Monday, February 21, 2011

Detour Grill and Bar

2855 Seckman Rd
Imperial, MO
The Place:
A little tricky to get to from our house, Angel’s beloved TomTom led us by it’s estimation of best route, though there must be a less complicated way to get there.
Detour is locally owned and operated by three guys that grew up in the vicinity. This is their first establishment together and one of the area’s newer grills.
It’s located in a new strip mall amidst a few thousand suburbanites. Imperial covers a lot of territory, this particular piece is on the edge of reasonable commutability. Parts of Imperial are rather remote, rural. This chunk is just a little closer to Metro St. Louis and popular amongst commuters. Houses are newer and pricier here.
There were several cars in the lot. None of the neighboring units of the shopping center had occupants yet, so the cars were for patrons of Detour.
Definitely a newer place, everything was clean, modern and relatively unscuffed. The bar was crowded and noisy. There was sports on the various TV screens and 80’s and 90’s music pouring from the sound system. The group at the bar was raucous, some had apparently been quaffing for most of the afternoon. Unlike the jeans and overalls that populated Hillbilly’s last week, the patrons here were more upscale, and older. Not OLD, just more mature, retirees and near retirees, dressed in suburban casual khakis and polo shirts.
The dedicated dining area was to one side, barely isolated form the imbibers. This area too was new, modern, sleek. The carpet was dark though colorless, the walls pale, lined at the bottom half by rather cheap looking wood paneling and at the ceiling an orange* and black diagonal stripe theme representing the colors of warning signs at road construction areas… Detour, get it?
We were seated at one of the booths, black on black. We were handed menus and left alone for a few minutes. The menu was smaller and less populated than at Hillbilly’s but there was still quite a variety. We were waited upon, asked for our drinks, tea, tea and Pepsi, and at the same time asked if we knew what we wanted to eat. We said yes and gave the order. The young lady just looked at us and nodded, not writing a bit of it down. This made me nervous since I know how lousy my memory handles short term lists…meaning not well at all. She seemed confident though, and to her credit got it all correct.
The Food:
Angel and I ordered the 12 oz. NY Strip Steak, salad and baked potato. I ordered my steak a bit pinker than Angel’s because I’m a man. Adam asked for the nine inch meat lover’s pizza. Nothing but meat, four or five kinds from at least two or three different kinds of animal. So there vegans, vegetarians, wiccans, etc. We eat meat and we are not at all ashamed of it. Go ahead and suck on your tasteless, vile soggy piles of kale and tofu… we’ll take the dead animals and plenty of them thank you!
The tea was tasteless, which is one step below unremarkable. No effort at all.
Our salads were delivered along with a hot roll and a small condiment packet of ‘whipped spread’; it didn’t even pretend to be butter. The rolls were very good, the whipped spread melted right into it. Angel didn’t partake of the spread, Adam sat and played with the spare condiment packet as we dug into our salads.
The salads were pretty good. There were olives, tomato chunks, shredded white cheese, iceberg lettuce (some too-large chunks) and red onions. The dressing was tossed in for us rather than sitting on top in a glob. It wasn’t too big so there was plenty of room for the meat.
The main courses arrived in good time, post-salad and pre-boredom. The 12 ouncers’ looked bigger, the foil-wrapped potatoes were huge. There was enough butter and sour cream in them to cause a dozen or two cardiac events. I unwrapped mine completely, Angel left hers in the foil. I like potato skin and this was almost crisp. Delightful. The skin is were all the vitamins are.
The steaks were broiled perfectly, though Angel said she didn’t care for sear marks. But added “as you can see I was really disappointed”, what she was pointing to was the area of the plate that used to host the steak, now completely barren. I like sear marks on steaks since that is about the only evidence that there was any cooking involved at all the way I order them.
