On the extremely rare occasions that I watch certain films or especially certain television programs featuring fashionably cool people (Sex and The City come to mind immediately) I am always gobsmacked by the amount of time these people spend leisurely sitting around cute round tables at outdoor sidewalk cafes, sipping mimosas and chatting away. It appears these people are able to enjoy several hours every afternoon with their dearest chums completely relaxed and rested, exercising their witty bones: a little tète-à-tète, a little repartee, topped off with a dollop of vicious gossip and a viscous ice cream sundae.
Do real people actually live like that? Of course not. Life is not leisure and conversation. Lunch is a short brutal orgy of quick gobbling, if it exists at all. Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so (Douglas Adams). In Texas at least, the weather is only conducive to al fresco dining a handful of days each year.
Still, you do drive by these places and see people sitting outside… sometimes. There they are, take a quick glimpse before you plow into the car in front of you and are late for whatever unpleasant task awaits at the end of the drive. They seem happy enough. Who are these people?
I’ll never know.
At any rate, the other day while we were visiting that pleasant oasis of interestingness in the desert sea of the big evil city, The Bishop Arts District, we realized that the weather, while a tad coolish in the shade and a bit sweltry in the sun, was bearable and we had an opportunity to dine out in the open. After considering a number of opportunities (most establishments had at least a couple tables out on the sidewalk) we had an appetizer tray in a couple of very well-worn comfortable Adirondack Rocking Chairs in front of Eno’s Pizza and Tavern and, as the sun set, headed on down to a place called Oddfellows for dinner.
Oddfellows seems to be gathering a following and I can see why. It is an open plan, with both sidewalk tables and an innovative and attractive set of open bench spots along the windows. It must be a popular hang out in addition to a place to eat as a number of folks had their laptops out and seemed to be settled in for the duration.
The restaurant was attractive and had a good attention to details. While I was waiting in a corridor for the men’s room, I saw they had their larder on display (This may have been a fake shelf meant to impress… it doesn’t really matter) with such things as a dozen boxes of Cafe du Monde Beignet mix, gallon jugs of Frank’s Red Hot Wing Sauce, and large boxes of Bisquick, all comestible ingredients of necessity and quality. When they serve tumblers of water, they leave behind a glass bottle (like an antique quart milk bottle) of the cool stuff.
Candy ordered the Macaroni and Cheese with Buffalo Chicken. It was very, very good (I ate the leftovers later) – the Mac N Cheese was flavored with Blu Cheese which was great and the chicken was really spicy (Now I know where all that Franks’s Wing Sauce goes).
Looking over the menu, I was quickly drawn to the Chicken and Waffles. Who wants to live forever?
The waitress said that was her two favorite things. I’ll bet she always says that.
Now, recently, I have traditional Chicken and Waffles at a soul food drive in, and a modern take at a local food truck. Now was the opportunity to try some at a real restaurant.
The chicken was spicy and crispy, the waffles were nice and fluffy. What more do you want?
They come with butter, syrup and white southern gravy. I ate every scrap. My only complaint was that I was too full and stuffed and sleepy on the way home.
I’ll get over it.