Dave

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Inseam Incident...

We go to these cleaners that are located just down the street from our house in the HEB Shopping center at Cross Creek (I know; I had no idea it was called Cross Creek either). Anyway, the folks there do fairly good work and the employees are generally friendly.

I have often been concerned that every time I go in and there is this one girl behind the counter, she has a really disinterested look on her face, almost to the point of rolling her eyes that I would even come in. I've told my wife several times that I think I am the victim of being stereotyped as a creepy middle-aged pervert or something. I mean, why else would the one girl not be friendly, when all the other employees are so nice?

Well, we may have had a break-through today. My wife texted me that I needed to pick up some stuff from the cleaners, so I went in with receipt in hand and waited while a nicely dressed gentleman, complete with blue-tooth earpiece waited for the girl to find his pants. As he waited, he occasionally chatted with his wife or mother or someone on the phone. It was really weird, as if he he just stays connected to the person on the other end and they trade occasional comments to one another. Unlimited minutes, I guess.

So the girl finds the pants and naturally, I start to move forward so I can hand her my ticket so we can get my stuff. Just then, the man says, "Wait just a second, we better take a look at these. They've been lost for two weeks; no telling what may have happened."

So I'm thinking to myself that he is going to look for stains or something, but instead he grabs the pants and holds them up to his waist. Turns out they had been sent in for alterations. He looks at the girl, then looks at me, then states, "There is no way these are 32 inches, they are way too long." I think to myself, "What say you go try them on and I'll just pick up my laundry."

The man then goes into some sort of rant about how they had been lost for two weeks and now, they clearly were not altered properly and by God, he had specifically told the other person they needed to be 32 inches long. As he said all this, the girl calmly walked to another counter, grabbed a tape measure and laid the pants flat on the counter. She then asked him how many inches he wanted the pants altered and he responded, "32 inches". She then placed the tape at the top of the inseam and measured down to the very bottom of the pants leg. 32 inches, exactly.

The man then looked at her and laughed, saying, "What is this, a joke?" He then went on to tell her that you always measure from the top waistband of the pants down to the bottom of the leg. He even looked at me as if to get some encouragement.

I try not to get involved in these things, but I just looked at him and said, "Have you ever heard the term, inseam?" He looked at me like I was choosing sides or something and then started to babble on about how every fine clothing place he had ever been to, they measured the inseam from the outside pants leg starting at the top of the waist. So again I could not help myself and I said, "Okay, you know that there is about 12 inches from the waist to the bottom of your crotch, and they cut exactly 32 inches from there. If they cut 32 inches from the waist, that would put your cuffs just below your knees. Can you say Capri's?"

The guy then muttered something into his blue-tooth device, and I suspect that was all the conversation he wanted from me. He then grabbed his pants and walked out saying that he would deal with the manager.

And with that, the girl at the counter suddenly smiled. And when she rolled her eyes at me, this time, it was to signify that the other guy was nuts. And I went home and told my wife that we have had a breakthrough in the laundry situation.

Ya gotta like that.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Lunch Report: 410 Diner on Broadway...

Finally! We can mark this one off the list. It has almost become a joke that every time we head out to look for a place to try, I always suggest the 410 Diner, and we end up with either some excuse for not going or we come up with someplace more worthwhile before we get from our side of town to Broadway. Admittedly, one of the issues is the coupon they have in the Entertainment Book. It is only good for after 5, and we are usually just looking for lunch.
But this time, in spite of going down a list of several other places, we made it to the parking lot of the 410 Diner without diverting elsewhere.

