Friday, November 22, 2013

Diner Definers

Shortly after our arrival to our son's home in Iowa. my sister and her husband arrived to welcome us and suggest we go to the local (and only) cafe for dinner. 

Assured that I would be able to get something "meat-free", I agree that dinner sounds like a great plan and wonder how all of us will fit into my sister's car. 

Much to my surprise, as I stand, freezing and shivering, next to my sister's car, everyone starts walking the three blocks in the 30* weather, avoiding the ice patches on the streets and sidewalks as they go. I dutifully fall into the ranks. 

Once seated at "Mother's Steakhouse"  I begin the defrosting process and peruse the menu. I decide on a dinner salad and baked potato with all the "fixins". 

However, much to my dismay, in this little community in Iowa, baked potatoes don't have fixins! I think we truly stumped the young waitress when asking if they had chives. (No, they don't... She thinks...I still don't think she knows what chives are) ...

So, I have to rethink my dining options as a dry potato doesn't appeal to me.... How about the potato skins ... I can do those!

I inquire about the potato skins... "Do they have bacon on them?" I ask.

 I am rewarded with a blank stare followed with a confused, yet resounding "no" ... 

 Ok, Ok!!! I get it, there's no bacon. Good !!

"Do you want the personal size?" she asks. "No," I reply, "lets do the full order because you know everyone's gonna reach over and take them off of my plate."  And I swear, this was her response. 

...... you'd think I had just arrived here from Mars.  (Mars ... California.... makes no difference when you're new to a small community)

And now I know why she had such an expression ...

In California, potato skins are basically a baked potato with the innards scooped out. Add cheese, bacon, and chives... Pop em into the oven for a few and serve up w ranch dressing or sour cream.  

In Iowa, potato skins are  peeled, and generally discarded skins of the potatoes and then deep fried !!!! I was the recipient of a whole, huge steaming basket of potato peelings, NOT the 4 to 6 little wedges I was envisioning. 

Needless to say, I received NO assistance eating them. I even brought a box home for breakfast.

Remind me to ask specific questions next time I go out as I'm pretty sure "sweetbreads"
will not be a "cinnamon crumble bagel" from Paneras. LMAO

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