Sunday, March 30, 2014

Recommendations To Dine

I don't often get the opportunity to eat out. Not that I cook all of our food, we do get take-out, but I am held captive to the front desk. My own fault, I suppose. He Who Mows and Tows and Plumbs is not allowed to take reservations. He tends to make promises that I can't keep. He will give the same site to two or more campers for the same time frame. This causes me great stress. It is easier to just do it myself.

I do get out during the "off " season. Sometimes with He Who pays for dinner and sometimes with other friends. We tend to try  all the eateries close by, so that when someone asks what is available, I can answer. I never recommend a place unless I have eaten their food. Since I eat take-out, I miss out on the ambiance ..........

One such adventure took me and my buddy, Deb to a "steak house" in town. It was in an old building on the main street. We walked in and the very first thing to catch my eye was the fly paper hanging near the entry, causing me to ask her if we absolutely had to eat there. She insisted that we were hungry and that I, as a local business owner should patronize other local business ....... I succumbed to her reasoning and took a seat. We were allowed to choose, since only one other table was occupied. I tried to reason with Deb, telling her that since it was prime time for eating, the fact that only one other diner was there did not bode well for the food.

We stayed. Deb thought it would be impolite to get up and leave. Our server was a young guy. Must have been family. We chose our entrees and he left to put our order in. He delivered our beverages and then literally ran out the front door.

Soon, the same guy ran back in, grocery bag in hand and rushed to the kitchen. We started giggling, then. That was our salad in the bag. Next thing we heard was someone in the kitchen saying, "This is not a cucumber, it's a zucchini!"

The food was okay. I never went back and not long after, they closed. It is hard to keep an eatery open in a small town. Last season, on a slow night, I was kidnapped by sweet kamper Nan and her daughter Barb (master of eyeglass repair ..... Here's 2 Eyes, Troy, MO). They wanted to take me to a place called Liquid. The food was good and the place was clean. Maybe the choice of name wasn't such a good idea, since the place is now "Oliver's ..... a unique dining experience. 

I was intrigued with the "unique dining experience" and wanted to try it out. The chill temp kept most kampers at home, but Crazy Tom and Miss Martha (love her so much I gave her name to my cat) were here, so we set out on a big adventure last night, all heddy with anticipation.

When we arrived, there were a lot of cars, at least a dozen (yes, that is a crowd in these parts). I always take that as a good omen. Tiki torches were burning and flower leis adorned the entrance. But, as we were about to mount the steps to go in, a woman at the door asked, "Are you here for Paddle Palooza?" Before we answered, she told us that were not serving from the menu, dismissing us. Really. No apologies, no "please try us again soon".

There we were, four hungry people wondering what Paddle Palooza was and where we were to go from there. Not a lot of choices. Not even a lot of fast food here. Subway, Dairy Queen, Dominoes, and the ever present McDonald's. Chinese, Mexican ......... nobody wanted that.

We ended up at the Pit Stop Bar and Grill. It was on the edge of the city, so it took a good 5 minutes to get there. Although the building was old and a little seedy looking, it was clean and boasted a large (for here) dining area, a dozen or more tables. They had a rib special that appealed to He Who loves BBQ and Crazy Tom. Martha and I chose from the dinner menu and were surprised at the amount of food we got. It was quite tasty and we all left with full stomachs. I will recommend this to those kampers looking for a meal. I can't say it was unique, but it was good food.

I will try the unique Oliver's again. Small towns tend to be closed to outsiders (I am, after all, outside the city limits). The mid west is different. Southern charm is not to be found in these parts, nor is Minnesota nice. Good thing I have tough skin ....... and a wicked sharp tongue.


Anonymous said...

Yikes. I guess I better be happy that we have so many choices here in Fresno. I'm always wishing we were more like San Francisco, but your story makes me realize my blessings. Thanks for showing me another part of the country.

Joanne Noragon said...

It's the Come here, From here phenomenon. The From here's aren't too friendly with the Come here's, and the Come here's can be mighty rude to everyone.