Tag Archives: restaurants

Monday Moments: Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Golden Nugget ca. 1960s

Great restaurants are, of course, nothing but mouth-brothels. There is no point in going to them if one intends to keep one’s belt buckled. ~ Frederic Raphael

Anyone a Cheers fan?

“NORM!”

That shouted greeting was one of my favorite parts of the show. In fact, I always wanted to have a place where, when I came in, would recognize me and be happy I was there. My husband felt the same, so over the years of our marriage, we’ve frequently tried to cultivate some favorite haunts and hang-outs where they know us by name. (Of course, I always hope it’s because we’re nice folks and good tippers! LOL) There’s something quite fun about people greeting us warmly, moving chairs out of the way for my husband, and, overall, pleased that we’ve returned for another visit.

One of our favorite places is a local independent restaurant called the Golden Nugget. Only open for breakfast and lunch, it’s an institution here in the Dayton area. Operating since 1961, its reputation is as phenomenal as the food. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, lines weave through the lobby, out into the entryway, and frequently, in good weather, outside down the sidewalk. I typically refuse to wait in line at a restaurant, but I will happily stake my claim in line here, not even blinking an eye to wait 30 minutes, plodding step-by-step closer to nirvana. Golden Nugget rebuilt The original location burned down in 2005, but locals were thrilled when the Thomas family decided to rebuild. Regulars came flocking back after more than a year’s closure, and for good reason. This is the kind of place where service staff are quick, correct, and smiling. Where your coffee cup never gets cold, let alone empty. Where they really do know your name.

My main reason to love the place? The most delicious, crispy, lacy potato pancakes I’ve ever had! Golden Nugget's potato pancakes

What are some of your favorite haunts and hangouts?

Is there a place you go where everyone knows your name?

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Birthday Blues

I filled out a survey today, something trivial, online, in the effort to win something I probably don’t need anyway.  But the worst part?  I had to check the age box for a new age-range!  Now, I could have checked a different box, I mean really, who would ever know?  But, I didn’t.  Reminding myself that at least I was the bottom of that age range, I checked it bravely and moved on.  Obviously, it didn’t bother me a bit.  See??  Not a bit….

It was a fabulous weekend for a birthday!  A perfect, golden autumn, that was neither too hot, nor too cold.  The sun was shining, we had family in for the weekend, and fun things to do.  The celebrations kicked off on with my first present on Thursday – a large Magic-8 ball, from a good friend who knows that no matter how old I get, I still believe in certain kinds of magic.  On Friday, my colleagues at work threw me a party in the middle of our regular First-Friday staff meeting, complete with cake!Lynda's birthday cake

Friday night, with family around our new dining room table, we indulged in a marvelous cabbage roll dinner, with the cabbage rolls homemade by women over at St. Stephen’s Hungarian Catholic Church.  Yum…. there is nothing like fresh-made Hungarian church-lady food!  Saturday was my actual birthday, and my darling husband made sure it was full of fun!  As you might have noticed from the title, the theme this year was birthday blues – but not in the sense that you might be thinking!  Blue is my favorite color, especially in the sapphire variety, so he played on the theme.  He bought tickets to see the Blue Man Group, which was performing to kick off the fall theater season here in town.  We had not seen the group before, and it was something to behold.  It was fun, loud, rowdy, and an all-around good time.  The show ran more than 90 minutes, with no intermission, and included good percussion music from a variety of sources, some comical audience interaction, and a few really funny alien-in-a-strange-land kind of skits.   But for me, the ending was the best part.  The BMG started out on stage, using these large, pearlesque balls as drums, and they were lit from the inside, so that they shimmered and glowed when struck.  As they transitioned to different instruments, they got the audience up dancing and kicked out these balls into the audience, so that it was much like a rock concert!  They fired toilet paper rolls, engaged large air-filled tubes out over the stage and audience — all in all, not your normal theater-type experience for the matinee crowd!  It ROCKED!    Literally!  Balls in the crowdlighted ballsBut what fun was had.    And the fun continued Saturday night as the blue theme rolled on.  We all headed over to our usual table at the FunnyBone (and yes, we have a usual table… we love to laugh!) to see comedian Josh Blue!  See?  Blue Birthday! I also got a gorgeous necklace and earring set, with…you guessed it…. blue flowers!

On Sunday, we went out for brunch, meeting up with other family, at a new independent buffet nearby.  Our first experience there, but we love trying out new places, and this was worth a little drive to get there!  It had everything from fresh sushi and excellent Chinese food, to all-American meatloaf, ham loaf, and all the fixings, to an amazing salad bar.  And the desserts were excellent, especially their mini apple dumplings.  Which I will of course now have to figure out how to recreate at home!!  They were that good!!   And, family being family and not folks to let a good thing pass them by, they blabbed that it was my birthday, so I got the whole wait staff singing and piece of cake thing, too.  I haven’t blushed that much in… well… forever!  I suppose it did me good…. LOL   (especially since I can’t make it disappear, eh?).  I am thanking my lucky stars that it happened so quickly that no one had time to whip out their phone and capture the moment for posterity.  One wish came true there!

So here I am, post-blue birthday.  Back at it.  Catching up on writing, blogging, reading, cooking and other fun things.  The things I enjoy doing.  My final present to myself was two days off work this week and two days off next week, too, to get some serious writing done.  Which I have.  And will.  I know what I wished for as I blew out the candles (alas not blue candles, though) this year, and I know it’s up to me to make it come true.  Just me.  It’s a journey I  long for and want, and –here’s hoping– will have success in completing.

It’s going to be a great year.  I just know it.

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