There's a restaurant in Athens. I don't want to mention it by name, but let's just say it's called "The 'abrasive particles or granules, as of sand or other small, coarse impurities found in the air, water, etc." You know, the one out on A Son of a King or Queen Avenue? You following me?
It's a great place and always has been. But as long as I've been going there, every entree has come with a free side of surl.
The waiting staff isn't bad, by any means. But you always got the impression that you're patronage was not so much "welcomed" as "being tolerated and you had better tip well and not require too many refills.
It's the kind of restaurant where the menu states clearly that they don't divide checks unless you ask them to up front. There's another great restaurant in Atlanta, lets say it's called "The 'a whirling mass of water, esp. one in which a force of suction operates, as a whirlpool", that enforces the same policy.
Well, in the past year or so, "The 'abrasive particles or granules, as of sand or other small, coarse impurities found in the air, water, etc." establishment has really lightened up. The current wait staff has been known to be downright friendly, even pleasant toward customers. But the funny thing is that they didn't have to. The restaurant was doing fine, even when the surliness was at it's peak.
It's the "Soup Nazi" episode of Seinfeld, all over again. If you make a good enough product, you don't have to be particularly nice about distributing it. No matter how many people you anger, there will always be those who appreciate your work enough to come back. If you love the art, you can put up with the artist. Being brilliant is his job, and that's enough. We don't need him to be in a good mood all the time.
And that kind of tolerance is what you need to keep in mind when I tell you about yet another surly restaurant. It's just around the corner from "The 'abrasive particles" actually. Let's just call it "Large Urban Baked Good."
Now there are a lot of people who don't think this establishment is anything special. It's a little pricey for a lunch place, I'll admit, and while their menu items are all of high quality, nothing really stands out.
Unless you order the special of the day.
I have only ordered the special sandwich of the day at "Large Urban Baked Good" twice, but they were the best two sandwiches I have ever eaten.
These sandwiches were not invented, they are composed, intricately balancing, no, juggling, juggling flavors.
The restaurant is home to a "Sandwich Genius." I'm sure of it.
*Next week: The Sandwich Hero's Journey