The first thing that shocked me when I walked in was that our host asked us if we wanted smoking or non-smoking. I haven't been asked that in a while that I can recall. Then when we requested non-smoking, we were led to a smaller enclosed dining area. For a moment, I thought we had been misunderstood, but sure enough, there were no ashtrays or smokers. But come to think of it, it may have all been a big joke, because I did not see a single smoker, or smell a single cigarette our entire visit. Who knows?
The second thing that shocked me was the bathroom. Just kidding. That was actually outside the window on an adjacent property.
I like the place. Very Arthur Fonzarelli in style, with a little more upscale feel than Lulu's on Main. Lots to look around at, old posters and those newer signs that have little neon highlights. The booths have very tall seat backs so you aren't looking at the head of the guy in the booth in front of you.
While they have an interesting menu, our waitress plopped down a dry eraser board with all the current specials and the huge selection of vegetables. I suspect this place would be very well liked by any of our vegan readers. We had a nice lady with an accent that seemed British, but would occasionally drift into some sort of Slavic sound. Who knows, maybe she is an actress working on a part. Either way, she was very matter of fact, quick and efficient.
My son was with us, and he decided on a Pepper Chicken which was chicken breast, some bell pepper, covered with cheese and Parmesan. For sides, he got broccoli and cabbage. For a minute, I wondered who had abducted our son, but when he only picked at the cabbage, I knew it was him.
My wife went with the Chicken Fried Steak, a solid choice though she was concerned about it having too much gravy. Too much gravy? The Hell you say! She also had mashed potatoes with gravy and some cooked carrots. She really enjoyed the CFS but she felt like the carrots were a bit bland. I tossed a bunch of salt on them and they taste fine to me.
I opted for a seafood platter, substituting oysters for additional shrimp. Yum! I know this is going to sound bold, but the shrimp alone was worth the price of the entire seafood platter. They were simply awesome. The fish did not look as appealing, but actually tasted just fine along with the creamy tarter sauce. The Seafood Platter comes standard with Cloe slaw and curly fries. In hindsight, I could have swapped out the fries for some green beans. I bet they would have been yummy. But look at the size of that curly fry!
To go along with our huge lunch, they brought us out a plate full of cornbread. I don't think it was just out of the oven fresh, but it was good, especially slathered with real butter. I can actually feel myself getting fatter just thinking about it.
In the end, we were all pretty stuffed and pleased with lunch. I think I would have enjoyed sitting in the front of the place, just to enjoy a little more of the atmosphere, but I guess you have to be a smoker to earn that privilege. Even as we left and stopped to chat with some folks up front, I still never did smell a hint of cigarette smoke. Maybe they have a really good ventilation system, or maybe people just don't smoke when the eat anymore.

I am guessing the 410 Diner puts on an awesome breakfast, so we are going to have to add them right back onto the list so I can go in and try out the biscuits and some of the nutritious bacon I'm sure they serve. Have you been; do you know what the deal is with the lack of smokers in the smoking area? Your comments would help us figure it out!

Lunch Report: Eva's Trip to Western Broiler

During my wife's recent adventure out and about with her camera at the ready, she, along with her mother and nephew in tow, checked out the coolness at Krazy Vatos, then stopped in to check out some cool cars at San Antonio Shoes on Zarzamora. Of course, all that excitement generates an appetite, so when one is in the area, why not lunch at Western Broiler on Kirk?
It has been years since I was in Western Broiler, but it used to be a favorite meeting place for lunch. Located at Frio City Road and Kirk Place, it isn't far from the old Kelly AFB (now Port San Antonio), and they would do a brisk lunch business and get people in and out of there in a hurry. I always had the fish lunch, so I'm not sure I even know what else they serve.
Inside, the place looks about the same it did probably when it was opened, who knows, 50 years ago? But that is part of the charm. Need to pee, gotta head outside. I think that cuts down on the over indulgence of iced tea refills.
Like many of the places we enjoy, Western Broiler still has the old style seating at the counter. This is great for the person who wants to dine alone or the regular who needs to catch up on the latest gossip with the waitstaff.
On this little lunch outing, the lunch would be about the same. My wife had the fish lunch with fries and a small salad (which has always been good). My mother-in-law opted for the green beans (which I love) and the mashed potatoes with gravy. Both had corn bread with lunch.
Mmmm, smell the lovely blue tree. Along for the ride and lunch, my nephew picked up the cheeseburger and I am told it was a solid substitute for the standard Happy Meal action he might have expected.
Oh, and on a final note, if you like tarter sauce with your fish, they will give you all you need. But please, put it on the fish, don't just eat it from the bowl. Geeze, Gramma, we can't take you anywhere!

Have you been to Western Broiler? What is your favorite lunch, or are you more of a biscuits for breakfast type? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Almost Lunch Report: Bubba's...

We continue to try to use our Entertainment Book to take advantage of the deals on lunch and often this is a deciding factor in where we end up eating.
Today, my wife and I took a drive with our son (in town seeking refuge from the OKC snowstorm and Christmas), and decided on trying out Bubba's, a place we drive by each time we pass the airport.
Even if you have a coupon, there is no guarantee they will take it. Especially if a bulldozer has leveled the place. See that pile of rubble just in front of the hotel? That is Bubba's. Or I should say, that was...

Must not have been a Tasty Treat after all.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Spirit: Friendly Mall Patrons...