Adam’s pizza was well populated, bacon, pepperoni, burger, Canadian bacon, sausage. There may have been baby seal meat and spotted owl drumsticks on it as well. There were no peppers, pineapple, tomatoes, onions or anything timid like that, they meant it when they called it a meat-lover’s. Adam said the pizza was not as rich as other St. Louis style pizzas, but did not mean that as a condemnation. We like a little STL style, but the sweetness of the sauce and the richness of the cheese can weigh us down pretty quick.
I couldn’t quite finish my steak or potato. I’d lunched heavier than I should have, on chili, but the meal was very satisfying.
The tab came in at forty five dollars and change. Quite comparable to Hillbilly’s, more than a diner, less than a chain. The quality and quantity of the food was excellent though.
The service was lackluster, but not terrible. We were impressed with the lady’s ability to memorize a modestly complex order, but there was not a casual or familial feel. Sure, she kept referring to Adam as ‘Honey’, which is quaint from a forty+ish gum smacking diner waitress, but this lady appeared to be in her mid twenties and much less rural.
The wait for the check was longer than it needed to be, by a few minutes. We did our best to look impatient and in a hurry, but our attempts went unnoticed.
As we waited for the check and the box for the remainder of Adam’s pizza, he sat and twiddled that whipped spread packet some more. Fortunately, for the sake of comedy, the packet did finally explode like a massive grade-A pimple spraying the chemical spread all over his shirt and pants. We knew he was embarrassed, so we laughed our fool heads off. We’re Bentley’s, it’s what we do.
Other than the less than excellent service, the noise was the only other concern. There were rebel yells, enormous laughter, and a constant loud din. I suppose if you enjoy people around you enjoying themselves openly this would not be a problem. It’s just not us though. Maybe more wall separating the bar from the dining area would help, maybe just not allowing loudness would work as well. Or, we could just not go back and the Noisy McNoisy’s can have the place to themselves.
* Orange paint: You don’t see this color used for houses and businesses very much. I first learned about its properties back in the dark ages when I served in the Air Force. A wise senior NCO gave me a tip. He told me that he, upon hearing that the Inspector General was coming around, had his crew paint the entire department, floor to ceiling, in what was referred to officially as ‘Alert Orange’, readily available through normal supply channels. “The thing about it is that it overpowers the eyes. It’s dead center of the visible spectrum and can cause nausea and headaches if looked at too long or too much. People will generally, without realizing exactly why, spend very little time in a place painted that color.” I did indeed use that color to paint one wall behind my desk. Not just for the IG though. I have no scientific proof, but I can say that no one spent much time visiting.

Detour Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hillbilly’s Bar and Grill

Pevely, MO.
Pevely is a town of less than four thousand residents between Festus and Herculaneum on the eastern side of the county. It’s claim to fame was the establishment of Pevely Farms back in the late 1800’s. The farm produced milk and butter and peddled the stuff in St. Louis. Between trains the dairy products were kept cool in the nearby springs. At one time Pevely was touted as the best place in the country to get fresh dairy products. The farm has been converted to a grand golf course and Pevely Dairy which thrived for over a hundred years in St. Louis was bought out by Prairie Farms, then a few years ago the last of the Pevely Dairies were shuttered in favor of more modern facilities. Pevely still boasts the largest flea market in the Mid-West, though I’ve been to it and wasn’t all that impressed. Size isn’t everything.
Nowadays Pevely still has a couple of quarries and other rock/mineral related industries but is mostly a bedroom community like many other Jefferson County towns.

The Place:
On Main Street, which frankly doesn’t seem all that ‘main’. I’d been able to guide us there without problem. I’d looked it up on Mapquest earlier in the week, remembering it to be south of Highway Z and east of the interstate. I assumed that Main Street would be marked, it was, and just within eyeshot of an intersection. I proved myself as useful as Angel’s Tom-Tom, yet again. It was located behind the large Western Auto and across the street from the railroad tracks. It’s a squat, unassuming place with only a small sign to announce itself. We parked in the ubiquitous slush and entered through a plain wooden door. We were in the large bar. A few patrons watched the TV screens and threw back bottles of beer. There was no music and all the TV’s were muted. We stopped and glanced around until someone invited us to the back. There we found the low ceilinged, dark, smoky dining area. A couple of small families were seated at tables, most of the place’s patrons never made it past the bar. It was dark with only sparse recessed lighting, a few neon beer signs to light the room. There was a small stage in one corner, unoccupied for the time being. We were hoping to be done and gone long before the advertised Karaoke event started up.
