Cranky kids make the chowhounds best friends
I was looking forward to leftovers from happy chef for dinner tonight (peapod shoots, whole shrimps with vermicilli, fish and brocolli) when daughter number two started kvetching that about being hungry and thirsty. we were on lawrence crawling towards austin. i agreed to find dinner.
i swept passed some promising looking polish places, my mind looking for something i could not quite taste. just before hitting austin, my wife's radar went off. we had to go around the block to get back to the tired strip mall that housed halina's cafe (note, i snagged a menu to give the exact address, but cannot now find it...trust me, seedy strip mall, just east of austin on lawrence, sally beauty next door, you won't miss it).
even though the place was empty at 5:20, it looked inviting with lace table clothes. All the girls had pierogi's--my wife baffled the waitress by requesting no added butter. I had the daily special of roast pork with young cabbage. Afterall, i had to find out what young cabbage was, and it turns out to be something akin to sauerkraut, probably sauerkraut that has not fermented that long.
Soup preceeded all dinners. My wife and I both had the daily special, "beans". The featured soup included chunks of bacon, smoked tidbits of don't ask meat, more than a healthy handful of dill and plenty of black pepper kick along with the beans. We enjoyed everything else, especially the check that barely nipped $20. The sweet cheese in the pierogi's only made us pye for the days when they feature blintzs. The waitress said generally wednesday.
Skip the ice cream/jello desert options. Across the street was a great bakery, called, i believe, lawrence bakery. what an embarrasment of choices. pans of cheesecakes, two varieties; 8 kinds of kolachky, 4 kinds of ruchlech, plum cakes, assorted donuts, macaroons. I had to settle for a bunch of cookies, a cheese kolachky and a poppy seed danish (for breakfast tomorrow!)
And Sophie, who forced us off the side of the road to dinner, she ended up dunking her pierogis in her soup and eating sliced provolone cheese for dinner when we got home. when it turned out that her dinner eating sister had the option of a treat from the bakery, sophie could only cry, and asky why we did not tell her me beforehand.
that story brought flashbacks. You handled it much better than I-I usually find something as quickly as possible (yes drive through often happens). Crankiness (well my daughter's at least) often makes it hard to enjoy a chowhound experience. My son is a different story, though, one reason he won't be coming on Sunday is that he would disappointed we won't be going to joy yee to have eel and bubble drinks.
thanks for the post