Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Dinner
On most Sundays, I end up having dinner with the parents at a local restaurant. This particular Sunday, things seems a bit… chaotic.
Part of the fun of these Sunday dinners is picking a restaurant. I tend to be a fussy eater. Scratch that, I am a fussy eater. What makes matters worse for me is that I’m not all that attuned to what restaurants are available in the area. At least, the restaurants that I have not been to before. Usually when I’m on my own, I don’t go all out, usually because I’m either heading to work afterwards, or I am at work and don’t really have a lot of time. My Dad can sometimes get a little tunnel vision in picking restaurants, to the point where he will suggest Chili’s three times because there happens to be three Chili’s in our area. My Mom is perfectly willing to try new places, but often has a tendency to say, “You pick, you’re the fussy one.” Usually before we leave the house, we have an idea where we are going.
Not this time.
For some reason, We were completely unable to come to any consensus. My Dad kept suggesting a Chinese buffet, which I was not keen on, and my Mom thought may be closed because the rest of the shopping plaza was vacant. No suggestions I made seem to work for anyone, much to my growing frustration. So we hit the road… with no destination in mind. Eventually, my Mom mentioned that there were a couple of new places in Wethersfield that we could check out. If we did not like the menus, or they did not look all that good, we could move onto someplace else.
Coming from East of the Connecticut River, there are two directions that you can go in once you hit the Silas Deane Highway in Wethersfield. One direction takes you towards the main shopping area (where all the restaurants tend to be), the other takes you in the direction of the comic shop were I get my comics, and that’s pretty much it. My Dad, for some reason, decides to go towards the comic shop. The only upside to that direction is that we saw one of the two new places my mom was thinking of, this tiny hole in the wall place situated in a strip mall between a tanning salon and an adult video store. I’m pretty sure my mom did not suspect that was what that place was.
So, we eventually get ourselves turned around and head south on the Silas Deane Highway, the direction we should have gone in from the start. The other new restaurant was in a location we had been to before. It had a long history of restaurants, the longest being an Abdow’s Big Boy.
Now, I have to admit that I do live a bit of a sheltered life, especially when it comes to restaurants. There are a lot of chains out there that I have never heard of, except from watching cable commercials for restaurants that are nowhere near our area. So, I’m familiar with chains like Dave & Buster’s, CiCi’s, even Jack in the Box and Golden Corral.
Knowing that, it should come as no surprise to you that I have never heard of the Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery. And no one else in my family had ever heard of it either.
Usually in these situations, one of us (usually me) gets to be the advance scout. I get to go in and check out the menu to see if there is anything that I would eat on the menu. This was made doubly so because it had started to downpour as we got there.
Once I got in the restaurant, the first thing I thought of was Jerry Seinfeld. It isn’t because this was a comedy club. It was because Jerry uttered the following quote on his show:
“Looking at cleavage is like looking at the sun. You can’t stare at it long, it’s too risky. You get a sense of it then you look away.”
If the waitresses were dressed in the same fashion as the hostess (and since it looked like a uniform, that was probably the case), I was entering a world that had an overabundance of suns.
Naturally, while the food may have been good, this really did not seem like the type of place that you would dine at with your parents. With a bunch of guys from work, maybe, but not your parents.
So, we hit the road once more, in the rain.
My Mom suggested that we check out Route 3, which has a lot of restaurants in the area. Except that we went in one direction and saw nothing but a grocery store and a couple of small places that were closed. when we made the decision to turn around and check the other direction is when my Mom mentioned that only a little further down the road was Cromwell and a whole bunch of restaurants. By this point, we had been on the road for at least 45 minutes. I was getting hungry, and heading in the other direction led to a Jake’s Wayback Burgers (which no one seemed interested in… except me) and residential areas. The consensus was finally reached. We would head to the Berlin Turnpike and Doogie’s.
At least that’s what I thought.
We ended driving right by Doogie’s, and on down the Berlin Turnpike. My Mom suggested another hot dog place called the other place. That was closed. We drove into the plaza that had the Chinese buffet that my Dad suggested. While it was open, neither my mom nor myself really wanted to eat there (in spite of the possibility of more research for my People You Meet At The Buffet entries). We turned around, heading back up the Berlin Turnpike. After pulling into Lowe’s, which had Outback, Plaza Azteca, Ruby Tuesday’s, and IHOP satelliting it, we moved on again.
After at least an hour of driving (probably more like an hour and a half), we ended up at Doogie’s for hot dogs.
Somehow, Sunday dinner should not be that difficult.