EDITOR’s NOTE: This was written pre-pandemic. So there are safety guidelines in play when ordering. Make sure to check the Sullivan’s website!
It’s the most wonderful time, of the year…Sullivan’s has officially opened! There is no sign spring is on it’s way as powerful, as beautiful, and as fattening as these four simple words: half-price hot dogs.
That’s right, Sullivan’s is back. And with all the jamokes who don’t know the Sully’s Rules (PS Hey, TLC! Sully’s Rules – about the goings ons in Sullivan’s is actually a show I’d watch)
Sure, there is no brighter light at the end of the winter tunnel. It truly warms my soul and then it drives me nuts at the same time.
We live in a civilized society, and as members of polite (or even polite-ish) society there are rules, both written and unwritten we agree to follow. These rules extend to a trip to Sully’s; written rules like, I can’t punch you in the back of the neck if you order the last batch of onion rings, and unwritten rules like, you can’t order a cheeseburger medium rare with bacon and fried egg.
Ok, now that I have explained what rules are (some of you needed the primer, I’ve seen the way you behave in public and it’s appalling). Sullivan’s is a tiny place and we all have to share. Whether you’re a lifelong neighborhood gal such as myself who has never missed an opening weekend (yes I’m proud of both of those facts and if you don’t like it you can take a flying leap off Fort Independence), or you’re some hipster foodie who heard about it on Chronicle, we’re all in this together…for better or worse.
That’s why I, your homegirl Heather, am here to help. You could call these my tips, but let’s just pretend they’re hard and fast rules. And since I’m not really your homegirl just assume I’m behind you in line ready to pounce. Also, pretend I’m wicked tough and you would actually be intimidated if you saw me and my lumbering shoulders in a dark alley.
First things first: before you even step foot in the door, leave your gigantic stroller outside. It’s tight in there – barely enough room for people, never mind your double jogging stroller, or your bike, your kid’s scooter, your dog, your nephew on rollerblades, your cousin on their pogo-stick, the cooler full of fish you just caught at the Sugar Bowl, your easel and paints, or anything else common sense should tell you to leave outside. Thank you in advance for realizing you are not the only person on the planet. It took you a while to get you there, but I’m proud of you.
Now that it’s just you, take that moment of to figure out what you’re going to order when you walk up to the register. The lines this weekend will (hopefully) be shorter than they are in July, so you won’t have that 15 – 84 minutes to hem and haw about whether to get fries or onion rings (get them both,ya dummy). You are wasting everyone’s time and testing everyone’s patience, especially mine (remember, I’m behind you and I’m terrifying and I have a short fuse). Everything is very good in a very bad way; you really can’t go wrong, so just friggin’ pick something and move on.
Did I say move on? Yeah, I meant it, like literally. Get out of the way. It’s very simple: place your order, check your number on your receipt, then move all the way to left and back away from the counter. I hate when people order their food, take a couple steps to the left and camp out in front of the counter to wait for their food. Do you think your food is going to magically appear? Like some little clam strip genie is going to fold her arms and blink her eyes* and BAM your food appears? Sorry but that’s not how food works. Unless you’re just getting a coffee you will have to wait a few minutes for your order, and if you are just getting a coffee may I suggest living a little? If you go camp out at the counter immediately after you order that means everyone else has to maneuver around you when their number is called, and they hate you, they hate you so much…seriously my friend (who should have known better) did this once and a Russian lady yelled at her, it was great. And while we’re at it, why do you think that your order will magically appear out of thin air while everyone else has to hang back and wait? Head to the back and pretend to think about buying a membership to the Castle Island Historical Society, aka the CIA, while you’re really just trying to avoid talking to an annoying person you know from 100 years ago who also decided to have hot dogs for breakfast like all the normal people, please.
Are we good? Did you say hello to Chris Lane? What’s that you say? You don’t know Chris? ) Well, you still have to say hi to him, it’s one of my rules.
Once you have your cardboard box of food, you’re faced with a pretty big decision: Where to eat? Your choices are: outside around Fort Independence; in the car; or you can take it home. Decisions, decisions. Personally I always eat in the car or take it home, but that’s partly because I don’t like people seeing me eat (issues) and partly because birds are effing disgusting.
I know Castle Island is beautiful and I’m very lucky to have such natural splendor in my backyard, but it’s tough to enjoy my cheeseburger while the jerk next to me is feeding the birds. You know what happens when you throw your last few fries and then take off? The flea-infested pigeons and seagulls on steroids don’t leave (seriously, is there anything scarier than an urban seagull?). Instead, they multiply, hover just overhead, and dive bomb everyone in your vicinity. And if your little special snowflake wants to feed the birds? Well this is a great opportunity to teach him that there are other people in this world, other people that maybe don’t want to get Bubonic plague from the flying rats you call birdies.
Are you still overwhelmed about hitting Sully’s opening weekend? Need a little more guidance? Okay, go with the cheeseburger with extra cheese, a hot dog (I’ll let you decide the toppings, if you can’t handle at least that I’m sorry we can’t be friends – it’s not me, it’s you), French fries, and onion rings.
And here’s my final tip, the greatest insider tip of all: Order two Pepsis, so everyone thinks the food is for more than just you, you don’t need that kind of judgement in your life.
*Yes I said the clam strip genie is a she! Women can be anything they want, even genies, you misogynist.