by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett
Mr. L is taking me out to lunch today. Someplace cute and cheap. (No, not McDonalds.)
I've said it before, lunch is my favorite meal of the day, even if I'm at home. You never know what you're going to have. Will it be leftovers? Ham and cheese on a delightful "bulkie" roll? Homemade chicken soup from the depths of the freezer? (Seven minutes in the microwave gets you from frozen to the table.) Will it be aloo matar? (Peas and potatoes in curry sauce over rice--yum yum!) Or tuna with lots of crunchies? (That's celery and onion.) My cat Fred thinks every time I cut up an onion that tuna water will happen. If he smells onion, he starts dancing around my feet asking, "Tuna water, tuna water?"
We don't usually patronize "chain" restaruants. They're ... pretty boring, really. And the prices! Instead, we like to patronize "local" mom-and-pop operations. They're usually staffed with friendly people, very clean, with food that's prepared fresh, not frozen and then fried or microwaved by teenagers who wish they were working somewhere else.
Today we're going to a little place called "The Cottage Inn." Sounds very cozy, and it really is. You walk in the door and there's a neat little L-shaped bar. Next up is a dark room that has a jukebox, a couple of tables and a HUGE TV that with no sound--at least at lunchtime. (We've only been there for lunch.)
The lunch menu is pretty simple. Burgers, wraps, and hot sandwiches. Free homemade soup comes with everything. (And it is yummy! Have all you want, but you won't want a lot because the portions are GYNORMOUS ... which is why us Americans are also GYNORMOUS.) We always start out with a drink, too. Hey, we're on a date. A martini is (get this) $3.25!!!!! And they even bring you the little shaker they make it in.
I usually get the same old thing(s). Either the fried chicken cordon bleu sandwich (which must be eaten with a knife and fork unless you can unhinge your jaws) or their classic club sandwich. (I think it might be a club sandwich kind of a day.)
While you're waiting for lunch, and enjoying your drink, you can look around the quaint dining room, which is painted red with country accents. All the tables have a wine bottle candle. For such a small restaurant, they feature a lot of "local" (Finger Lakes" wines and most of them have funky labels.
Where do you like to go out for lunch?