An installment from the increasingly pregnant and hungry Andria.
The American Cafe
2055 West St # 20
We get demented when we’re hungry. It happens to every single person in our family. Miss M (age 4) wakes up in the morning like a rabid timberwolf, screeching and thrashing and making weird hissing noises until she’s given her bowl of dry oatmeal and 1.5 teaspoons (okay, tablespoons) of brown sugar. She comes by this foodborne madness honestly, as both The Admiral and I turn into deeply irrational creatures when our blood sugar gets low.
All this is in the way of explaining how we found ourselves at American Cafe in Germantown on a Friday night. It’s hard for me to remember what all led up to the decision, being so close to a coma at the time, but I’m pretty sure we tossed out our usual suggestions (namely Huey’s, Los Compadres, The Admiral’s beloved Chili’s) along with a smattering of other ideas, none of which could satisfy my finicky pregnant palate as well as provide The Admiral with his pined-for tiny loaf of bread and garlic butter. So even though it was well past 6pm on a Friday evening, and therefore only an hour from Miss M’s bath time, we headed down I-40, into the widening darkness, toward a Germantown strip mall.
We arrived and saw a crowd gathered in the entryway, which caused us concern, but it turned out to just be a group of Germantowners who clearly had nowhere else to hang out. We were seated at a very convenient booth at the end of the room, so our increasingly deranged child wouldn’t be in anyone’s face but mine. It took a surprisingly long time to get our drink orders taken, so we were sure to have our food requests ready by the time our waitress returned with beverages and the long-awaited bread, nearly all of which was consumed by Miss M within 45 seconds.
We ordered either the spinach con queso or the artichoke dip (I’m pretty sure the former, but again, I wasn’t thinking all that clearly and I could be remembering the wrong cheesy appetizer. That held us over and kept Miss M distracted until the real food arrived. I’d ordered macaroni and cheese for the child, with a side order of broccoli that I incorrectly assumed was included in the price of the meal (the list of non-fry sides apparently only applies on dishes where fries are included). We were charged $2 for the barely touched veggies, yet never received the Teddy Grahams that definitely were supposed to be included. (Oh, and for the record, that “kids eat free” deal that the now-closed Wolfchase location offered is not applicable in the Saddle Creek restaurant.)
My dinner was the chicken parmesan sandwich, and wow, was it unpleasant. The chicken was just a regular overcooked boneless breast thrown onto a burned yet soggy roll that was clearly not designed to hold meat of that shape or weight. I’m really not sure what The Admiral had, but he ate all of it. Of course, he would eat his own left hand if it were covered in Philly cheese sauce. Especially since the waitress made up for her initial tardiness by refilling his Diet Coke no fewer than 8 times.
How any eating got done at all is a mystery, however, since Miss M had by this point completely rebelled against the entire concept of dining out and was spending her time throwing crayons at us, sticking her hands in the uneaten macaroni and trying desperately to climb out of the booth using only my shoulders for leverage. It was hard to keep ourselves calm, but it was also pretty hard to blame her. We were the ones who dragged her out to dinner right at bedtime, after all. So while I tried to keep her from disturbing anyone not genetically responsible for her, I did accept the brunt of her attitude with resignation and the standard amount of maternal guilt.
After a typically harried bathroom break and much accusatory sighing, The Admiral removed Miss M from the scene as I poked at my last few bites and paid the bill. They were having some sort of discipline-related conference as I got to the parking lot, and we completed our evening with a very quiet drive back to Midtown. Sorry to anyone we may have frightened or bothered. We plead temporary insanity.