Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What Would You Do?

What would you do?
After driving 3 hours
In the snow and ice
On Christmas Day
With 3 kids
Who hadn't eaten since 9:30
A full 10 hours before.

What would you do?
You open the door to your parents' home
And ask what they have to eat
Your mother says, "I have a casserole"
And you throw up in your mouth a little
You've spent a lifetime avoiding casseroles
Because of your mother's casseroles.

What would you do?
You see it go in the oven
It's some sort of mac and cheese with sausage on top
The sausage looks like moose droppings
Your mother's bad casserole rep was earned
But, you're completely starving.
And it's Christmas day.

What would you do?
We had to go to a movie theater
The Warren Old Town to be exact
To get a gift certificate anyway
They have a bar and restaurant there
It's sure to be open.

What would you do?
We abandoned the kids
Their casserole fate was sealed
And headed into downtown Wichita
Not a creature was stirring
Not even a hobo.
The Warren Old Town had changed
The restaurant wasn't where it was.

What would you do?
I asked the ticket lady what was open
"Nothing downtown" was the reply
She then explained that they had excellent food*
Right there in the bar
So, that is what we did
Sat down at the bar
And perused the menu
With a Boulevard Wheat and Single Wide.

What would you do?
The menu could have been from anywhere
TGIFriday's, Applebee's, Cheddar's or Chili's
We decided on southwest egg rolls and jalapeno poppers
In retrospect, if we had listened closely
We would have heard the freezer open and close
When you're hungry you can eat nearly anything
The egg rolls and poppers were evidence of that
But, the hunger was sated for the time being
Unfortunately, we were down 30 bucks.
The beers were good though.

What would you do?
I'm really asking.
I don't know the answer
Because the Warren Old Town certainly
Was Not It.

*Taking food recommendations from a Wichitan is definitely tricky business. They simply don't have the restaurant options we have in KC. The scene is dominated by chains and fast food restaurants. Wichita is the birthplace of such fast food mainstays as Pizza Hut and White Castle and there are many local fast food chains. A Wichitan typically cannot give a solid food recommendation unless they've lived somewhere else for over 5 years or have an aversion to fast food.


m.v. said...

Wichita has a downtown?

Bull E. Vard said...

Actually, yes, they do. Old Town is like Westport. But, they just built a pretty big arena there with a bunch of condos surrounding it. I got kinda turned around making a drive, I'd made over a hundred times in the 90's.

Rick in PV said...

Jews traditionally go out for Chinese food on Christmas Day. I wondered about the Indian restaurants, too, when I witnessed a lady wish the drugstore clerk, Ashwin, a Merry Christmas. Does Wichita have one?

Chef E said...

Very entertaining, but at your stomachs expense...funny but my son loved his grandmothers food; until he went back last year and told me why was it not as good as he remembered...maybe because you grew some taste buds since then! Ha!

thanks for sharing...and I am also kind of sick of Italian food every year at my hubby's, wish he would agree to stay home, and let me cook!

Old Fart said...

my step-mother is *was* the casserole queen. She would make different meals 4 nights of the week, then on the 5th night she would take all the leftovers and mix it with cream of mushroom soup and some "thickener" and bake the whole thing.

myself and my siblings lived through almost 4 years of those meals before we revolted and refused to eat the weekly casserole creation. It was an exhilarating experience...

but I've heard from my father that the casseroles started up again after us kids moved out. I felt sorry for him.

Wendy said...

I lived in Wichita for several years. I'm trying to think and think of a good place to eat there that isn't a a chain. I can't think of anything. Maybe Italian Gardens? You are so right about there not being anything unique.

Anonymous said...

The Cedar? You didn't swing through for a fish bowl and burrito?

tadallagash said...

Cedar? That's been gone almost as long as Angelo's! I agree, Christmas Day is a bit of a pain for eating out.

On normal days, Hana Cafe, Imbless Grill and my favorite, Uptown Bistro, are all just steps away from the Warren.

On Christmas day, though, I would have checked out Taste of Thai right around the corner from Old Town at Central & St. Francis. Really good Pad Thai and Pho.

Speaking of Pho, Pho Hot at Pawnee and Grove is right by your parents house(or do they still live in the old 'hood?)

The Allagash family tradition is Kobe Steakhouse on Christmas Eve. Sake shots with the chef. 'Nuff said!