Restaurants

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I can never resist the good feeling that comes with sitting down at a nice restaurant, particularly one with a good atmosphere and design.

Eat More Chicken

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White’s Chicken is one of those restaurants I rarely hear or even talk about, being kind of lost. The marquee sign has always said “Delivery” in those small black block letters, with the iconic red arrow pointing towards the entrance. I had never eaten at White’s Chicken in my city ever, that is until today for some special reason. The food there, especially the main course chicken, is very authentic and fresh, maybe even more so than KFC. It’s an old restaurant, dating back to the early 20th century, and has been on that same corner for as long as I can remember, right across from the Dunkin’ Donuts. It’s a small and modest eatery, seating only about twenty with the kitchen area behind the service counter in plain view. The only other time I went into that place was to get a job application. I’m surprised that this place is still in business with it looking so down and empty all the time (according to my eyes) but they also have catering which helps bring in a lot more money.

The place is mainly served by one waitress, who today looked like she would have to work two jobs in order to make enough money to make ends meet.

White’s isn’t ancient but it may as well be with it being stuck in a perpetual time warp of the early progressive era. The walls and decor clearly scream 1920s.

Closing Its Doors

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The Big Boy restaurant in my town has closed. It was an iconic landmark that has been in that one spot for over 50 years. Now there is a dilemma as to where to eat out now. So many restaurants are closing, including the Old Country Buffet that seemed to be a staple of Sunday mornings for as long as I could remember. Times are changing and this town is getting deader and deader. Time to move on I guess. It’s not like I ate at Big Boy much anyway. Maybe for a Sundae or small meal but not much else.

Dilemma 

French Fry Date

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A simple love

French fries for two

The salty finger licking

Can’t stop til one crispy remains

 

Here’s what I found about the origin of French fries:

The French fry is not at all a French thing. The name comes from either the Irish term for cutting the fries, “to french”, or from the American allies who, when they landed in the Belgian Ardennes, tasted the incomparable fried potatoes and called them “French fries”, French for the language …

www.lutosa.com/uk/products/the-origin-of-frenchfries/

Calling Corporate

Denny’s really did a dumb thing today and now they are in for a talking. They did something that has made me question the integrity of their operation as a whole, at least the one I was at.

For my dad’s 55th birthday today, we went to Denny’s for breakfast AND a second time for lunch, followed by Finley’s. Since he is at the double nickel age, he gets to order off of the senior menu that includes meals at a discount price. Reaching that section of the menu is quite a monumental thing because it means you are on the last leg of your life. It is the final stage of the menu, located on the back. You start off as a kid ordering tiny meals off of the kiddie menu that is provided. Once you get around 12 years old, it is time for the main, adult section that includes meals fit for any big appetite. That will go on a long time until it is time to finally graduate to senior status.

The birthday meal consisting of the four of us went very well until it was time to pay.

Getting up to pay after a hearty meal is not always easy. I feel so full that I can hardly walk, feeling my stomach bulge.

The cashier/manager asked me how my meal went. I of course said it was delicious. He then asked if I would like to leave a tip on my credit card. I simply said “No” because it would be left on the table. I had paid my bill with my credit card and received the receipt. I was getting ready to leave the restaurant with my parents when the waitress said behind my back,”Do you want to have an iced tea to take out?” Of course, I was confused at this. Why would she say that? I had had an iced tea to drink with my Biscuits and Gravy meal; one of them I finished, the other I didn’t, so maybe that was the reason behind this. Still, it was strange because she didn’t seem to realize I was walking out of the building when she asked, and it was asked in an offhand matter, with she not even looking up. She also sounded out of it.

That was just the start of the weirdness that ensued.

As we were leaving the restaurant and going to the car, the manager of the restaurant stepped outside, in the freezing cold, and said that one of us hadn’t paid their bill yet. It was eventually me he was referring to. He seemed rather nervous and panicky. We went back inside and tried to sort out this bit of confusion. It seemed as if the waitress had gotten the receipts mixed up at the table and one of us paid for the wrong thing. They accused me of walking out without paying, which was definitely false. An argument broke out among the waitress and the manager, trying to fix everything. This isn’t the first time an issue with the bill has occurred.

