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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Teal Plate Special

A day off from work with my younger son and we have to go grocery shopping.  Not one of his favorite chores but he does see the advantage in picking out foods and items he will want if he goes with me.  Additionally, I offer lunch at the local diner as a further bribe.

One of my friends is a waitress at the diner and I ask that we are seated in her section.  She prides herself on knowing customers drink orders and other details.  I am brought an unsweetened iced tea.  Crisp, clean and certainly one of my favorites.

A diner menu can be intimidating to say the least.  They can be volumes of choices and most times all choices are available all day.  Do I want breakfast, lunch, an appetizer, a salad...

I leave the menu closed and force myself to chose from the single page of lunch specials.

My younger son opts for a classic Reuben.

I begin with the New England Clam Chowder.  I have to say the soup tasted far better than the photograph portrays it.  Even in person, the appearance did not match the flavor.  The broth was the right consistency with a garlic background, the clams were sweet and tender with soft potatoes.

My friend and I chat a bit when she can in between bringing orders, to-go boxes and drink refills.  We make a tentative plan to eat at a Mexican restaurant I have not yet tried.  

Fish and Chips - a blue plate special.  The three of us talk for a minute about Christmas and for my friend it was a crazy few days with her children and grandchildren that left her a little shell shocked between hearing, "Grandma," over and over to picking them up and playing and just the overall atmosphere of small children - holiday overload.  Our holiday was spread out over time with far less hustle and bustle than usual.  In fact, it took 4 different visits for us to be able to see most of our extended family and we are still making plans to finish seeing friends.

Back to the fish and chips - funny thing is all of the elements to make the meal just a bit better were certainly within reach.  I diced up the pickle and added it to my tartar sauce, I removed the lemon slice from my iced tea and squeezed the juice onto the fish, an extra shake or two of salt and I was happy.

Of course free dessert is included with the special, but I have to take my order of rice pudding to go.  I am off to the grocery store with a full belly and my younger son.  Hugs all around as we head off into the cold.  Living in and growing up in a fairly small town does indeed leave me feeling Fed Well.

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