Against one wall were some large flat screens displays showing bright and crisp video game screens. A Keno screen was mounted overhead.
We were seated by a casually dressed young lady and asked about drinks; tea, tea and coke. She plopped down the menus, thick, heavily laminated things, about six pages deep.
The menu was overwhelming. Not typical bar food, they offered full breakfasts, pizza, sandwiches, burgers, seafood, pastas, and regular dinners. This concerned me at first, a tell-tale indication of a place trying to offer too much, and mastering none.
The tables, chairs and booths were solid, but not at all ornate. The carpet was generic print and worn, the walls were adorned with some flea market’s catch of the day, airplane propellers, raccoon hides, mounted ducks, a metal tractor seat, etc. It was less ‘hillbilly’ and more junk store.
Our drinks arrived in tall heavy glasses, very much like my favorite tea glasses at home. They’re available at the Dollar General for a buck. I could tell that this was an early swing and miss the tea was cloudy. We took a while to choose our dinners since there was so much to choose from.
The Food:
I finally chose the Fish and Chip Feast. It sounded huge. Two different fish fillets, fries, hush puppies, coleslaw, clam strips, and three jumbo shrimp. Angel ordered the Pigs at Sea. Shrimp, breaded, wrapped in bacon. She added a Caesar salad and a baked potato. Adam decided on the Chicken Fried Chicken fillet with mashed potatoes and broccoli soup. The waitress advised against the soup saying that the last people that ordered it said it tasted burnt and they decided not to serve anymore. He switched to the chicken dumpling soup instead.
Looking around I noticed that the condiments on the tables were stuffed into a quaint bathtub-shaped tin bucket. I also noticed that there was a ceiling mounted security camera pointed straight at us. I waved to it though I couldn’t imagine anyone was actually monitoring it. More patrons oozed in, the bar was filling up. This appeared to be a very popular local watering hole, most of the people seemed familiar to each other.
Angel’s salad arrived first. As it passed in front of me I grabbed some of the lettuce, Adam swiped a crouton. It was pretty good. They didn’t use iceberg lettuce, they actually used the greener, denser, fancy stuff. Angel lit into it and said that it was surprisingly good for a neighborhood bar.
The dinners arrived after a few minutes, Angel’s first, six or eight fat shrimp diapered in bacon and spice-blackened and a pretty large foil wrapped potato. Adam’s plate was generous as well, just enough brown gravy and plenty of chicken and mashed potatoes. The soup was overtopped by thick, swollen dumplings. Then my plate arrived, it weighed about seventeen pounds. Not a clear spot on the plate, even the coleslaw (which was the best I’d had in quite a while), served on a sheet of that fancy lettuce overhung the edge of the plate. The three by six inch fillets were stacked one on top of each other, the shrimp and hushpuppies fought for territory together against the overwhelming pile of fries. There was no way I’d be able to finish this in one sitting.
There was also no way this food should have been as good as it was. The kitchen had to be rather small, the staff not exactly overflowing, but everything was in fact excellent. Angel got overwhelmed by the spicy bacon, eight strips as it turned out, and unwrapped the shrimp, doling out the bacon to Adam and me. In turn I turned my entire pile of clam strips, mostly hiding under the fries, over to her, because I do not care for snotfish. She tried to get Adam to try one, but her argument that they were like deep fried rubber bands really wasn’t as convincing as I think she thought it might be. I insisted that they tasted like cauliflower, which she disagreed with but I told her that most things I don’t like tasted like cauliflower or broccoli.
