Cars, Food, Humor
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What happens when one of your top five take-out places gets a liquor license and installs a bar?

Nothing good and everything wonderful.

Last weekend I was starving, STARVING after cleaning the house, doing the laundry, walking dogs, and visiting the car show. Sliding gracefully in and out of dreamy luxury sedans (I recommend the Audi A7 for sheer comfort and interior silence) and climbing into wee-electric cars (the Chevy Spark doesn’t feel real) works up an appetite. We stopped at a newer restaurant that’s supposed to be good  – a two hour wait and hairblowingly loud music in the bar. The WideEyedSpouse looked down his nose. “No. Much No.” We tried a BBQ joint. One hour and 15 minutes. Good food but not that good. Drove past our number one sandwich take-out joint. Closed.

Friends, we were now out of our milieu. We were in downtown Buffalo after dark. Unusual. We were looking for food without a plan. Rare. We weren’t calling for pizza. Shocking. In fact, we had given up on the very notion of take-out. The universe shook and I was cast adrift, hungry, helpless, sad.

The Mini motored us up Elmwood Avenue past trendy food joints. Nothing looked right. A kale salad at home was, I feared, inevitable. Then we saw it. Joe’s Deli, our number two sandwich take-out option and a top five regular. They’re in my phone. But this was a new location, with neon beer signs and open past 8pm. The Spouse cranked the emergency brake for a mid-traffic bootleg turn and slid into a snowy parking spot less than 20 feet from the door. At least that’s what it felt like. That’s how it should have been.

It was wonderful. A long list of crafty tap beers for the Spouse, a Dark and Stormy cocktail for me. A short list of bar snacks  – not enough to baffle and just enough to provide multiple tastes. We ordered one of each. Who needs a sandwich when there are Bar Snacks? I smiled over the table at the Spouse. Reasonably decibeled music played. Kids ate with their parents. Everyone looked happy, no one was especially hip. It could not have been better.

Which is no good. Because now, instead of take out in sweatpants, glasses, and end of the day poor attitude I’ll have to decide – do I want a quick and easy sandwich or do I want to be out in the world, smiling at the Spouse over a table full of snacks…

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