Anyway, my dad was going to call the corporate office and complain about this inconvenience. The manager should not have to step outside of the restaurant and demand we all come back in. That is just rude and disrespectful. He tried calling but no one was available, so he was going to try again tomorrow. I believe it is a little too much to call up the corporate headquarters in Spartanburg, South Carolina just to complain about a minor issue like this. Sure, it may be discriminating and singling someone like me out who can act a bit peculiar at times, but it is done and no one is hurt. I’m still proud that he sticks up for me like that.

Pat On the Back

Tell someone you’re proud of just how proud you are.

It’s My Birthday – A Tale of Cranes

Happy birthday to me!

I have turned 24 today. A whole two rounds of a clock complete.

My god, I’m starting to feel old when I look at that number about five times. It’s starting to sink in though but I don’t want to get too used to it, still want to believe future birthdays will still have that “special” feeling about them.

The good news is I get to live another year and do so much more amazing things. The bad news is I’m nearly halfway to 30. Yikes! Where is time going?

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My first picture at 24. My stylish driving cap.

I happen to be sharing my 24th birthyear with the retirement year of NASCAR Sprint Cup legend Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 car. How are the odds that I would coincide with such a big moment? All my life, I’ve been pushed and prodded to be a fan of Jeff Gordon and the number 24 so happens to be a magical number of continuance and ending this year.

cranesA red eyed crane hanging outside Denny’s today. They must come from the nearby woods and get attracted by the smell of the food cooking in the restaurant. You’re not getting any food, pesky cranes. Go home. Well, they did eventually after we finished dining.
cranes3I’ve seen these long legged creatures walking around this restaurant’s front grass multiple times. They were also hanging out in a Wendy’s parking lot on “Asian Friday” last week – a bunch of Chinese and Japanese looking people were all in line at Wendy’s and eating at the tables. Like they were all in a group or something. Very confusing and strange, no offense. We eventually left because the line wasn’t getting any shorter, the counter workers having difficulty understanding the foreign languages/accents.

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They can fly, but I’ve never seen them do so

We were all seated near the “crane window” on the right side of the restaurant, a place we rarely, if ever, eat. Our waitress, Jasmine, took our drinks (all waters except Joe with a Coke). My meal was set to be all free if it was under seven dollars. So I ordered a $6 Baja Quesadilla burger with chips and salsa. Very delicious.

After this early dinner, we rode in the Ford to Culver’s and I ordered a free dish of vanilla icecream with Reese’s peanut butter cup chunks on top. Didn’t have to show my ID to prove it was my birthday, probably because it was really busy. Wondered if others could get away with this.

Tomorrow, my birthday bash continues. Going out to eat at Sava’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I’ve never been there but my research online about it makes it out to be a fine restaurant that students and adults both appreciate. One reason I am choosing this place is because meals are affordable there, most of them under $25, and another reason is because it seems more special to go to a place with a fancy name and dark, elegant environment.

And now I dedicate a poem to the hungry cranes outside the window:

Hungry Cranes

I could see that you were hungry, salivating,

Waiting outside that tempered glass

Watching us drink, watching us eat,

Our delicious meals come to pass

Your legs were spindly, your feathers down thick,

Traipsing the land wide and far,

Attracted to human dwellings,

Full of the happy, sad, and sick

You stopped in for a meal but could not get inside,

So loitered on the outside, the flavorful smells licking your eyes

Curious I was about your whereabouts,

Where you came from, your really long mouths

After our delicious meal, I turned and was surprised

To see that you disappeared, probably to bother some other guys

We’ll be sure to meet again,

You weird necked birds of ostrich type,

In the parking lot, in the park,

Maybe wherever the aroma smells just right

And now a song I’m dedicating to my birthday, inspired by watching Star Trek: Enterprise for the first time today on Netflix and hearing the amazing intro song. I believe it really fits the theme of where I am heading in the future, what sort of person I want to be in 20, 30 years. “I’ve got faith” it sings. That’s what I want to have years from now, to always have hope to accomplish my dreams and never give up on life. It’s essentially a song of life, describing how far I’ve come in 24 years.