The food was all hot, fresh, crispy and well spiced. Nothing overwhelmed except for the sheer volume. Adam cleaned his plate quickly, Angel almost finished but stopped just short of exploding. I surrendered about halfway through. We asked for a big box and the check.
Surprisingly good, surprisingly so for the variety of offerings. The quality and even the plating were outstanding, the staff was efficient and familial. The atmosphere was definitely bar-like, but not in a loud, obnoxious way. It was all in all, quite good. The bill came it under fifty bucks, more than a diner but considerably cheaper than a chain. Quite a good value overall. I’d recommend it with only one caveat. Jefferson County hasn’t passed smoking bans in restaurants (yet), and this place was kind of heavy with the stench. If you are sensitive to smoke and ex-smoke, you might not enjoy it so much.

Hillbilly's Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Festus, MO

Why We Went Back:
We were planning to go to Pevely to try out Hillbilly’s, a place that had been recommended by a fan. However Angel did not feel qualified to try out a new place this weekend, she’d suffered an incident and was afraid that it would cloud her reasoning abilities.
I had been outside shoveling the driveway, again. Saturday morning arrived with four brand new inches of the stuff. I had given up on clearing the entire driveway after the icing we got earlier in the week. All I was trying to do at this point was to clear the uppermost point of the driveway. I’d been parking my car up there since Monday anyhow. I moved (at a crawl) Angel’s 4WD Trailblazer up there Saturday morning once I’d cleared enough to make room for the big beast. Coming indoors after noon I found Angel sitting on the couch holding a hand over one eye. She pulled it away revealing swelling and redness. “That looks like it hurts.” I consoled her.
“It does.” She replied.
I didn’t ask what happened, Angel has a history of unusual accidents. It was enough for me to know that she’d injured her eye without needling her about the details. She explained anyhow.“It’s a paper cut.” She started.
I just looked at her. She eventually continued.
“I was pulling a paper off the shelf above the desk. It was under a pile of stuff.”
At this point I was suppressing a sympathetic giggle.
She went on. “It was stuck, so I yanked on it and it did a whiplash sort of thing right into my eye.”
Angel is no more accident prone than anyone else, it’s just that her accidents are typically more comical. This leads to embarrassing trips to the Urgent Care Center and having to explain about the coconut, the curling iron, and now, the paper cut to the eye. So she was not feeling up to trying a new place, so we agreed on a family favorite, Bandana’s.
The Place:
Like everywhere else in the region, stuck between high, dirty and slowly dissolving parking-lot snow banks. The lot was only half full. The country music blared from that same, awful outdoor bullhorn-ish speaker. The music is about the only thing about this place I would change. Some people actually like country music, so I hear, so I suppose it’s appreciated by someone.
The staff’s uniform is jeans and black logoed tee shirts, all the workers in the front are young and female. We were taken to a booth in the back and introduced to our waitress. She was tall, surprisingly tall. She was also slender, surprisingly slender. I would guess she was nearly six feet, and perhaps eighty pounds dripping wet. She was very nice and professional though, I’m certainly not one to speak ill of the freakishly tall and slender. I imagine being that way, like being any other way, has its advantages and disadvantages. She handed us menus, took our drink requests, turned sideways and disappeared.(just kidding)
The booth was in a corner, and seemed to be designed for a taller person. In order to hover over my unremarkable tea, I had to scoot up to the edge of the big seat. It felt kind of like something designed for Peewee’s Playhouse.
The table had the requisite iron pipe and lumber paper towel holder. Next to that was a six-holed beer carton which held the six house sauces, cute.
The Food:
I thought I wanted a sandwich. I’d eaten a decent lunch as I was bulking up for a day of manual labor, so I didn’t need a lot of food. So a sandwich would be about right. Then I remembered the Texas Toast. If you order a sandwich, you don’t get the two chunks of the absolute best Texas toast in the hemisphere. So I changed my mind. They have several combinations of dinners, you just choose your two or three meat choices, add a couple of sides, and you’ve got a meal. I selected pulled pork and turkey with fries and coleslaw.Angel asked for the ribs and turkey with green beans and potato salad. Adam went for Turkey, beef, fries and corn.
