I had some time to kill while the old Subaru was getting its 90,000 mile service. I used to cycle over to a franchise cafe that was in mallville near the dealer, but it had outdoor seating, decent food ordered over the counter and brought to your table, beer, a nice ambience with a bunch of different seating options (including overstuffed chairs) and free wifi. It was a good option, too, when my home connection went down.
A few months ago, it went out of business.
There was another place with a similar name on the edge of mallville that I bike past a lot, so I decided to give them a shot. It's a "diner" with a few franchisy decorating touches that make it the kind of place that might be considered nice in Wasilla, and an extensive breakfast menu that looks calculated to hasten the demise of America via diabetes and cardiac disease.
All I can say is, the wrong bear concept went out of business in this town.
I figured breakfast was going to hold me for two meals, but I also wanted to pass on the coronary, so I ordered the Homemade Corned Beef Hash and Eggs*. It was described as "Our own corned beef hash served Black Bear's special way, with hash browns OR country potatoes! This isn't the canned stuff!"
Indeed, it wasn't. But we'll get to that. Ordering hash browns with corned beef hash seemed redundant, not to mention greasy, so I went with the country potatoes, prepared with onions and peppers, according to my waitress.
The wifi in the place was the ATT paid access from the Starbuck's next door, no thank you. And the corned beef hash proved to be a platter of diced potatoes concealing a tiny rasher of corned beef that, if it were a side order of bacon, you'd feel gulled. As the main course, it was preposterous.
No identifiable onions or peppers among the potato chunks, either.
Did I protest? No. I just wrote this about Black Bear Diner.
*90% of the entrees had an * but I couldn't find what it referred to. My hunch: * paramedic on duty or * this is a total ripoff, but if you order it, consider yourself warned.
While I was waiting, I read this article about pill splitting in which United Healthcare comes off as the good guy. Other insurors apparently think their job is to get paid for everything possible, instead of to make sure their covered seniors receive affordable medications and stay healthy.
All this reminded me about how Chipotle Grill is offering some downsized, lower-price menu items in response to a depressed dining-out market. While Chipotle should really be downsizing everything to keep from depressing and killing people, some health plans now recommend burrito-splitting as a safe alternative to eating one meal that includes all your daily calories, 140% of your recommended fat intake and 167% of your daily sodium.
Finally, I was doing some research on ways national acts recognize (or don't) their roadies in order to construct an allusive (or labored and convoluted, take your pick) piece about how the RNC should pay tribute to Norm Coleman for loyally supporting the recount tour.
However, in the process I discovered that featured strippers have roadies. Forget Norm. Now I have only one question: Why does she say her favorite is a Batman costume?