Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day 78: Corner View

Today's Corner View challenge is Menu del dia.  Basically, what kinds of foods would you find at a local restaurant in our town.  This challenge was really hard, because Johnstown is filled with chain restaurants, pizza parlours, Chinese buffets, and spaghetti joints, and really doesn't have many small, local restaurants.  That said, there IS a little place called "Valley Dairy," which used to be an ice cream parlor and has developed into a family restaurant.  Just for this challenge, and because we had a coupon, we went there for lunch this afternoon.  It is a classic American place--almost diner-like.  Nifty.  None of these photos have been edited, except for a bit of cropping.  I'm late submitting for the challenge, so simply didn't want to take any more time. 

This first photo is a complete accident.  I "oopsed" and clicked the shutter as I was checking to make sure I had the settings right.  In an odd way, I like it.

Here's the grill guy.  He was a little bit scared at the idea of my taking his photo (I had the waitress ask!), but I managed to get a stealth shot of his tattoos.  He was a HUGE bald guy with major sideburns and tattos all over his arms.  Notice the sleeve rolled up--all he needed was a cigarette box tucked in there and one behind his ear to make the look complete.  In all seriousness, though, since we were sitting really close, I could see that he was really clean.  The grill was his territory, and he protected it with a passion!

Soup bowls

Our food.  Hubby ordered a philly cheese steak:

I sacrificed my figure for this challenge and ordered a typical American meal:

And I thought this was kind of fun.  Three burgers ready to go on the line, a poppa burger, momma burger, and baby burger.  teehee

On a side note, as I was clicking away, the manager came over, waitress hovering behind,  to see if they were in trouble!  LOL  When I explained what I was doing, he thought it was pretty fun. 

The big thing around here is "Homestyle Cooking."  Chicken friend steak, salisbury steak, hamburgers, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, fried get the jist.  Food that mama can make.  And since I'm a mama, well, I might just as well make it at home as pay someone else to make it for me!  And if I had my druthers, I'd eat something different when I eat out, if I could, anyway.

Johnstown is really insular.  It's nestled in a valley in the Allegheny mountains, many residents have never been outside this place, and food that is different than what they are used to at home doesn't appeal to them.  There's a bit of a suspicion towards anything new. 

About a year ago, a Japanese Steakhouse opened.  YAY! We're hoping it stays open, so we can occasionally get our sushi fix. The first time we went there, we despaired of it surviving, because the people all around us were going on about how stupid chopsticks were, why couldn't you get a burger there, and there was no way THEY were going to eat raw fish. They didn't like their steak chopped up, they didn't like the teriyaki sauce, they didn't want rice.  They wanted their potatoes.  The servers and chefs looked funny.  They couldn't speak english right...on and on.  But we went last Friday, and the place was packed and everyone was having a wonderful time.  So maybe it has caught on and will be around for awhile, filling in a much needed niche.  I took this photo of our meal and posted it last Friday. Here it is again:

I realize I'm sounding kind of out of sorts, here.  I guess I had gotten spoiled.  I miss being able to go to a small, locally operated place where food is prepared in an interesting, tasty and tasteful way.  I miss the variety of international cuisine that is found in Vancouver, where I lived before moving here.  I miss the fusion of international flavors with western foods.  I miss food prepared with imagination. 

We're going to Chicago this Christmas to spend it with hubby's mom.  I think we're going to start to work on eating our way through the city. 

For more yummy Corner Views, visit Jane's place.


Theresa said...

Do you cook any of the unique dishes you used to get in BC?

Anonymous said...

ohh, those foods look really delicious! Usually I don't like hamburgers that much but right now, after watching those photos, I really would like to have one!:D

Thank you so much for the comment in my blog. You know, all the comments made me feel a lot happier. :-)

Allegria said...

Theresa: I do if I can find the ingredients, but it's hard to find fresh, interesting ingredients here. I like to cook, I just don't have the time to be particularly creative these days. Thanks for stopping by!

Inna: Hey! I had to laugh, because I don't particularly enjoy burgers either, thus the "sacrifice" mentioned in the post. It actually was pretty good--just way to big for me to eat it all. The fries, I have to say, were great. Perfectly crisped on the outside, with a nice, mealy center. Yum. And I liked how they put a plate of dill pickles on the side, so I could put what I wanted on the burger, and then have a few left over to nibble on. I LOVE dill pickles! :o)

LL said...

I think working at Wagon Wheel during the summer and serving up a million burgers is what ruined your taste for burgers...and spoiled you on fries. They've got to be JUST RIGHT!

Allegria said...

That was a goofy job. I came home every night smelling like grease. But the sauce on those burgers was soooo good! Remember going to BK for burgers and McD for fries in Edmonton?

LL said...

Yup. McD fries are still comfort food for me. Good things there isn't one in town or I'd be there all the time.

Sue said...

HI, I did the photo challenge last month also and was just visiting that blog and saw you had another blog. I am living in Vancouver (originally from Ireland) and can't imagine moving to a place where we would not have the amazing access to international flavours like we do here. That would be sooo hard for me LOL.
Great photos!