The drinks were delivered, Angel continued to cup her swollen eye, Adam needled her about how she could possibly get a paper cut there. To him, her story simply didn’t seem to hold up. I didn’t question it any further, if what she described was not what actually happened then the real story must be really bizarre and embarrassing.
The food arrived. The first thing I did was try the coleslaw. It had been several weeks since I’d had decent slaw and I was curious as to whether the technology to make a decent batch had somehow been lost to mankind. It was smooth, sweet and creamy with a hint of a bite. Perfect. My faith in mankind had been restored. Next was the toast, two fist-sized chunks, buttery and tanned to a delightful crunch. The fries were good, the meat was awesome. They smoke their own meats, all of them, for several hours. They apply only a dry rub on them during the slow cooking process and the lengthy method really pays off. The meat is tender, smoky, and delicious. Among the six table sauces I chose my favorite, Chicago Sweet. I glopped a lot of it on the turkey, not so much on the pork. I could tell from the start that I’d be taking much of it home for a really, really good Sunday sandwich.
Angel tore through her ribs like Fred Flintstone. She loved the glazing and didn’t mind the work of digging every edible morsel from the bones. Adam’s food disappeared quite quickly. Between the fries and the bread I was filling up fast. I decided that this was okay, I’d eat the stuff that doesn’t travel/reheat so well, and get a box for the meat. There was enough left for a couple of average sized sandwiches. Reheated with some onion and bell pepper Sunday’s sandwiches would be superb.
Our tall, rail thin sliver of a waitress appeared a couple of times to refill our drinks in a timely manner and to ask if we wanted fried donut holes. We declined and asked for a couple of boxes. Angel wadded up the twelve or so sticky paper towels she had used as face and finger mops, and we left.
The bill came in at around fifty bucks, more than the little diners we frequent, but not near as much as a chain. The payoff is fantastic food and plenty of it. The next time we go I’ll probably pass on the fries and get potato salad or baked beans instead, that way I’ll have more room for the meat. The service was exceptional, prompt, efficient and not overly fussy. Except for the music the atmosphere was relaxed and comfortable.
By Sunday morning Angel’s eye was puffy and swollen. I drove her to the urgent care where we found out that she had indeed scratched her eyeball. Not too seriously though, she was given prescriptions for eye drops and something else, certainly nothing to cheer her up. She spent the day with a warm compress, not whining too much. Out of sympathy every time I talked to her I closed one eye and crinkled up my face. I advised Adam to do the same. Nothing makes a person in misery feel better than making fun of them.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Country Café

2561 U.S. 67
Festus, MO
This place came recommended from a couple of different people. I like these people, so I won’t mention their names here. One of them, I’ll call her Ann, said this was her husband’s favorite place, but added that it could be because it is a favorite among ROMEO’s. She explained this to mean ‘Retired Old Men Eating Out’. I looked up the place, it did not have a web site but there was a map. This was good since it is not actually in Festus, but several miles south, a direction I don’t travel often. I took note of the hours of operation. It is only open for dinner (till 8 PM) on Fridays and Saturdays, otherwise it closes at 3 PM. It’s a breakfast-lunch place primarily.
The Journey:
As we left Angel asked me if I knew where it was, I said yes, and repeated the address. She then asked me several questions about whether it was north or south of this or that, which I did not know, so I just repeated the address. “Have you ever been there?” she asked in apparent and inexplicable frustration. “I’ve been by it, I’m sure.” I answered, but it did not seem to relax her mood any. “But you don’t know where it is?” she repeated, I, once again gave her the address. She sighed and got in the car.
She then uncoiled the power cord from around ‘mommy’s little helper’.
Since she drives around a lot and has dog duties all over the area, a couple years ago we got her a GPS device for the car. I don’t have one since I don’t go to many new places, and I still prefer the old fashioned way, printing out directions from Mapquest.
She had Adam program in the address as she headed out, I couldn’t even find the ‘on’ button. He programmed in the name of the café, and it knew exactly where to go. She clipped it into the Tom-Tom bracket on her dash and gave it a look. “Oh, Okay, I’ve got it.” She said. I stared at the display. It showed a car, ours I assumed, traveling down a road. It indicated we had 2.5 miles to go before a turn. A curve appeared ahead on the display, and sure enough I looked out the windshield and there was a curve. New roads popped up on the display just about the time we passed the intersections in real life. I was glad to not have one of these as my focus was on the device, not the road ahead. Eventually a thin, gravely voice said to turn left in one-half mile. Had I been driving, and focusing on the display, I would have plowed us into a concrete barrier. The countdown to the turn was off by about thirty feet. This didn’t seem to bother Angel though, she relied on reality, not technology, she’s such a girl that way. I was conjuring up a hefty lawsuit, she’s looking out the window.
Tom-Tom got us there without incident, though it didn’t seem to know how to get us into the parking lot. Once again Angel figured it out by herself, by looking out the windshield. “How come it only shows our car?” I asked, staring at the display. Adam sighed, Angel ignored me.

The Place:
A small strip mall, sharing the building with a gun store, across the busy highway from a large mobile home sales lot. The parking lot was half full though inside did not look overly busy. The door displayed a sign proudly and brightly proclaiming “We wash our lemons!” I was relieved. That kind of detail indicated a high level of concern for health and hygiene. That or maybe it was the result of a lawsuit or code violation. As we entered we were all immediately struck by the fact that except for one pre-teen child, we were about the youngest people in the place. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, just an observation. Another sign told us to seat ourselves, which we did, directly across from the cash register. Cheap black tables and chairs stood on cream-colored ceramic tiles. The walls were painted an olive green which shifted to a Dijon-mustard brownish yellow near the compact fluorescent lights. All the lights in the place were CFL’s, every one of them. I’d not seen that before. My chair faced the glass cabinet full of tall meringue’d pies. Behind the register arose a sweet, sickly stink, scented candles. A shelf held thirty or forty sealed in mason jars and according to a small hand-calligraphed sign, available for purchase. For a mere sixteen dollars and fifty cents, you too can make your own house smell like a Mayberry-RFD brothel.
A middle aged man in jeans and sneakers arrived with menus and took our drink order. Angel and Adam messed with me, Adam ordered a sweet tea and Angel a Diet Coke. I had to scratch out my forecast from my little notebook.
The Food:
We scanned the menus, typical country diner fare with a little shrimp thrown in for a cosmopolitan twist. Somewhere on the net I’d read someone’s comment “Best Fried Chicken in Jefferson County!” A claim like that demands testing. I was happy to hear that Angel wanted the chicken, I wasn’t really in the mood. As we waited the gentleman brought out our drinks and a basket of warm, puffy rolls. Also in the basket were rock-hard frozen condiment tubs of ‘butter’ and a slightly larger tub of what looked like apple butter. Nice touch.
I ordered the roast beef with brown gravy, green beans and coleslaw. After the past couple of weeks' experiences with slaw I wanted to see if everyone had forgotten how to make it. Angel asked for the fried half-chicken. Adam asked what that meant, I explained to him that it was a half of a chicken, either the front or the back, though a choice is seldom offered. Angel swiftly corrected me, once again sucking all the fun out of the room. She added corn and mashed potatoes to her order. I was glad since I wanted mashed potatoes as well, but when I said it, it came out ‘green beans’. Adam asked for the chicken BLT, without the T, and fries.
The wait for the food was quite long. The place was busy and getting busier, and our server seemed to be stretched pretty thin. Food was moving around, but there were just a lot of people.
We were well into our second basket of rolls and a second drink refill before the food arrived. It looked just like it should. The chicken looked crispy and golden brown, the thin slices of roast beef peeked out from under the steamy brown gravy. Adam’s looked exactly like a sandwich.
