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Chef Will Make a BLT, but Customers Discover It Requires a Lot of Bread

October 11, 2001|STEVE HARVEY

I dropped by Dave's Burgers in Long Beach for the first time in a few years and noticed that he hadn't raised the price of a BLT. It still costs about eight times as much as a hamburger--more if you don't bring your own bacon (see photo).

Dave Terry, the ornery owner/chef, isn't kidding.

"BLTs leave too much grease, and it gets into everything," he explained inside his 63-square-foot stand on Atlantic Avenue. That means he has to stop his operation more frequently to clean the grill when he could be cooking hamburgers.

BLTs used to be quite a bit cheaper at Dave's because hardly anyone ever ordered them. Then a local businessman took a fancy to the dish, and pretty soon he was bringing in his employees and Terry found himself making eight or 10 at the height of the lunch hour.

Finally, Terry told him he just couldn't go on making so many BLTs. So the businessman said, "Well, raise the price. Make it worth your while."

Terry did and when the BLT lover came in the next time, and saw the double-digit prices, he said, "You weren't kidding when you said you were going to raise the prices."

He left, BLT-less.

Dave's (cont.): Occasionally, a newcomer will innocently question the BLT price structure. "Someone'll say I must have accidentally moved the decimal point over," Terry said. "And I'll look and say, 'Oh yeah, you're right. It's supposed to be $250."'

Language! George Zettler of Redondo Beach spotted an ad for a store where one wonders whether the customers swear by or at the prices (see accompanying).

Santa Ana slugger: So home run champ Barry Bonds is the modern-day Babe Ruth of baseball. But who was the Babe Ruth before Babe Ruth? It was a Santa Ana High dropout named Gavvy Cravath, who held the single-season home run record--24 in 1915--before the Babe came along.

Cravath later was a judge in Laguna Beach where he generated a few more headlines.

In 1956, he leveled a fine of two cents against a fisherman convicted of catching too many abalone. It was Cravath's way of showing his disapproval of the binocular-aided detection methods of state fish and game officials.

Columnist Robert Gardner of the Daily Pilot, a retired judge, recalled another incident when a resident came into Cravath's office and announced he wanted to file a complaint against another man.

"Why?" the gruff Cravath asked.

The resident told Cravath that the other man had called him a--well, a vulgar term.

"You are," Cravath said.

The lawsuit was never filed.

miscelLAny:

David Scully of L.A., who spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Latvia, brought back a snapshot of a hot spot with a familiar name from the East European republic (see photo).

"Pirts in Latvian means sauna," Scully explained. "Ar Infrasarkano Starojumu means 'with infrared tanning,' Masaza is 'showers,' and Frizetava is 'hair salon.' "

And bars?

"Bars," Scully said, "is self-explanatory."

The universal language of drinkers.

*

Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LA-TIMES, Ext. 77083, by fax at (213) 237-4712, by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A., 90012 and by e-mail at steve.harvey@latimes.com.

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