Food from the Fringe
End-of-year Food and Drink wrap-up pieces are tough for food writers to dish out. They have to be hip and deliciously descriptive. A humor writer's recipe, however, lands somewhere between cold pizza and warm beer.
For example, I’m half-serious when I say that the highlight of my food year was when Dunkin' Donuts widened their curvy, éclair-thin drive-thru lane. No longer will java junkies bounce their mini-vans against the curb like a 7 year-old riding the antique cars at Cedar Point. Now, we are cleared – fritter in hand – to navigate safely back onto Lorain Road.
Speaking of Lorain (and fritters), while attending a backyard party this past summer, an off-duty police officer confirmed to me that U-turning on Lorain - after you have had your fill at Becker’s Donuts – is not strudel with local law enforcement. I now know that U-turns are okay on light business roads – like Hilliard Road– but not storefront strips like Center Ridge. And, no, I did not get a ticket for taking a U-turn at Beckers. It was just a question.
Speaking of questions, I finally asked one of the regular Chick-Fil-A dancing cow mascots if he and his fellow moo-vers and shakers jam to tunes under the giant cow head. The reason for my inquiry was that I had experienced several instances at red lights when the cow was grooving to the exact same beat as the song I had on WNCX. The cow confirmed the headphone habit, but seemed beefed at my Classic-Rock accusations. These cows, it seems, prefer Country. No surprise there.
Speaking of no surprise, the burrito battle that was taking place on Center Ridge - west of the cow - finally came to a head when Qdoba Mexican Grill cried “no mas,” and closed its door. Don’t panic. There are still enough beans left at Chipotle and Moe’s Southwest Grill to fill the nearby AMC movie theater.
Speaking of flatulence, it truly stinks that East Coast Custard closed its windows for good this fall. While it’s true that our community has more ice cream shops than bus stops, East Coast was soul food for the nearby locals. Not only was it a throwback, hometown-type hangout, but it represented a right-of-passage for River and Fairview kids alike. ECC was typically the test locale where parents finally allowed their kids to head out unsupervised – often in big bike gangs or packs of pre-teen pedestrians.
Completing my rundown of food and drink trivia is a plea to both Fairview and Rocky River libraries to finally get some coffee brewing. Please. It’s not like the correlation between reading and drowsiness is a new concept. And as any parent who has read to their kids on the second floor of the RRPL will tell you, a stack of Maisy the mouse books requires a full pot. If somebody can make this happen, then I’ll bring the donuts.
Tim Piai is a freelance writer living in Rocky River.