I almost gagged with my first bite of slaw, not from what I’d just put in my mouth, but from the memory of that nasty blue cheese slaw at Ruby T’s a few weeks back. I chewed it up, recovering, and realized I’d forgotten to actually taste it. So I took a second bite and lo and behold, I could barely tell I had anything in my mouth. It looked crisp and creamy, fresh, but there was only the slightest hint of a taste at all. At least it wasn’t disgusting.
The beef was thinly sliced and a bit tough. The gravy was okay, but not remarkable. The green beans were not like canned green beans at all. I say that to try to put a positive spin on it. The texture was okay, maybe a little limp, but there was virtually no taste whatsoever. Typically cooked with bacon or bacon fat, green beans by themselves, unseasoned and unsalted taste like, well like they have no taste at all. I asked Angel to confirm. She took a bite and screwed up her face. “There’s no taste!”
I then uttered a phrase that no one in my precious family, including myself, the grand patriarch, could remember ever coming out of my mouth. “Please pass the salt.” Angel did, Adam stared. I panicked. (Why is there a ‘k’ in ‘panicked?’*) I don’t add salt to food at the table, ever. I realized I had no idea how much to apply to the beans. I started with a little, it didn’t seem to make much difference. I tried more, still not much better. Then I just pushed them aside, I’d wanted mashed potatoes anyhow.
Angel offered up some chicken, the crispy bits were indeed crispy. I analyzed the taste and determined that the batter was strictly flour and water, maybe milk, but other than that, not extremely flavorful. She added that the potatoes were also somewhat tasteless.
A pattern was developing. The food was plentiful, cooked to proper doneness, but otherwise bland and lifeless. Really bland. We discussed this and compared that information with the fact that this place was jumpin’ with patrons. They were talking, laughing and chowing down like this was their first meal in a week. All the other patrons, all the elderly patrons were enjoying themselves thoroughly. This place had been highly recommended by two different people. Two different people that happen to be in their 70’s. Oh.
I’ve been struggling with this bit. I have lots of friends that are very senior to my not-so-young age. There are generational differences, there are stereotypes, that I simply cannot avoid mentioning. Some people, especially those, it seems to me, that are twenty or more years older than myself, seem to like food that is what some of us young-uns might consider flat, bland and tasteless. There’s nothing wrong with that. Some of these seasoned citizens lived through that depression thing, and rationed during whatever war that it was when they rationed things. (I think the North won.) So maybe spices and condiments like pepper and salt were simply foreign to them, or at least an unnecessary luxury. I don’t know, it’s just a difference in culture, generation, region and/or taste. It’s not a bad thing. They did raise the rest of us though, and a dammed fine job they did. They built factories, schools, and highways and invented the wheel, and beer. We owe them a great debt of gratitude. The fact that generationally we prefer different flavors means nothing bad toward them, or us. It just is what it is. It doesn’t explain that thing about eating dinner at four P.M. and being in bed before sunset, but that’s for another day. (Caves and wigwams didn’t have those new-fangled electric lights)
It’s a fine place, very popular, and highly praised. I cannot say anything bad about it except that we really didn’t care for the food that much. It wasn’t bad, foul or nasty, it just lacked depth, soul and flavor. The price was good, our tab came in at under thirty two dollars, and there was a lot of food, so much so that neither angel nor I managed to finish our meals. (Yeah, there was too much food, that was the problem.)
If you like your food a bit on the tame side and the nursing home cafeteria isn’t open, then by all means try this place. You might figure out that I’m really just a pretentious, picky blowhard of a young whippersnapper that should just get off your lawn and mind his own P’s and Q’s.

* Panicked. The spell checker flagged my attempt at leaving out the ‘k’. I didn’t think it was necessary. I tried past-tensing ‘picnic’ next, to prove a point. It also gets a ‘k’. What’s up with this stupid language anyhow?

Country Cafe on Urbanspoon