Sunday, June 21, 2020

A Father's Day Trip to the Backyard Cafe

Holy molé, two posts in a week. Lucky us. This Father's Day was such a treat, I felt compelled to share. It really started about a month ago when T asked if I wanted to have Father's Day early. I was happy to oblige and was gifted with an AppleTV HD. We had a first generation AppleTV that was working fine, this new one is amazing. It's really really cool. The biggest change is the ability to download new apps, which the first generation lacked. Hello Sling and Disney+! So that's been cool. We've had a ton of fun with family movie nights. 

But that's not what I came to talk about. You may remember a couple years ago, I wrote about the opening of The Backyard Cafe. In the intervening years, it has morphed into the Backyard Mall offering hair and nails among other services. This Father's Day I had a chance to return to the Cafe for two meals. 

The staff did a great job with the menus and even had a special place card for me. I have to say, the quality has gone way way up since the last time I was there. This time, the only mishap occurred before I got there. It seems the cook made a pot of coffee without checking to see if there was already coffee in the pot. Other than that, everything was perfect. The bacon was crisp. The eggs over easy were perfect, which isn't easy. The potatoes came out on time and were cooked all the way through. 

I was so impressed, I went back for lunch. The chef surprised me with an blast from the past favorite. 

I spent four years during high school and college working at the Togo's deli across the street from the university. While I was there, I started getting creative with ingredients for my meals. As a broke student, I definitely took advantage of working at a place where I could get free or discounted food that I could make myself. My finest creation was, The Bertissimo. In Togo's parlance, the base of it was #24, turkey and avocado. On top of that, I added provolone, bacon and BBQ beef. Then all the veggies and a bit of mayo. I haven't had one in 20 years. Until today.

Buddy, remembered me talking about it and had gathered the ingredients. When I sat down for lunch, there before me was a reasonable facsimile of my original creation. It was on T's home made sourdough instead of the sandwich rolls we used back in the day, and the bacon wasn't pre-cooked from a box. So it was probably better than what I used to make. The real treat about it was the thought and effort that went into it. My little pre-teen boy loves and pays attention to what I say so much, he remembered a sandwich recipe I told him about in passing several years ago and made it for me. Sure, he doesn't listen to anything else I say, but this was still pretty special. 

It was a really great day. It was something I didn't realize I needed so badly during this pandemic and time of social upheaval. I really do feel appreciated far beyond the superficial Hallmark banality I typically associate with these holidays. T's contributions were subtle and necessary, but allowed the kids' contributions to shine through. After lunch, we played Rock Band as a family and just hung out. It was everything I could ask for as a dad.

Bike riding and hair styling in the front yard of the Backyard Cafe

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