Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Thanks for leaving!

On the way out to the suburbs today, we stopped downtown for lunch. I had a hankering for Portillo's, but I parked about 4 blocks away. On the walk over, we passed Ed Debevic's and since the lot was nearly empty, decided to go in. My childhood is filled with numerous aborted attempts to be abused by the waitstaff of Ed Debevic's. Aborted because the line went out the door and around the corner and no one wanted to wait 90 minutes just to get a table.

But today, because it was a snow-filled New Year's Day, it was easy to get a table. The Boy and The Girl were a bit confused by the attitude in the place. They liked the crazy crap on the walls, and the Rice Krispie treats that accompanied their kiddie meal hot dogs. They, and The Baby, looked adorable in the white Ed's hats the waiter snapped on their heads. But they didn't get the rude-to-customers schtick. And, I have to say: during the portion of the "show" when the waitstaff gets up to dance around, I was disappointed in their lack of enthusiasm. They were all singing and doing the movements, but there was no energy. Maybe because it was New Year's Day and they were all hung over and/or slightly bored. A few of the waitstaff came over to flirt with The Baby. One guy asked me which kid I liked the best. Yikes! What a question. (The Boy said he knew that I like them all "the best." Smart kid.)

I ordered the Route 66 chicken sandwich, which was pretty good. The Baby ate pickle spears and fries. The Boy and The Girl both had hot dogs with fries. The Boy and The Girl split a chocolate malted, made from Mitchell's ice cream. It'd be worth going back just for the ice cream, which I grew up eating at his original outpost in Homewood. The Baby has a milk protein allergy, so I cannot partake of ice cream until he weans or he ends up with flaming red cheeks and a grumpy disposition. I also got a slice of cherry pie, which I ate later and was really good--not too sweet.

All-in-all, I probably wouldn't take my children there again until they are older. I was a bit disappointed in the reality of my experience as an adult; it really does seem suited to a junior high to college crowd. The Girl was kind of anxious about the atmosphere and because we were sitting on an exit corridor, kept getting upset because people were leaving (and thought we had to leave, too). And although The Boy finds potty humor hysterically funny, he wasn't quite old enough to get the playacting rudeness yet. Surprisingly (to me), the back room was filled with little kids younger than The Boy. There seemed to be a kid birthday party there. I saw a 4-year-old in a giant black pettiskirt walk out past our table. It wouldn't be my first choice for a young kid's birthday party. A waitress told another table with two boys under 9 that they were "freaks and weirdos" for not ordering dessert (although I do agree!).

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