Thursday, February 18, 2010

Landmark Cafe, Bill Arp

Well then, here I go. Diving into the blog black water head first and with eyes wide open.

I will blog about most everything I suppose, but since I am chest deep in the food industry, I may stay in that murky black water most of the time.

How proud would Bill Arp be if he knew that I started my blog in his name sake community? Not sure, he most likely would not be impressed. Funny, neither was I impressed with the dining fare at the Landmark Cafe in the Bill Arp community.

First of all, very nice job in saving an old building. I believe that it used to be an old grocery back 60 years ago or more. I should have stopped and read up on the building as I was leaving. They did take the time to bring out the history books and explain to the patrons the history of the Landmark Cafe which was displayed by the cash register on the way out. But honestly I just wanted to go home.

The food was bland and boring. I had the vegetable plate for $5.99. I received 4 oz of green beans, from a can, possibly salted. I also received 4 oz of, wait make that 3 oz, of baby carrots, from a can, maybe some brown sugar added. Then there was the corn from a a can, 4 oz, and Cole slaw, cabbage only, with a light pre-made dressing; both were bland. I was to receive corn bread, which I saw when I spied on the table next to us. Even though I did not receive it I noticed that it resembled a shrunken hoe cake. I also could not document the blackberry cobbler that I ordered as I never received that either. Another thing that made my lip curl slightly was that all of the vegetables were served in bullion cups which made eating them very odd indeed.

My better half ordered the fried chicken which was only a half of a breast and was reported as tough and over salted. The mashed potatoes were fresh with a slight butter taste, but again had no seasoning and were bland. The sweet tea was spot on.

I am sure that the cuisine that was unaccounted for at the end on my meal was due to the waiter washing his hands sometime during the process of serving us. Yes, he wrote the order on his palm of his hand like unto Ms Palin. I thoroughly understand a family based business, and I can envision all of the potential nightmares that this could possibly bring, but for the love of Peter use order pads!

Again, the building was the highlight even though I dreamed of turning it into my own creation as I choked down the warmed corn. The ceiling has wooden beams done very nicely, almost covering the blown insulation/asbestos looking bumpy stuff. There was a nice room above the kitchen that had two french doors overdecorated with church flowers and left over Valentines decorations. This room appeared to be the stock room instead of the lover's outlook. Several times workers trudged up the stairs to get the cans of corn and green beans that we were not enjoying.

The entry sported a long granite looking bar which was not being utilized with any comfy high bar chairs for a quick diner to enjoy. It was however cluttered with lids, paper supplies (other than order pads), coffee thermos' with pumps, and an old TV set on Sanford and Sons. The episode that was on featured Aunt Esther, which I did enjoy. Behind that bar were several pieces of coffee grinding machinery, as well as two espresso machines which did not appear to get much use. There was also much clutter behind the bar like Christmas lights and other unused goods. This indeed was the biggest waste of space that I noticed, and it is such a nice space. The walls were decorated with random flowers, but the building does have nice stone work and wood work.

I did not understand the payment process completely at the end. I took the hand transferred ticket to the front counter as I did not see that the owner would be allowing the hand scribing waiter with cash handling. I placed the ticket on the counter and a nice lady came by and asked if I had a to go order. She communicated the need for a cashier to another, and she proceeded to cash me out. The credit card process was awkward to say the least as it was set up like a retail purchase. "Do you want cash or credit"? "Cash back"? "Press 1". For the love of everything that is pure and clean, get that fixed asap.

I may revisit to try breakfast, or to see if they know burgers, but as far as dinner goes I do believe I am done. I hope that these folks do not derail completely and can figure out how to make money at this venture because the community needs a local mom and pop diner. They store was 70% full while we were there, but with the goods they are peddling it may not stay that way for long. The clientele were from the community and were a mixture of teens, adults and a few retired folk. The location is perfect for a local diner which is "5 Points" with a lot of traffic which has increased due to a couple of bridges being out due to the five hundred year flood in the area.

I wish them good luck, they will need it. Stop by some time and try the tea!



Katelyn said...

I enjoyed reading this blog very much. It was entertaining and because I know you I could hear the tone of your voice the entire time. I can't wait to read more! I wish you had your own resturant because I would think that it would be beyond wonderful. Keep it up Mr. Greg! I give you endless props for braving the blog world! I myself have given it many thoughts, but who knows! Maybe you have inspired me to jot down my own thoughts. : )

Alex said...

Very nice, sir. Good choice in sites, as well. WordPress is also a popular blogger, but I'm thinking Blogspot is on top due to its seniority among the mega blog sites.

Subscribed. Looking forward to more. :o)

Ten Digit Creations said...

While you may make one heck of a GM, you are certainly missing your true calling...a writer!! As an English junkie and an avid reader, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Well done, gf :) I look forward to more from you...