Friday, March 24, 2006

Home Away From Home

"L" is back in school today! She is still not 100%, but she's getting there.

Desperate for some Lisa-time I rushed off to have a manicure. Nice! Nice to have someone take care of me for a change. Plus it was practically a necessity as we have this swank dinner party to attend this evening and my hands looked like they had been through a meat grinder.

Afterwards I found myself in downtown Waxhaw, which is always such a delightful place to be. A new eatery called Southsiders has opened up since my last trip and I just had to pay a visit.

And oh boy was it good!

The menu bragged of a Chicago-Style hotdog. I was skeptical. I always am. Living here in the south has been a culinary cultural eye-opener for me. Sweet tea and what is referred to as "barbecue" down here are definitely acquired tastes. It is a similar experience as one I've had with beer. I'm still waiting to acquire a taste for that even though my brothers assured me I would. That was back in 1978.

After hearing the owner's South-West-Side-of-Chicago accent I knew I was in for a treat. Not only did the dawg come nestled in a poppy seed bun, but she put celery salt, cucumbers, mustard, fresh tomatoes, onions and sport peppers on top! Ketchup was not even suggested. Amen!

I noticed a few customers suspiciously eyeing me as I raised the red plastic basket to my nose and took in a deep breath. I was home! The owner, Patty, stood behind the counter holding her breath. Later, she told me she thought I was the health inspector because I was asking so many questions. I take my hotdogs very seriously.

Sitting down, I closed my eyes and took in another deep breath. When I opened them there was the Mayor himself starring back at me. I'm talking Da' Mayor. Richie Senior. It was a Saint Patrick's Day Parade photo. To the left of me was picture that brought a smile quickly to my lips. It was a shot of frenzied traders in the corn pit at the Chicago Board of Trade. Next, I noticed the golden gloves hanging on the wall. Another wave of home rushed over me. But what got me the most was the 16" softball placed just above the door frame. A 16" softball right in the middle of Waxhaw. Amazing!

The hotdog was perfect. As I sat there eating, I listened to three local men thick with their "Y'alls" and "Yes Ma'ams" talking about local politics and guzzling down their sweet teas. I smiled. I was home.

A little slice of home is sometimes just enough.


GreenishLady said...

That all sounds like perfect "Lisa-time". You surely deserved it. I'm so glad L is back on her feet.

Kara said...

Lisa-time sounds wonderful and yummy! Glad to hear that L is getting better.

Endment said...

Great idea "Lisa-time"

FYI --- the book arrived... We are pouring over it!

Went directly to page 72 and we are still chortling...

Otter said...

We could use a place like that here in DC... instead we get franchized Potbelly's and Unos. Lucky you.