We joined Midwest Chick and Mr. B., Og, Mrs. Og and M. the Original Partner in Grime, not a blogger but a lifetime (since childhood) friend of Og and a regular part of our little group. And of course MY Partner in Grime. It had been a couple months since we'd all been together, so we did what we normally do and met someplace that's about midway between where we all live, so no one has to drive more than an hour.
This restaurant, a long time fixture in the Northern Indiana area was special as it's one that both Mr. B. and M. and Og ate at with their parents when they were children.
It hearkened back to those late 60's meals, out with our parents, with the little basket of assorted crackers and bread sticks, baskets of hot yeast rolls and something Mom never started a dinner without, the relish tray, with pickled beets, coleslaw and cottage cheese (though Mom got ultra daring and added carrot sticks and pickles). Of course, as kids we'd notice all the OLD people eating at such places "look, lunchroom of the living dead!" only to realize that now the kids are looking at us like WE are the old people.
You could order a lunch or a dinner sized portion and with the fried chicken you could also order it "family style" with a whole bunch of chicken and all the sides served up in bowls to be shared.
Conversation was lively - the multiple ways one can shear off a bolt and the mayhem that ensures, takes of youthful indiscretion involving Cremora (it WILL take off a dorm closet door in less than controlled situations) and alcohol (though no one topped the story of the fellow from the gun show that said he quit drinking after a bender where he woke up 2500 miles off base married to one of the local indigenous people.)
Then they our favorite stories of various tools "broke the first time I used it, that stuff's made out of Chineseium!" and what the Oglette was up do, kicking butt on her college's male fencing team (they don't have enough women for a female team) while scoring some seriously high grades. We can't wait to see her this summer.
And the food - on my, stuffed mushrooms and this bruschetta in a balsamic reduction spread on wafer thin garlic toasts, fresh Canadian Lake Perch, Walleye, fresh fried chicken, soup and mashed potatoes and stuffing and corn and then when you think you can't eat another bite, they bring out little bowls of ice cream (though tempted by the deep fried raspberry cheesecake, Midwest Chick and I thought discretion was the better part of valor and less likely for us to pop a button, especially after all the stuffed mushroom caps.
The evening then got interesting, as when I went to the ladies a room, a lady in there with me had her severe storm warning thing come up on her phone, respective to central Indiana. Tornado alert! Severe Thunderstorms. My phone was off so I had Partner check the radar, sure enough, some nasty cells were marching towards Chicagoland. Looking at it, I figured we could dash between two lines of cells and though we might get some lightning and rain we wouldn't likely get sucked up in a funnel cloud (like a tornado could pick us up after all that food).
So we had to say a hasty goodbye to our friends who had a little window before the weather got to their planned route home and headed out. It was a bit of a stressful drive in heavy rain, with some of the power out along the freeway, but we avoided the worst of the wind, and were soon home, a finger of single malt in hand, thankful for the safe journey
Good food, good times, but best of all, good friends (and seriously you have to be faster than the roadrunner to pick up the check before Og does,) Thanks my friend, for a wonderful evening for all.