In Response to the Daily Post writing prompt: Middle Seat

Shrimp Lobster: Photo A Week Challenge

Nancy Merrill’s photo a week challenge today asked for photographs that fill the entire frame or at least dominate as the main subject. I last did one of her challenges back in March and this kind of serves as a supplement to the Weekly Photo Challenge.

For my mother’s birthday this year in August, we all went to Finley’s, a favorite restaurant to go for special occasions in my hometown. The last time we were there, a redheaded waitress got pissed off at us for not leaving her a tip – and the service was very good. The next day when I was in the college library, her d-bag boyfriend saw me and stopped me to ask if I would give him the tip money to give to his girlfriend. And no, I did not give him any money because he was acting very mean and demanding. I left the library in a reluctant behavior.

Now, dad said I could order anything I wanted off the menu since he was paying for it. Well, not to take too big advantage of this apparent loophole statement and break his wallet, I ordered a $15 shrimp and lobster mac & cheese dish besides the $20 succulent lobster. I expected it to be a small dish that wouldn’t take me long to eat. Was I wrong. It was at least 3 inches thick of juicy shrimp and lobster and a yummy, cheesy base of the best macaroni I’ve ever tried. Topped with a delicious mixture of Parmesan cheese, Italian spices, and breadcrumbs.

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This was a dish I had to take home in a box. There was just so much there to eat and it was really filling but probably the best dish I’ve ever had in a restaurant. Luckily, I always have my camera with me in case I want to get delicious pictures of my meals in restaurants. Maybe I should start a food journal.

The Macbofisbil Cuisine

I’ve been waiting for the day to use my alter ego in a creative way…

If any restaurant is going to name something after me, they’d better have a good reason to. What are my contributions to this unnamed eating establishment? I must have donated some money or did something incredible, such as eating all of their crackers up in one setting or tackling their previously impossible to eat Sasquatch Burger, since other than my laid back lifestyle, there really isn’t that much unique or interesting about me to have my mark set on something.

But let’s be optimistic here – if the Macbofisbil cuisine was suddenly put on the menu at Mystery restaurant, I would prefer my very own custom made burger to be the centerpiece. The bun would probably be light and fluffy and mostly air, describing my enjoyment of silence and the solitude, ideal ways to for me to write, practice photography, listen to music, or read books. Many layers on this burger, since I am no one trick pony. Two all steak patties, Colby jack, Swiss cheese, mushrooms, tomato, onion, pickles, special sauce, banana peppers, lettuce, on a toasted rye bun. You know the Big Mac? Well try the Macbofisburger, named after my online penname. It’s not just for blogging anymore. You and everyone else who pops into Bob’s Steakhouse will absolutely enjoy this burger, since it is made with the same love and care that I have, for most of the time, applied to running this blog – and some magic as well. Thick cut steak fries come on the side.

But that’s not all – since peanut butter is one of my favorite foods they would name their little in house spread packets after me. Macbofisbil peanut butter or something like that. Combine that with my ultimate favorite food, icecream, and you get the all new Macbofisbil specialty icecream on the dessert menu. I’m envisioning it as a sundae. With Macbofisbil peanut butter on the bottom and a juicy red strawberry on the top. That’s right. It’s not the cherry. Buck the system, buck tradition.  You can expect blueberry syrup running down over three scoops of yellow icecream since those colors describe my love for the Michigan Wolverines. I know this is not a common color of icecream but a scoop of grey would symbolize the grey areas in my mind, areas of the unexplainable, undefined, characteristics of my personality that aren’t really that clear to me. There would also be a scoop of mint chocolate chip, my favorite, and a topping of pecans (which are optional if you’re allergic). The Macbofisbil Sundae. Would anyone order this or the burger? I would assume so, since food is food, no matter what the label says. More menu items would come after these food successes. And then my very own Macbofisbil restaurant. Boy, it’s fun to dream.

