Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Once... Twice... Three Times a-Crampy...

A new restaurant just opened up in the little Payless Shoe Shoppe/Freddie's Golf-o-Ramalamadingdong strip-mall down the road. I drive by it every time I go to the Y, and I thought that today, for some moronic reason, I'd give 'er a go for lunch. Now trying new restaurants in this town is not something that should be entered into lightly -- one's likely to get hisself kill-ted if'n he takes an ill-advised bite into the wrong gristle-ball.

So, I drive over there at around 2, because I often "forget to eat" while working in the basement -- remember, it's always dusk down there, and radon is a natural hunger suppressant. The place is called "3 Times Cafe," and it has a banner over the door proclaiming, "Grand Opening!" I tried to do a little drive-by first, to see if I could peer in the door and see what was cookin', but they had shitloads of posters for smoothies and coffee concoctions, so I was denied.

I parked and did the slow "potentially-soon-to-be-dead-man-walking" march toward the front door, and entered. Inside, it looked a lot like the last place that was there -- the place whose name escapes me at the moment, but that I'll choose to call "Johnny Pony-Tail's Week-Old-Soup Palace." There was a very nice Asian couple behind the counter who welcomed me as if I were the first, and probably last, customer to ever enter their establishment.

The menu was written on a blackboard that covered one wall -- lots of regular sandwiches and salads and coffee drinks, and a special circled area that said "Teriyaki." The woman, who seemed very eager not to blow the only potential sale she'd ever see in the place blurted out, "Do you like Teriyaki? It's very good!" I thought and responded, "Why yes... Yes, I DO like Teriyaki! I'll have the Chicken Teriyaki, as a matter of fact, nice lady! And make it to go!"

I guess that was the right answer, for she and her little man-friend started whipping together my order faster than you can say "Hold the ptomaine!" She asked if I'd like a smoothie to go along with it, and feeling like the one guy who could save their American Dream, I said, "Sure! Why not! Make it a mango!" They bundled up my grub, I paid for it, we smiled the shit out of each other, and I left, feeling like the nicest guy in the world.

Now, I'm not going to condemn this place just yet. It is, after all, the "3 Times Cafe." The first time... eh... not so hot. The special teriyaki chicken was basically a styrofoam container filled with plain white rice and about a pound-and-a-half of all-dark-meat (extra gristle!) laid atop said rice, with a tinkle-squirt's worth of teriyaki sauce dribbled over the top. I was able to choke my way through about half of it, but kinda felt like, if I ate any more, my bung-hole would stretch to "3 Times" its normal diameter just to expel the teri-yucky mess.

So, I guess I've gotta go two more times, just to be fair. I'm not completely thrilled about that. I do really want them to succeed though - they were very cute. Even their menu was cute:

If you'll notice, they're only open "Monday thru Sunday," which is a bummer, because I really like to go out for lunch on Sunday-and-a-half. Oh well. I do have to say that the mango smoothie was most excellent, however. Not an ounce of gristle! So, if all else fails, they can be my go-to bevvie shop.

I think my #2 Time there will be for breakfast. I'll try the #7 -- Omelet Plate (hold the beaks).

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