|THIS MIGHT BE THE ORIGINAL SIGN. IT'S HUNG UP IN THE BACK PATIO AREA NOW.|
After about a month in KC, I've settled into routine, maybe too much. I need to find some new routes to work, instead of down 47th, past Oklahoma Joe's, to Roe Lane to Merriam. I also need to continue to explore lunch options.
The most utilitarian lunch run from where I work is probably Schlotzky's. It's fast, tastes good, and they move people in and out of there. The thing is, it's off of Metcalf. And for me, Metcalf has a whole resonance. My dad once had road rage on Metcalf, not at other drivers but at my Mom, who chose Metcalf as a route. I was in the back with my grandma, and she was upset and scolded my dad. Decades later, all anyone in my family has to do is say "Metcalf!" with the right tone of wounded incredulity and it all comes back. The thing is, I understand now. I commute to the same town my Dad did, albeit not as far. Metcalf is the worst strip I've ever driven.
Today I went to the post office off of Metcalf, and the Target, and decided on a new rule: on Metcalf, I crank the AC. I'm not an AC person. But the Metcalf strip really sucks donkey. I want full AC comfort and windows-up insulation from reality. One strip over, on Roe, or Antioch, I'm fine. But there's something about Metcalf that is just slow and messed up and congested and too narrow. There are offramps on Metcalf that take you to lights that won't change for 8 or 9 minutes--until you turn illegally to escape.
The two places closest to work are Wood Yard BBQ and Tarahumaras. Both amazing. I had the Texas Fajita Enchiladas the other day at Tarahumaras and it was delicious. The chicken was perfectly charred with a dark spice mixture that mixed in with sour cream and tomato sauce for an effect that was like south of the border creamy korma. There was a lot going on in that sectioned styrofoam tray.
Wood Yard was on Anthony Bourdain's show, so you can take that to the bank, right? I've been there twice. One time I was so hungry and late on my lunch break that I inhaled the food and can't remember what it tasted like, except that it was good, and I was sitting in the sun on a patio 1900 miles from where I spent the last 22 years, and feeling utterly right about the change. The other time I had a pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw. Within a half mile of work? Score.
Well, damnit, one time I ended up at McDonalds--after I took the wrong exit to get on Metcalf. Instead I got on 635 North. There are two good things at McDonalds: Quarter Pounder With Cheese, and a Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Biscuit. When it's really hot out and you're eating a slimy grilled chicken sandwich in your car, that is not either of those. I was kind of bedraggled that day and went next door the conveniance store for a Diet Pepsi and Sun Chips.
Today, I went to Hen House, a big fancy grocery store on Antioch, recommended by guys at work. I got a salad at the salad bar that has about 600 items on it. Really good, only $5.50 once it weighed out, and 4.99 sushi on Wednesdays. Hen House is superior to a bad choice I made not once but twice: grab and go salad and sandwich from the new Wal Mart Neighborhood Store on 47th and Mission. I just didn't have alot of exploratory energy having driven back here in three days to start a new job. Somehow I justified stopping at Wal Mart for an extruded sub with limp-ass lettuce on it. I've also had a few wraps from Trader Joe's, but they too suffer from limp-ass lettuce syndrome and pretty inconsistent assembly. Sometimes the meat and cheese is kind of half-portioned and crammed down in the bottom of a half pound of dry, tasteless wrap. Throw bitter brown lettuce in the mix and you had better throw that out the window and go to Wood Yard.
At a party I had Oklahoma Joe's but I don't think it counts--from a warming tray and that kind of thing. People say go and get the sandwich with the provolone on it, whatever that one is. That is what I am going to do.
Also been liking this: