Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lunch In A Very Small Town

(There's more Ethiopia photos coming but I felt the need to post today's very small town experience.)

I accompanied a friend to court today.  She was called to testify at a custody hearing and the courthouse is 50 miles away.  I went to keep her company and give her support in this unpleasant task that was forced upon her.

When it was over and we were on our way out of the small town that is our county seat, we saw a sign that said "24 Flavors of Soft Serve."  Wow!  24 different flavors of soft serve ice cream?  That's worth a stop.  We've never seen such a vast soft serve menu before.  We said, "This must be the Baskin Robbins of soft serve!" (BR is aka "31 Flavors".) We had to check it out. 

We turned around, pulled in and parked.  Immediately upon getting out of the car we both saw and smelled the bar-be-que cooking in a big outdoor smoker on one side of the building.  It smelled great!  I guess this little ice cream joint serves BBQ, too, I thought.

First order of business was a restroom stop.  Women's door said: "Out of Order."  No problem, we used the Men's.

Next, let's check out this soft serve and maybe think about having a BBQ lunch, as well.  24 flavors of soft serve...hmmmmm.  Wait, how come there's only one machine?  Turns out their big sign out front boasting 24 flavors actually meant, well, ONE flavor, but with the option of 23 "mix-ins".  Mixed in and churned around in their milk shake style mixer what they essentially had was 24 Blizzards like at Dairy Queen.  We decided we needed some lunch first and proceeded to become TOTALLY CONFUSED by the menu boards posted above our heads. 

One side of the menu said: 

Tuesday and Friday Only

and listed all the BBQ options. 

The other side of the menu said:

Not Served >> Mexican Food<< After 8:00 PM
Monday                      Thursday    Saturday

Wait.  Does that mean Mexican food is not served on Monday, Thursday and Saturday? Does that mean Mexican food is not served after 8:00pm on Monday, Thursday and Saturday?

Today's Wednesday.  We should be able to get Mexican food, right? And, it's before 8:00 PM. anyway.

And we smelled that awesome BBQ outside.  What's up with that?  That's what we really wanted but it wasn't a Tuesday or Friday.  But hmmmm, they've got it outside....  We went ahead and asked.   "So...we CAN'T get BBQ today?"

"Oh, yeh.  You can get BBQ today.    Except you can't.    Because it's not ready."

It was 11:30 a.m.   Standard lunch realm if I'm not mistaken.

Ahhhh......small towns!

"OK, what about Mexican food? Can we get Mexican food?"

"No. No Mexican food today."  But it's not after 8:00 PM!  And Wednesday is not listed among the Not Served days. (Maybe "Wednesday" fell off from the gap between Monday and Thursday?)

So here we are on a Wednesday, trying to figure out what in the heck this restaurant serves and when.

What about Wednesday at this BBQ/Mexican Food/Ice Cream joint? 

Wednesday is simply not mentioned.  Tuesday, Friday (BBQ Only days, remember), Monday, Thursday and Saturday....  Huh?  What about Wednesday?  Today is WEDNESDAY people!  (And who KNOWS about Sunday?!  Maybe they're closed Sundays.) 

And yet, on this Wednesday that is not a Tuesday or Friday, we COULD get BBQ.   (Wait...I'm REALLY confused now.)

IF it was ready.  Which it wasn't. 

So, though we COULD have had BBQ on this nowhere mentioned Wednesday, we actually could NOT because, well, it wasn't ready yet, even though it was lunch time.  And we could NOT get Mexican food even though it was before 8:00 pm and the sign seemed to indicate Wednesday was a Mexican food day. 

These two options pretty much summed up the menu we were looking at.  Huh?  But it's Wednesday!  What about Wednesday?  At this point I began to wonder if Wednesday might be an ice cream only day.

Both of us totally confused and frustrated, I finally, with a surprising degree of presence of mind given our situation, asked, "If we wanted to eat lunch here today, WHAT COULD WE HAVE?

The girl behind the counter pointed to a menu behind her listing basic burgers and fried foods - a menu that we had no chance of even noticing before because,
1. it was below eye level,
2. she was pretty much standing in front of it, and
3. every inch of the walls seemed to be plastered with hand written signs, posters, and lists to such a point that you pretty much wrote off the whole behind-the-counter area as way too complicated for your brain to even gather any information from.

Brains fried, we decided to go somewhere else for lunch and then come back for ice cream. It was such a rapid-fire confusion that only in the typing of this have I figured out the Mexican food side of the menu SHOULD have read:
Mexican Food - Monday, Thursday, Saturday
Not served after 8:00 PM

Next we went to the other end of town (a whole 2 minutes away) and found a Mexican restaurant my friend had been to once before.  Laughing and talking about our previous fiasco we looked at the menu and made our selections.  I was going to have the Chicken Chimichanga and my friend was going to have a Chicken Tostada.  We got half way through our order, and were even asked a couple of questions about it, before the waitress interrupted with her sudden recollection:

"Oh!  I forgot!  We're out of chicken."

Are you serious?  How could a restaurant be out of chicken? 

How could a mexican restaurant be out of chicken? And it's only Wednesday, for crying out loud!  We quickly made other choices and settled in for another round of giggles and disbelief.

Back for our ice cream we went.  We were tempted to ask if the BBQ was ready yet.  When I received my Heath Bar "flavor" of soft serve ice cream I pulled the spoon out to take my first bite.  The pattern of ice cream left on the spoon looked to my friend like I'd been given a fork rather than a spoon.  We had another big laugh over how perfectly hilarious it would have been if it were indeed a fork and we'd been told, "We're out of spoons."

So there you have it.  My escapade at trying to have lunch in very small town.  On a Wednesday.

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