Last year, Rebecca and I were shocked, horrified, and desperately upset to hear that our local, the Canterbury, was going to close. We, not just Rebecca and I, but bunches of my family had been going there for lots of years. Like well over thirty, in fact. Rebecca reminisced about being taken there as a little girl, by her grandparents, and having the only vegetarian item on the menu - terrible lasagna with undercooked carrots. I recalled going there for breakfast once with my quirky Aunt Dakki, and my adorable Uncle Robert - long ago, as Uncle Robert went to his Eternal Reward at least twenty-five years ago. Dakki and I ordered pancakes, which were horrible leaden blobs, and Uncle Robert, to my absolute mortification, ordered several martinis. He probably ordered pancakes too, just for show, but he didn’t eat them. We had to assist him home. I went there with one or the other of them many times, but this was the only time with the two of them. I think Uncle Robert was a little afraid of Dakki, and had to have something to steady his nerves. Those nerves were a constant problem with him and needed frequent steadying. Rebecca and I went there often after her work, or a strenuous outing, either to have dinner (a lovely, greasy grilled cheese sandwich) or just to lift a glass. The food was, as I have hinted, dreadful, but the ambiance was comfortable, with timbered walls, old cigarette advertising posters, a knight in armor, and a cozy fireplace. The floor was always a little dirty, the windows dusty, and the menus tattered. It had a juke box with Hank Williams and Patsy Cline, and where we sat, it was just loud enough to hear and enjoy, but not so loud that you had to shout at your table companions. This is an important feature in a restaurant or bar, and in the latter, it seems to be more and more of a rarity. The waitstaff was inefficient and grungy, but pleasant, and they always knew what we wanted before we even ordered. In other words, it was a real dive, but we loved it.
Then we heard that it was going to open again with new management. We were thrilled, and anxiously watched the progress, and checked their facebook page for updates. Finally, it opened. The initial reports from fans, were not favorable. Rachael and Becca went to check it out, and Rachael was horrified and refused to go in. It had morphed into something that was a cross between chrome, plastic, and faux Tudor cuteness. The menu was posh (not a good sign,) the music was blaring raucously, the two giant television screens had different loud sporting events on them. Becca and I decided to try to have an open mind. I ordered my usual shandy, and she had some sort of mule thing. My shandy arrived and it had ice in it. Yuck! I had a sip, and instead of tasting like a delicious mix of beer and ginger ale, it tasted like watery beer. I sadly drank about half of it, and then was feeling decidedly tipsy. We looked at the menu and saw that instead of beer and ginger ale or lemon soda, their version of a shandy had vodka in it. I don’t think I had ever had vodka before in my life. The whole thing was the essence of awful. Why do those wonderful neighborhood snuggeries have to disappear, or worse yet, turn into the same place as the other three unpleasant establishments on the block?
|The French fries were good.|
Check out the wateriness of my shandy! You can even see it. And ice!!!