And what a great way to extend my “brand” by having food bearing my invented name? They wouldn’t even have to know what it means.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “You, the Sandwich.”

If a restaurant were to name something after you, what would it be? Describe it. (Bonus points if you give us a recipe!)

My Hometown

Think about the town where you currently live: its local customs, traditions, and hangouts, its slang. What would be the strangest thing about this place for a first-time visitor?


Jackson, Michigan has been my place to call home ever since I came into the world 23 years ago at the formerly-named Foote Hospital (now Allegiance Health). It is a city that is quite low-key most of the time (at least in my mind since I don’t get out much). There is a lot about Jackson I am familiar with but quite a few places I have never even been to (the hotels and a couple of obscure restaurants and pubs mainly). As for the strangest thing about it? That’s a tough one. It’s not as though my city is a desolate ghost town with a series of grisly murders in the last couple of years…it looks quite innocent on the outside unless you take a closer look. And there isn’t anything too eccentric about it either. It’s just a nice town to live and grow up in. Peaceful for the most part.

I don’t know about our slang, perhaps that would point to one of our main superstores, Meijer, and how long-time townsfolk add an ‘s’ to the end, calling it Meijers either out of ignorance, long time habit, or it just slipping off the tongue better. My mom and many people in my closest family resort to ‘Meijers’ but I try to stray away from that as well as pronouncing Illinois with an ‘s’ on the end. What I’m betting is that this slang comes from the store originally being called ‘Meyer’s Thrifty Acres’ and then shortened to its present name (the spelling change is odd though) and the original ‘Meyer’s’ just passing down through the ages and sticking. I don’t know if it is just Michiganders either but we refer to carbonated beverages here as ‘pop’.

There are a couple of strange things a person going to Jackson for the first time might experience. One is our apparent lack of popular fan-friendly restaurants (Sonic and Red Robin are long due) and Jackson’s stubbornness to acknowledge this fact. Another is Jackson’s one “major” college, Jackson (Community) College being located in the middle of nowhere, away from the main city, and making it quite hard for people to get there every day especially in the dead of winter with an ongoing blizzard. I put ‘community’ in parentheses because the college recently dropped the word from its name, trying to come across as a legitimate higher prestige college when in fact it still is a community college at best (offering a couple of Bachelor’s degrees in some obscure field does not make it suddenly Harvard-esque). An interesting fact is that Jackson is home to the first prison in Michigan and was once the largest walled prison in the United States in both population and land area. It can be observed that people here seem to follow ordinary everyday routines, going about their lives in uninterrupted fashion. One of the first impressions an outsider might make is that they are all like robots, walking around with little expression and enthusiasm on their faces. It’s like they just live for necessity. The people’s voice is non-existent. Lifeless. Do we even hear from our mayor at all? No, I barely know his/her name without looking it up first. Where’s the connection among the people in this town? That’s probably the strangest part of Jackson, we are a city that is large and mostly distant, though this can be said about other cities as well. The one event that does bring us together though is the county fair every August, when the city comes alive with fun, music, and lively entertainment. I love Jackson, always have, but when it tries to adventure into the fields of movies and high-profile entertainment, things tend to get cheesy really fast, such as the time a movie called “Super Sucker” was filmed here in 2002 starring Jeff Daniels. It was our one shining moment in the area of big-time film making and having a celebrity like that in our town was a dream. The movie was a disaster on all levels but hey, what were you expecting out a crumby town like mine? Another strange thing that someone might find out about Jackson is that everything, in terms of entertainment and hospitality, seems to die at night, with large empty parking lots making this place feel very eerily like a ghost town which in my eyes is kind of beautiful.

P.S. The feature image for this post is from the Cascades Falls Park, where evening waterfall light shows dazzle audiences along with musical guests from around the state. It is our definite landmark and I view the place as a sort of meditative sanctuary for myself, where I can let the rush of the water engulf my thoughts in happiness and relaxation.

The video below really hits it home for me