Tuesday, July 8, 2008

(Mental) Health Food

What would summertime be without wacky food and old-time favorites? That was the uppermost thought in Mr. Hall’s head as he ran through the checklist, backed the big black car out of the hanger and cooled down the interior for Mrs. H. The weather for the Fourth couldn’t have been nicer if they had ordered it themselves, so the Halls hit the road and headed into the city. First stop: that Syracuse institution of indigestion- Heid’s Hot Dog stand.
While it can reasonably be argued (and many here argue it both unreasonably and incessantly) that the best Coney’s in town are at Heid’s, Mrs. Hall’s fancy leaned in the direction of something a little more continental, to wit: frankfurters mit kraut. And though that little gourmet voice inside her whispered the perfect pairing for this would be a light, yet flavorful lager; Heid’s has yet to procure a liquor license, so she opted for the onion rings instead. (The little voice emitted a low groan, and retired to some quiet corner to sulk.) Mr. H. towed a more traditional line and merely scarfed down two regulation hot dogs, sans elaboration, outside of the usual mustard and relish. The Syracuse Symphony Orchestra was still tuning up for their yearly bash at the NY State Fairgrounds, and the workmen were still making their last minute adjustments to the fireworks display, so the Halls decided to take a stroll along the walkway around Onondaga Lake. Two nautical miles and a hundred smiles later, they rounded the last corner of the parking lot, as the park started to fill up for the show. As the neighborhood became more crowded, Mr. H. remarked he had noticed advertising for a new restaurant and bar locally, yet had been unable to find it anywhere. Being the game sport that she is, Mrs. Hall said, it’s on!, and they hit the expressway, determined to find the mystery spot.
Quaker Steak and Lube had been salting the highways with tantalizing billboards, with the only clue to their whereabouts being an enigmatic banner proclaiming “Exit 5”. A cursory examination of Exit 5 produced nothing in the nature of a pub- but upon a second run down the highway, a distant green neon glow could be seen emanating from a freshly cleared cornfield, and after a few wrong turns and twisted necks, the big black car pulled up, face to face, with their quarry. Quaker Steak & Lube is a restaurant chain, known for its cute car and motorcycle theme as well as its atomic chicken wings, (they make you sign a waiver to order the hottest ones...) but the big draw that evening for the Halls was their deep-fried dill pickles and, according to the little gourmet voice again, paired with their signature Hard Lemonade. Neither the mind nor the stomach should fear the new, and both were satisfied Friday night; the pickles and lemonade passed muster, and it was a happy crew that toddled home and put the big black car to bed that night!

No comments:

Tell your friends!