Sunday, July 19, 2009

Adventures in BBQ

Yesterday we went on a quest because I had a hankering for some bar-b-que. My dad had bragged to me about this amazing dining experience he had while eating at an all you can eat buffet at Fresh Air Bar-b-que. He told a tale of Ribs so tender that the meat just fell off the bone. He painted a picture of home made Mac n cheese, squash casserole, and banana pudding for desert. We packed up the kids and hopped on loop 10 for what would be the most unrelenting journey I've ever taken to get a plate of BBQ.

You see, we are admittedly still adjusting to having 2 children. We just aren't doing it with style at this point. We are like a three ring circus, the four of us, and even a twenty minute ride is a challenge for us.

Let me set the stage...

Our 4 year old Griffin refuses to eat anything but MacDonald's or Subway when eating out. We do exactly as my parents did when I was a child. Which was to simply pick it up at the drive thru on the way to where the grown ups wanted to eat. I ate many Happy Meals at various Chinese food restaurants as a child, so why shouldn't I do it for my spoiled kid?

Well, as we barreled down the road (because we were all starving) Griffin became very concerned that he was going to be forced to eat Bar-b-que even though we had told him a million times already that we were going to get him a Happy Meal. He asked over and over what the plan was, where the restaurant was located, how much longer it would take to get there. Then, Koen started screaming because he was hungry. Roger and I looked at each other like we were about to cave and eat at crappy McDonald's yet again.This is a new theme in our lives, we try so hard to eat an adult meal but don't even make it to the restaurant of choice because of poor time management and rumbling tummies. We need to leave twenty minutes earlier but don't because we are juggling our new routine with two kids.

I digress, we quickly made a new plan. He and Griffin would run into McDonald's and Griffin would eat his lunch while I breastfed Koen in the car. We both agreed that we could wait to eat because we really wanted to dine at the "amazing" all you can eat buffet. Half an hour later, we were back in the car with two fed children and two starving parents. I was proud of us for holding out and could amost taste the delicious meal we were on our way to partake in.

Upon arrival at Fresh Air BBQ, the first thing we saw was about fifteen rednecks having a family reunion on the front porch. I jumped out of the car and very rudely pushed my way through the door to beat this huge family to the buffet. Roger trailed behind with a car seat in one hand and Griffin in the other. I have no shame when it comes to BBQ, I'll take out any redneck that gets in my way.

When I finally made it inside the restaurant I discovered that the buffet was closed. It sat empty and dark in the corner as my heart sank. The buffet is only available for weekday lunch. I quickly ran over to read the menu that had been hand written on a dry erase board. There were no ribs, no mac-n-cheese, and no squash casserole. I had the choice of pulled pork sandwiches with potato chips or chicken tenders. I pathetically ordered the sand which and sat down to a mediocre meal. Roger and I ate in defeated silence as Griffin ran circles around our table. I was so beat down that I just let my kid run amok.

I thought for sure that the entire journey and meal would be worth it for some home made banana pudding. When I went to order it, the lovely elderly lady behind the cash registered uttered "We ain't got none today." I backed away slowly as to not make a scene.

This sent me into an existential crisis. Who am I? Why am I here? What does it take to get a decent plate of BBQ around here?

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