Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Hick's Nickname Might As Well Be Spuds McEmpty

Poor Hick. He doesn’t ask for much. A towering bowl of soup when the weather turns chilly. A weekly allowance so he can use the debit card for gas and scam auction money from his cash allotment. Rocks socked away in the earth for a retirement nest egg. And once in a blue moon, Hick likes a potato.

We took Genius and a friend out to lunch Saturday. Hick and Genius both wanted to eat at Roadside Roadkill. That’s not exactly the name. It’s half right. Hick had his appetite set on a baked potato with all the fixin’s. At our old favorite local BBQ restaurant, this was called a Terrible Tater. It was filled with beef or pork, and butter and sour cream if you wanted. The Roadkill Tato, as described on the menu, came with beef or pork, cheese, baked beans, butter, and sour cream. Hick said it’s what he always gets when they go there. I decided I’d give it a try, but I was also leaning towards some nacho chips, or a platter.

The waitress came, and Hick ordered his Roadkill Tato.

“Oh. I’m sorry. We don’t have any. We will have to bake the potatoes. The lunch crowd cleaned us out.”

Let the record show that we arrived around 2:30. As Hick wondered out loud after the waitress went to check on how long that would take: “What kind of restaurant doesn’t bake their potatoes for the whole day?” Inferring that folks coming in for supper around 4:00 or 5:00 (it’s the Midwest, you know…we eat our vittles before sundown) might also order a Roadkill Tato.

When the waitress returned, she said it would be 25 minutes before they were done. As Hick wondered out loud after she left: “Ain’t it possible to microwave a potato? A potato’s a potato. I want the stuff IN the potato. I could care less how the potato gets cooked.”

So Hick, being denied his Roadkill Tato due to time constraints, decided on the pulled pork platter.

"I'll have baked beans and potato salad for the sides."

"Potato salad? How do you like your potato salad?"

"Well. Like potato salad!"

"I mean, do you like it sweet? Because our potato salad is a family recipe, made with Thousand Island style dressing. It's orange. A lot of people don't like it. Do you like Thousand Island dressing?"

"I don't want none of that. Bring me the fries, I guess."

The fries were kind of strike three for Hick, going to bat for a tasty potato treat at Roadside Roadkill. I should know. I had them, too. Along with slaw. The fries were kind of like Steak N Shake fries, all thin and pointy and not much more than a stringy hard shell with nothing inside. The slaw was passable. I ate almost half of it. But before you go thinkin' Roadside Roadkill was a bust, go take a gander at what Genius ordered.

That's called Roadkill Loaded Chips. Genius got not the mini chips, but the $11.00 chips. It was served in a metal pie pan, heaped higher that a bowl of Hick's soup. Even Genius could only eat about a third of it, and took the rest home. For after his "I'M 21 NOW" blast, I suppose. That picture shows round chips, so it must be the mini serving. Genius had triangle homemade chips, like restaurant style chips. Duh! We were in a restaurant, by cracky! If you look at that link, and go to PHOTOS, you can see the table we sat at, at the window, to the left of the fireplace. At the other end of the building, behind the picture-taker, was a full bar. Which I pointed out to Genius. As if he didn't already know. Who said, "Yeah. But it's closed."

Oh, the naivety of youth! I'm sure all he had to do was ask, and they would have served him a drink. Though whether Hick would have paid for it is uncertain. Probably yes, since he was using the debit card, and not his own weekly cash allowance.

To thwart Hick's appetite even more harshly, just as he was asking Genius if he wanted piece of birthday pie (while planning on ordering one for himself), the waitress brought the bill, slid it onto the table next to me, and disappeared back into the kitchen. Probably to hold those potatoes between her knees and in her armpits to bake them.

Hick's disappointment was at least as severe as that of Genius at the DMV, trying to get his over-21 license one day early due to weekend office closure.


  1. I'm with Hick, microwave that spud!

    That Appetizer looks like it would go well with a Jersey dirty water cocktail! (tee hee I said cocktail)

    1. I know, right? As long as the meat of that potato isn't crunchy, I would consider it a success.

      I'm sure Genius would agree with you on the cocktail. Heh, heh. Dirty water, no water, straight out of the copper pipe, just distilled. I don't believe he's choosy.

  2. After you retire, you can open your own business. Speedy Spuds. You can supply those crappily-run places with baked potatoes.

    Good grief.

    1. Yes! I could pull them around in a red wagon, making deliveries at my leisure. WAIT! That was Nub on Evening Shade. Not the potato part. I would still be unique with that.

      No hurry, really, to make those deliveries, because I would still be more timely with my product than the restaurateurs. I could be a spuderateur!

  3. It's so frustrating when you go to a restaurant with your mind and appetite set on something and the restaurant can't deliver. I feel for Hick.

    1. Next time, maybe Hick can bring his own potato, baked on the engine casing on the drive down to College Town.

  4. Yes, for cryin' out loud, throw that tater in the microwave. At home I usually bake mine in the oven but I tried the nuke machine once and it was just fine.

    1. If you don't eat the skin, there's really no need to waste that hour of electricity or gas baking it in the oven. If you DO, microwave the middle done, then coat the skin with salt and butter as usual, and reap the shortened oven cooking time.