Big Willie and I don’t go out to eat a whole lot. We’re a dull pair, not to mention that when we pay for a meal, we expect more love than the average staff is prepared to give. My water glass should never be empty, plates should be cleared, and would it kill you to say I looked nice tonight?
So we’re picky.
Oh, and we’re cheap. It hurts my head to pay more than $20 a plate, particularly when my Dad makes a better steak or Big Will makes a better baklava.
Big Willie and I are seen as “adventurous eaters” by his extended family. They are staunch, salt-of-the-earth types, people for whom black pepper is “spicy” and whole wheat bread is, mysteriously, “hippie food”.
In Willie’s family, all birthdays and family events are met with good old-fashioned family tradition: the silent dinner at Timberlodge Steakhouse.
Timberlodge Steakhouse, every single time.
All the Throckmorton birthdays come in a 90-day clump between January and March. What’s that? What are we doing Friday? We’re going to Timberlodge. How about Sunday afternoon? Yep, Timberlodge. What about the weekend after that? Yep, we’ll be at Timberlodge.
Initially, I couldn’t help but want to mess with their system.
“We should go to Nala Pak,” I’d say.
“Isn’t that South Indian?” Willie would say.
“My brother won’t know what to do.”
“How about the new fish and chips place? It’s owned by two real Irish guys.”
“Genuine Irish guys, you say,” Willie would muse. “That might be a lot for the kids to take in.”
“How about we go to McDonald’s, fill the ball pit with fries and roll around in it until we’re shiny?”
No one can say that I didn’t fight the good fight. I dragged them to Thai restaurants on one birthday, out for fondue on another. They endured politely, ordering fries whenever possible, biding their time until the checks came. I can’t fight them, they of the Sunday-roast-sized calves and heads chock-full of sports statistics. They are solid folk with both feet on the ground, and truth be told, they are forced to endure me as much as I am forced to endure them.
Luckily, the Happy Hour at the Timberlodge is wrapped pleasantly around the dinner hour; and after a couple Bloodies for me, and a couple of large beers for them, the rough edges come off.
The Timberlodge Steakhouse looms in our immediate future, as Christmas, Throckmorton-style, approacheth.
We are resigned to it.
No Small Start: 1878
5 hours ago