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Burbank

Bloody Mary ~ Bob Hope Airport ~ Burbank

10:00 AM PDT on September 12, 2007

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Bob Hope Airport ~ 2627 N. Hollywood Way Burbank, CA 91505

"Bloody Mary...Bloody Mary... Aahhhh." Remember turning off the lights and standing in front of the bathroom mirror with your eyes closed, conjuring Bloody Mary with the beady red eyes? If you're interested in what's wrong with you (why are you locking yourself in the restroom with the lights off), check out folklorist Janet Langlois' 1978 essay "Mary Whales I Believe In You." Or, try South Park, episodes "Hell On Earth 2006" and "Bloody Mary". Now, our gruesome friend known as the "mirror witch" is unrelated to the iconic breakfast beverage. However, if you wake up one morning to find out that you, actually, are the mirror witch, I can recommend a remedy.

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Here we see the main mixings of home style "Mary, Mary.. why ya buggin, properly stored like my collection of severed hands keeping in jars of formaldehyde. Here is positive proof that at Bob Hope Airport, Bloody Mary is #1. After recieving a tip from an old UCLA alumni about the Bloody Marys at the terminal lounge restaurant of the airport in Burbank, I put on my traveling shoes and booked a ticket to nowhere. Who doesn't love airport bars. The busy buzz and aimless meandering of life at the cross roads, killing time and making it on time, checking in and checking out. Alas, this welcoming restaurant lounge/bar is not for ticketed passengers only, and temporary parking at Burbank Airport is a hop and skip from the terminal. A junior landing strip compared to LAX and Ontario, Burbank is frequented by small planes, pornstars, and boozing Bloodhounds in pursuit of the ideal Bloody Mary.

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A lot can been said about the Bloody Mary- Who is she? Will she scratch my eyes out? Bartenders Fernand Petiot and the late, great George Jessell, the "Toastmaster General of the United States", both claim to have invented this healthy as-it-is hazardous hangover cure-all of repute. However, historians and drinkers tend to champion the Parisian, Fernand Petiot (1900-1975), bartender at Harry's New York Bar in Paris of the 1920's. In 1933, when Petiot became head bartender at the St. Regis Hotel in N.Y.C, his basic tomato and vodka recipe took a turn for the spicier so as to quell his thrill seeking clientele. The Bloody Mary is not named for the murderous inquisitor, Queen Mary I of England, or the headless Mary Queen of Scots. According to Fernand, “one of the boys suggested we call the drink ‘Bloody Mary’ because it reminded him of the Bucket of Blood Club in Chicago, and a girl there named Mary.” Try saying that in your best French-Manhattan accent.

Here's what Fernand had to say to the New Yorker, 18 July 1964:

“I initiated the Bloody Mary of today,” he told us. “George Jessel said he created it, but it was really nothing but vodka and tomato juice when I took it over. I cover the bottom of the shaker with four large dashes of salt, two dashes of black pepper, two dashes of cayenne pepper, and a layer of Worcestershire sauce; I then add a dash of lemon juice and some cracked ice, put in two ounces of vodka and two ounces of thick tomato juice, shake, strain, and pour. We serve a hundred to a hundred and fifty Bloody Marys a day here in the King Cole Room and in the other restaurants and the banquet rooms.”

Oh, by the way, it is considered "uncivilized" to serve B.M.s after 6pm. Well, what time is it in France- it is, after all, the only truly civilized nation... Don't gag on that extra spice!

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Here we have the "simple breakfast" chosen from a simple loose leaf breakfast menu. Huevos "sonriados", bacon and home-style potatoes. Indulge to the sound of flight announcements and the shrill whistle of a coffee steamer. You won't miss your flight waiting for the grill to warm up. Despite the rush of passengers and flight attendents, the restaurant staff were calming, kindly, and prompt. The first thing Theresa says when I ask for a Bloody is "Spicy- right?!" I say "Oh, yeah!" Eat at the bar and watch her mix it up in a big pint glass. She includes a fat lemon wedge, a little half lime, an olive speared to another lemon wedge, and a hefty branch of celery. Unbeatable.

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The "simple breakfast" is delectable. The well seasoned potatoes grilled with onion and bell pepper strips have a dense, slow baked consistency. Spear the egg yolk with a brittle, uneven strip of bacon. Because it is sliced so thin and fried so right, the bacon fat melts on your tongue. The Burbank airport does justice to bacon and eggs simplicity.

Bloody Mary recipes.

Bloody Mary history.

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