Marking Myself Safe from the Chili
MARKING MYSELF SAFE FROM THE CHILI (BUT IT’S STILL DICEY)
For lunch today, Marieta and I rode into the Sourdough Cafe at Arizona Charlies on Decatur, which is sorta’ like stepping into a magic time capsule set in the year 1974, which is roughly the average year for cars in the parking lot. Waitresses with beehive hairdos, Bowie’s “Spiders from Mars” blaring over the scratchy house stereo, and lunch “specials” dumped out of an industrial-sized can. The only things missing are a Manwich wrapped in Brawny paper towel along with a Pall Mall burning in a heaping full ashtray. I walked in wearing shorts and flip-flops and felt overdressed.
Back up three days earlier: I admit to some curiosity spiked with gleeful anticipation when my unsolicited *$20 Free Meal* coupon addressed to “Las Vegas Recipient” arrived tucked inside my home mailbox, stuffed with political flyers. Luckily, I fished out my meal freebie, and ditched the politrash–especially the Republican bullshit.
We had not dined at anything that can remotely be construed as a casino coffeeshop since, since, since …..well…..um….uhh… I’m leaving this blank because I can’t even remember. Maybe a few years before COVID. I don’t know.
But, shit me silly, I was actually excited. Marieta even mentioned it was just like the ‘Old Las Vegas.” A $20 dining coupon? Oh, joy! That’s basically a free meal! I mean, how much can stuff actually cost at a place that called itself the Sourdough Cafe?
Well, let’s just say the dinner menu (which is exactly the same as the lunch menu and the breakfast menu) left something to be desired. Standard breakfasts. Burgers. Sandwiches. I saw meatloaf and chicken-fried steak as the house specialties, and was terribly torn about this decision, which reminds of the line from “The Sting” when Robert Redford gets served a lousy meal at a city diner, and then tells the waitress, “That sucked, I guess I should have ordered the meatloaf instead,” and she barks back with a half-assed smirk, “It’s not any better.”
That’s basically the feeling I had grazing over this menu, which the kindly waitress informed us had just been “updated” just two days ago (translation: the prices shot up). So, fuck the meatloaf and the CFS, instead, I’ll go with a cup of “Sourdough’s ‘ole’ fashioned’ Chili” and a BLT on toasted sourdough. I quickly found out “old fashioned” isn’t just a marketing gimmick.
The chili was an abomination. Something you might expect at a bomb shelter. I don’t eat pork, but the BLT tempted me for some strange reason, and when I munched into that, I was instantly regret-filled that I didn’t order the meatloaf even though I’d also bet every cent of the $67 in my pocket at that moment on the DON’T so far as expectation and approval.
The iced tea was pretty good, though.
Marieta and I escaped out $4.57 — plus a $7 tip. Two beers later, the stench of canned chili has finally exited my mouth. It almost made me want to light up a Pall Mall.
Next time I get one of those “free meal” coupons, I’m trashing it along with the political flyers.