Friday night our children spent the night with their grandparents, leaving us gloriously free to sleep in Saturday morning. Because we had a few hours to ourselves, John and I decided to go out to eat for breakfast, to drink coffee at a leisurely pace and chew our food in a manner unhurried and without interruption. John is very romantic, and a big spender, which is why our morning fuel came from the very fancy Waffle House.
Walking through the glass doors of this familiar establishment brought back long buried memories of late night/early morning dining during college years. The atmosphere, the uniforms, the frantic moves displayed by the overworked cook remains exactly the same as they were way back in the days I scrounged under the seats of my car searching for the coins to pay for a patty melt.
It was with great joy that I placed my order yesterday morning for that same low fat burger sandwiched between rye bread, melted cheese and onions. And because one cannot have enough onions, I also ordered the famous hash browns, scattered, covered and smothered, which when translated into fine culinary speak would be known as finely shredded potatoes sautéed in bacon grease, delicately topped with a slice of processed, American cheese and then haphazardly sprinkled with diced onions.
(I have often thought that somewhere in the name of this greasy delicacy hides a great title for a book. Scattered, smothered and covered easily describes my busy household with multiple schedules, differing, yet simultaneous activities and a calendar full of events. My husband may argue that my scattered-ness -this HAS to be a word- leads one to feeling smothered and covered, but nonetheless, the description accurately applies.)
The waitress brought our plates of hot food, consistently absent of fancy garnish or presentation, a detail that supports the $3.78 cost of the meal, and we ate EVERY. LAST. GREASY. BITE. Simple and delicious, and I am most certain, fabulous for one’s skin.
As we were paying for our meal, I glanced at the cook who had labored so intensively over our fine meal. I wanted to give him a thumb’s up, or a double-thump to the chest (or, really however the Spirit would lead me) in appreciation for his culinary efforts. The cook must have felt me staring because he turned around, with spatula in one hand and an egg to crack in the other, and grinned widely at me.
In his bottom lip, just below a gaping hole that used to house a tooth, and packed in like a baby kangaroo in its mama’s pouch, was a HUMONGOUS wad of tobacco. As in the same lip that leaned over my patty melt, the same lip that leaned over my hash browns.
My stomach instantly revolted at the travesty of it all, and I made a wild dash for the bathroom.
Clearly, the cook does not understand that it will be very difficult to maintain pearly whites when chewing on leaves that will regrettably stain his teeth. Furthermore, it will only exacerbate undeniable halitosis while spewing nicotine crumbs all over the perfectly seasoned grill.
Yet, sadly, I will be back because curiously, the onions COVERED (thus the name) any taste of tobacco that surely spilled into my plate.
Scattered, smothered, covered, and……DIPPED. Look for the new menu item nation wide.
(Wendy, How 'Bout That?)