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Saturday, August 10, 2002

Evening Musings-Got a Google hit looking for "Iran Israel war scenarios." Interesting. Got a lousy dining experience and a great one in the same evening. We went to a national chain Tex-Mex place (which shall remain nameless) near the Lakeland Mall and had a disappearing waiter. Fifteen minutes pass before chips and salsa arrive (usually a two-minute thing), and my diet cola order gets ignored. Fifteen more minutes go by; no beverage, no waiter; other waitstaff look into it. Manager walks up; "How are things going?" Not good, it's the worse service I've had in my life. We leave two bucks to pay for Eileen's pop and salsa and head to our second choice. The second one I will name-Plantation Cafe on the north side of Lakeland. In the time it took us to get a diet Coke order straight at the unnamed joint above, we got a nice meal (seriously good grilled pork chops with good side dishes) and three refills of Diet Pepsi. Christian owners-proprietor is a seminary grad. Not big or fancy-it seats about 50 and has good home-style meals at $4-$7. We were using buy-one-get-one-free coupons I got from the Lakeland Vineyard youth, but we'll be back to pay full retail in the future. Each town has it's good grub place with good food and good service at a fair price. Sanford Lake Bar and Grill is one of those in metro Midland, doing for real what Applebee’s and Bennigans make a plastic copy of at twice the price; for those of you doing a Detroit-to-Traverse City run, it's about two miles north of US-10 on West River Road. Down in metro Akron, Parasson's is another good bang-for-the-buck place, doing good Italian-themed grub. It's not Olive Garden, but it's 85% of the quality at half the price; the free garlic bread is excellent. Find those hidden treasures and frequent them.

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