I just love how people take this special time of the year to bend over backwards in an effort to display goodwill toward their fellow man. How thoughtful of all the shoppers at Ingram Park Mall (why I would even go there is still a mystery), to allow this one person to take two full parking spots for his compact size car.
I know, shoppers everywhere understand the need for a guy in his little Honda to avoid nicks to the paint or the possibility of anyone brushing up against it as they load packages into their own cars. People in our fair village are just that kind and thoughtful.

Frankly, I hope the jerk gets a lump of coal in his stocking, and perhaps a flat tire.

Emporium Report: Krazy Vatos...

It should not shock you to learn that, while not as ready to use it as me, my wife does maintain her own camera close by her person for those opportunities when the documenting of a situation is needed. I say not as ready as me because, generally, she would have to dig through her purse to locate said camera, then hope to get a shot off, where I on the other hand can usually grab it, point and click and have a reasonably clear shot in just a second or two. But when she is out and about our fair village without me, she has to think fast and have the camera at the ready. And Wednesday, she did just that.
It all started with watching KENS 5 Great Day SA show and seeing these two Krazy Vatos. What caught her eye were the little Mexican sweet bread pastries displayed during the show.
Turned out, they were little wallets and key-chains made to look like real pan de huevo. And the Krazy Vatos had opened up an emporium of sorts just south of downtown.
She just had to go! With her mother and nephew in tow, she made it to South Presa and Berkshire and found the fairly new shop and decided to take a look around.
Inside, there is an interesting collection of Puro San Antonio fare; t-shirts with sayings like “Got Tortillas” or your favorite Mexican Loteria card, “El Borracho”.
They shopped around a bit and purchased the aforementioned sweet bread purses then struck up a conversation with the owners, the guys she had seen on TV, Danny De La Paz and Jesse Borrego.
I'll save you the Google-time. Danny De La Paz has been a character actor playing supporting roles, in several dozen movies and TV shows. Remember American Me? He played a Latino in that one. And Jesse Borrego is also been in a long list of movies and such - you know, Fame and all that - but what is really important is that he played The Skinner on season 3 of Dexter! Friends, that alone is worth a visit to Krazy Vatos, but suggest you not bring any sharp objects since apparently he knows how to use them!
Anyway, they chatted a bit and talked about some future film projects that are being developed on San Antonio's south side. How cool is that? So there you have it. Proof that my wife, (the old lady, the other half, the misses), doesn't need me to find something interesting to post.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Eva's Day Out...

I'll post the full blog tomorrow Thursday, but this is what they call a teaser.
This is my wife (she hates that I refer to her as "my wife") posing with actors and Krazy Vatos Danny De La Paz and Jesse Borrego.

Thursday, I'll have three posts featuring photos and stories from the other half...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Times Change, Attitudes Change, We Get Over It...

My wife and I enjoyed a delicious meal at Ruby Tuesday in Alamo Ranch this evening. We were treated with great care from the waitstaff, and I am starting to think that for a nice quiet dining experience at a reasonable price, this will be one of the places that I prefer to go.
I shan't bother you with the full details of our selections since I reported on Ruby Tuesday just a month or so ago (read about it here), and just suffice to say that the salad bar is simply wonderful. My wife's salad is on the left, mine is on the right. Can you tell which one of us was really starving? Oh, and those really dark croutons? They are awesome. Do not let your salad go without tossing on a handful or so.

Ruby Tuesday is not what I would consider to be upscale per se, I mean, a jacket and tie is not required but people do seem to be at least wearing their duds from the office. There is no valet parking (and if someone does attempt to park your car for you, they are probably a thief), and our waitress didn't come equipped with one of those fancy towels draped over her arm as she poured wine. Though that may have been possible, had we ordered wine. My point is, it isn't Morton's, but it isn't McDonald's either.
There was a time when men would not enter a building wearing a hat; men would remove hats in the presence of a lady and certainly, no man of any culture would wear his hat into a restaurant. And this was a custom that two diners at different tables near us had failed to appreciate during our dining experience this evening.

Just so you don't think this is an assault on the younger generation, I should tell you that both of these gentlemen were in there mid to late 50's. Now in my grandfather's day, someone might have walked up to one of these fellows and asked them politely to respect the women folk and remove their cap. I suspect though that before it got to that, a manager may have intervened.

