Monday, August 2, 2010

Road Trip: Part 9

Waking up in your old home town is a funny thing, particularly if you’ve been gone for a long time. There’s an anticipation of seeing all the old paces, and the dread of finding out that landmarks and old favorites are now gone.

A rib restaurant where I wanted to pick up some sauce had been closed for several years. My old grade school was in the process of being torn down. The place where my husband and I met was gone and the place where we got married had been replaced by condos.

One local landmark was still standing although it had been battered a bit over the years. I went to Gene’s and Jude’s to pick up hot dogs for lunch, and the dogs were still the same. I snapped some photos of the outside of the building and snapped a ew more while I was in line, but when I got to the counter and ordered, I was hoping to get some good shots of the hot dogs being assembled. It was something I’d seen since I was a kid, and I figured it was worth capturing for the blog. But then I was told that photos weren’t allowed in the building. I could take them outside, they told me, but no photos inside.

Oh well, at least I escaped with my hot dogs.

There really is a hot dog under there. I promise!

Much of the rest of the day was spend checking out old neighborhoods and grocery shopping, where I stocked up on giardinera and sport peppers and neon green relish.

Then I bought Italian and fresh Polish sausage, Vienna hot dogs, and a couple packages of Vienna smoked Polish sausage as well. Most of it was packed well enough, but the fresh Polish was one big ball, so I separated it into smaller quantities and used my handy vacuum sealer to seal it up for a little rest in the freezer, All fresh food that went into the relatives’ freezer to await our departure. Did I mention that the relatives are very accommodating?

With only a few food items left to be picked up before out departure, we settled in with a few beers and contemplated dinner. We opted for Maria’s a local Mexican restaurant that had been a favorite before we left town.

The black bean soup is always a winner, and I opted for a dish named Ay Chihuahua, a cute name for a skirt steak topped with peppers and tomatoes and topped with melted Chihuahua cheese. It came with rice, beans, tortillas, and a small wedge of watermelon.

The steak was nicely cooked and tender, the rice and beans were tasty, the watermelon was a nice touch. But oddly, the sauce seemed much milder than I remembered. I don’t know if it’s a problem with my memory or if the sauce had changed over the years. But it was still good. And filling.