Sunday night, we all piled into the car and went out to eat. We try to be good; we passed up Burger King and McDonald’s and went to Subway instead. I think Subway has found a pretty good niche in fast food. It’s fast, but the sandwiches tend to be relatively healthy if you don’t go overboard. I appreciate that; it’s hard enough in this society to eat right.
As I was paying for our sub sandwiches, I noticed a pile of menus printed on pink paper sitting next to the cash register. JOE’S DINER, they read. Odd. You don’t normally see ads for restaurants inside other restaurants. So, I picked one up and decided to peruse Joe’s bill of fare as we munched down our meals in our Formica booth.
Let’s just say Joe’s Diner is about as far away from Subway as you can get. They have an Elvis motif going throughout their menu. Indeed there is a sandwich called “Fat Elvis”… you can get a “Mini Fat Elvis” for the kids under 12. They have a large hot dog called a “Hound Dog”. The smaller version isn’t a mini hound dog, but rather a “Puppy Dog”. I’m no vegan, but I have to say the image I got from that left me feeling a bit off.
Speaking of vegans, Joe’s Diner has something for everyone. Fried string beans. Fried corn nuggets. They offered something called “mac-n-cheese nuggets”; all I could think of was the brown chunks at the bottom of the Pyrex dish when you overcook a box of Kraft. At least, I thought to myself, they don’t offer it on a stick.
Next page… corn dogs. Doh!
Now, I don’t want to give the wrong impression. Sure, a number of the breakfast offerings say they come with “meat” without explaining in any detail just what kind of meat we’re talking about here. But everyone knows that Elvis liked his peanut butter sandwiches deep fried. At Joe’s Diner, their PBJ is grilled. Finally, my curiosity got the better of me. How could a place like Subway, where I’m sitting next to a cardboard cutout of a man celebrating the fact that he no longer has a 70” waist, advertise menus for a place like Joe’s Diner?
“Well,” replied the kid working behind the counter, “the owners of this Subway also own Joe’s Diner.”