But times and certainly styles have changed. Men these days have to be cajoled by stadium announcers to please remove their hats for the playing of the National Anthem. But as the types of hat styles have changed over the years, as it has become common-place for people to wear jeans or sweatpants instead of slacks, so too has our acceptance of more casual wear in the work place.

Remember when only sailors and criminals had tattoos? Remember when a man wearing an earring meant he was either a pirate or gay? Have you been to the airport lately and watched middle-aged woman after middle-aged woman have to be wanded by the TSA employee to verify that the metal detected is a belly-button piercing and not a gun?

I hate to discuss work here, but I was actually involved in a conversation today about an employee who was alleged to appear unprofessional. The complaint? No it wasn't about how well the person did their job - in fact the customer had nothing but praise for the employee's courtesy, kindness and professionalism. Instead, it was thought that the piercing on the employees lip was so outrageous that something had to be said to management. It was suggested that the employee be moved out of sight. Oh, you mean where they keep the Blacks and the Mexicans?

The explanation given was that the employee was in a customer facing position - that is, seen by the public - and that just as this customer had been offended by the sight of such a thing - a piercing of the lip, other customers would also be offended. And of course, a piercing doesn't give the appearance of a professional organization.

So said the man wearing jeans and a cap in the professional office.

------<<<>>>------

So I sat with my wife and enjoyed the great service and wonderful meal at Ruby Tuesday's this evening, in spite of the fact that other diners chose to wear their caps indoors. Was the site of someone else's appearance, in spite of my particular views on the appropriateness of it going to ruin my meal? Not in this lifetime.

Times change. Attitudes change. Get over it.

Thoughts?

I'm Sorry , We're Open...

This caught me off guard. Given the side of town, I wasn't sure if it was a cute way of attracting the attention of people like me, or a simple mis-translation of some sort.
Rosie's Mexican Restaurant on Old Highway 90 at 36th Street certainly gave me a chuckle, though not enough to get me in for a taco.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Breakfast Report: Jim's Again and Again...

The past two Sunday's, my wife and I have found ourselves at the Jim's in Alamo Ranch for a nutritious (if we only ate about a third of it) breakfast and delicious coffee.
Both times we decided to sit at the counter and enjoy watching the operation of the place. I have flipped burgers before, but I suspect there is a whole lot more going on behind the scenes at a full menu restaurant. As someone may be ordering pancakes or waffles, another person could be ordering a chicken fried steak.
You can observe the cooks in the back all doing their individual parts to construct the final plate full of food for delivery. A manager of some sort directs the entire operation from her position, barking orders to the cooks when a plate lacks some bacon and calling out the waitstaff as their orders come up.

While Jim's comes across as a little more subdued, we like the banter between the cooks and waitstaff at Lulu's. It all seems good natured and perhaps all part of the show for the customers. At Jim's, you get the feeling that these are people just trying to do a job, and that is fine too.
Last week, I had a hankerin' for grits and decided to get the eggs and bacon with grits and biscuits combo. Really, this is what breakfast is all about.
My wife is not into grits and often uses the line from My Cousin Vinney to ask, "just what is a grit?" Instead, she loves Jim's hash browns and opted for the ham instead of the bacon. I think they gave her my eggs, and me, hers, because I like them over easy, and she likes them over medium. Who knows what that means or how they should look anyway?
This morning, we changed it up a bit and I tried a western omelet (minus the bell pepper). For my tastes, it was cooked a bit much, but there was still some gooey goodness going on with the cheese.
My wife opted for a waffle with the strawberry topping. I know, it looks good, but in the end she decided to scrape off all the topping because it had somehow made the waffle really soft. She likes a crisp waffle - and who doesn't?

The food is good but the best part of sitting at the counter is seeing all the action. When we sit in a booth, we are stuck overhearing the conversations of people in the booth on the other side of the low wall. My wife likes to speculate on the status of people. You know; the AOL Date, the one-night-stand having breakfast before never seeing each other again, or the married couple who hate each other. It is really hit or miss with the booths, but at the counter, there is sure to be action.

Today, we saw what my wife speculated was an area supervisor. Those are the guys who run several restaurants for the owner. This guy came out of the back with what appeared to be a store manager. It looked as though she had just gotten a solid ass-chewing. Then for the next several minutes the man kept going up to her and patting her on the back as if to say, "There, there, it will all be okay." Who knows really? But it is fun to speculate.

At the end of the day, the coffee is really good, we usually can't complain about the service and there is always something interesting going on. Got any Jim's stories to share? Tell us, won't you, with the comments button below.

About Your Host

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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