Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Towne

First of all, my inspirational blogger congratulated me on writing for a week! How awesome is she to notice that! Thank YOU, Mary! You are my hero.

Secondly, today's installment has to be written in the morning since it's my mum's 80th birthday and you know that we're having a dinner party for her. So, despite the fact that I said my house is tidy... it really isn't. Will is home from college and there are all manner of items littering the front hall and I still haven't washed all the glassware or set the table. However, my dearest girl, Emma drove home from Toronto to help me prepare. Trouble is she went out with some friends last night and she is still sleeping...

She texted me about 2:30 a.m. to tell me she was eating at the Towne restaurant. For those of you not from Buffalo (I pity you) the Towne is one of those establishments that everyone has visited. I'm not sure it ever closes - it's the place people go after the bars close.

I was just there for lunch this week. My friend, Molly and her daughter (a Buffalo cop) took me. The Towne (I still don't  understand the name... if anyone knows the origin I'd love to hear it) has a wide variety of clientele. No one feels uncomfortable there and I think part of the reason is that the waitresses never change. The hostesses change but those dolls who serve souvlaki ... nope! My favorite is Bonny because she goes out with a man who works with me and she's a really nice and patient woman. I should ask her sometimes what secret Mr. Towne has that he is able to keep wait staff for so long.

I always look at the menu, but invariably order the open chicken souvlaki. Unless it's breakfast - and I love breakfast. If it's lunch (as it was when I was there with Molly) I always order a chocolate shake. This week, I ordered (not from Bonny) a shake and I saw a shadow pass over the waitress. Being an ex-waitress myself, I asked her "what? .. .what's the face about?" She answered " I'm just behind with my orders and we have to make the shakes ourselves". Which is why the shakes are so good!!! The waitresses make them!!

They use 2% milk and ice cream and chocolate sauce (and they don't skimp with the sauce) and mix it in one of those old fashioned mixers that mixes in a stainless steel tall container. The thing about the Towne (and the reason I order chocolate shakes) is that they serve you the shake IN THE STAINLESS STEEL CONTAINER- along with a regular glass. So, you're really getting TWO shakes. And they're awesome!!!!

Molly and her daughter both ordered water and I could see the relief on our waitress's face. And I said (out loud  - by mistake) "oh, you like them better, don't you". Luckily, she laughed - those Towne women are great!

That quick little interplay reminded me of my waitresses days. I used to work in a hotel and serve breakfast. I absolutely hated people who ordered tea. I, myself love a good cup of tea. But, in the morning I need coffee. The problem with waitressing and serving tea  is the same chocolate shake problem - the waitress has to make it. They have to find the little silver pot, slice some lemon and put the whole thing on a tray. Granted,  it's not much to do - but it's more than just pouring the coffee directly into the cup. And, those tea people ALWAYS ask for more hot water. UGH!
Bill worked in a pancake place when he was growing up. He, too hated those little silver pots because they always leaked and he was the busboy so his job was to deal with messes. He's told me some harrowing stories about messes in pancake houses - mostly involving syrup.... but that is for another blog.

Bill drinks decaffeinated tea in the morning. He makes it in the microwave (sans little pot) and directly in the mug.  And, he drinks it black.  A waitress's dream.

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