Seasons change with the scenery

look-sunsetI was in Glen Burnie yesterday and had lunch at Gino’s. If you are a Baltimore kid like me, you’ll understand the significance of this; this was my first time in a Gino’s in – I’m not kidding – 40 years or so. Growing up in Baltimore, even in the nearby ‘burbs as I was, you were a McDonald’s kid or a Gino’s kid. (Yeah, there was Burger Chef, too, but somehow they were never really part of the debate in the playground.) I was definitely a Gino’s kid. It just felt right to be so, even when I didn’t fully understand that McDonald’s was the interloper in our city, while the other burger joint was the enterprise of Gino Marchetti, who played for the Colts before my time. The new Gino’s is more like Cheeburger Cheeburger than McD’s – the food is to order, they have specialty milkshakes, and they play oldies while you eat – but that was fine by me: it was good food, there was Old Bay and malt vinegar on the table, and I was at Gino’s again and just basking in the nostalgia.

That’s when they interrupted the music with the jingle. “Everybody goes to Gino’s…’cause Gino’s is the place to goooo…” Yes, it was a new band doing it, but OMG THEY STILL HAVE THE SAME JINGLE. Now I’m all the way back to the back seat of my mother’s car on Reisterstown Road, listening to the Gino’s jingle on WBAL or WFBR on an AM-only radio, maybe in between innings of the Orioles game…

…and then, in Glen Burnie, they went back to the music after the jingle, and it’s “A Hazy Shade of Winter” by Simon and Garfunkel. “Time, time, time…see what’s become of me…” Okay, now, that was really not fair.

Anyway, the new Gino’s is a great place for lunch, even if you have to do it in your sunglasses because you’re crying your way through the last of your French fries.

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