.

Some prefer to coat their arteries with sludge from a flame-broiled Whopper, others prefer to drink Guinness, belt out ÒBlack DogÓ on karaoke, dance until midnight and work the stripper pole in peace. At least the Whopper lovers will have a choice. Those of us who were one of the names everybody knows at the Irish Pub arenÕt so lucky. Sure, weÕve migrated to DeeDeeÕs Bar & Grill, but nothingÕs ever like your first love.

Although thereÕs no stripper pole, Kaycee (the Queen of Karaoke) has relocated to DeeDeeÕs, taking the sting out of it for us former Pubsters. And, DeeDeeÕs will soon have a full-fledged kitchen, complete with calorie-free burgers. Just think Ñsomeday, you wonÕt have to choose between a burger or Guinness-fueled revelry. YouÕll be able to have it all your way at DeeDeeÕs.

(Note to City Hall: DeeDeeÕs is across Putah Creek and therefore outside city limits. ItÕs bustling most of the time. Wonder how much sales tax floated across the creek into Solano County when the Pub closed. Ah, well, itÕs all water under the bridge now. Or, rather, sales tax revenue over the bridge. No wonder you need Burger King.)

But DeeDeeÕs is well-hidden among the oak trees on the south bank of Putah Creek. You have to know about it to even find it. What about that big, ugly Burger King at the gateway to Shangri-La? At last weekÕs public hearing, several people commented, ÒWe donÕt want to look like Woodland and Davis and Dixon.Ó Ouch, Davis Ñ lumped right in there with those other horribly average communities! I guess this is a good time to break it to you, Davis, because I know you think youÕre the prettiest girl in the room, but, well, some of us think your butt looks kinda fat. Must be all that junk food.

Yeah, down here on Far West Russell Boulevard, us Mean Girls really donÕt think youÕre all that. The KFCs and Taco Bells and McDonaldÕs É totally fugly. ItÕs all anyone notices. When people think of Davis, theyÕre not thinking about the university or greenbelts or bicycles or ostentatious self-importance, theyÕre thinking Òjunk food.Ó Once thereÕs junk food in town, everything else just disappears.

Ha!

Had you going there for a minute, didnÕt I, Davis! Relax Ñ youÕre still cute and quirky as ever (not as cute and quirky as Winters, of course, but cute and quirky nonetheless). Trust me, nobody notices your cornucopia of junk food or heads to Davis for Chicken McNuggets. DonÕt worry, your butt still looks great in those jeans. I was just using you to make a point Ñ nobody associates Davis with junk food and nobody will associate Winters with it either. WeÕve got more going on than that. Dixon and Woodland? Not so much.

In the end, Burger King will be nothing more than a colorful blip you pass on the way downtown. The only ones whoÕll notice it are I-505 drivers, swinging in for some tasty death on a bun, dropping a few dimes into our city coffers, and splitting.

Where will visitors be headed now? Step aside, Buckhorn Ñ Putah Creek Cafe is the cutest chick in town now, and poised for national stardom on the Food NetworkÕs ÒDiners, Drive-ins and Dives.Ó Filming began last week. Better call ahead if you want a luscious calorie-free Putah Creek Burger, because once that show airs, itÕll be packed. But, no worries, you wonÕt go hungry. Just down the sidewalk, CodyÕs has plenty of calorie-free burgers, and if theyÕre full too, thereÕs tapas at Ficelle, paninis at Steady EddyÕs, char roast at The Buckhorn, pork carnitas at ChuyÕs, and, and, and.

My point being, nobody goes hungry in Winters. If downtown Winters had a slogan, it would be ÒThis is Where We Eat.Ó Not ÒHave it Your Way.Ó Not ever. So, quitcher fretting about Burger King, folks. Putah Creek Cafe has saved WintersÕ reputation. ThatÕs the place to be.

Now if they could just put in a stripper pole.

Ñ Follow Debra DeAngelo on Twitter. Links are posted at and http://www.edebra.com http://www.wintersexpress.com. Find Debra Ôs columns online at http://www.wintersexpress.com, http://www.edebra.com and http://www.ipinion.me

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