One year after Hurricane Katrina I stopped in Slidell La. to eat a tasty meal with a refreshing beverage on a killer hot day. Since my sister had lived there in the nineties for a few years, I’d got a couple of names from her in advance – a menu of possibilities, mostly fishy, jambalaya kind of food.
Not only were the restaurants she had recommended no longer there – some of the roads mentioned as landmarks for me were gone as well. I ended up at a crowded Carl’s Jr. drive thru right off the freeway.
That was some fucking storm.
While staying in an upscale hotel near the new Denver airport last week We decided to put the feedbag on and checked with the concierge (desk clerk) for a few good local ideas. With the supplied handy, preprinted map and a rental car, we picked a few choices and headed out to eat.
The map was not to scale, but otherwise clear and labeled with individual eating places. All of the big names in off freeway dining – Applebee’s’, Ruby Tuesday’s, etc. were on the list, as well as a few personal favorites, one of which we headed to first.
Black Eyed Peas was boarded up; Bennigan’s changed to a strangeness unrecognizable; Ruby’s was open, but hurting too much to make us happy. One by one, we crossed names off the list. The roads were there, but the places along the way were not. We ended up at a ‘Texas Roadhouse,.’ where the food was cheap, some of the patrons had flipper arms, and children used chalk to mark up a peanut covered floor with satanic symbols or their equivalent.
Bright red cherry limeade is the new Kool-Aid for this generation. Who knew?