There is such a thing as a free dinner -- but it arrives unexpectedly and the pantheon member who is in charge of them is Joe at (the wonderful!) Yats.
When I drove home last night, there was a food truck (possibly Taco Lassi) at Fresh Market, a nice bike ride from Roseholme. Well, I have been being very good about what I eat and it was about time for a treat. So I pitched the idea to Tam, who agreed despite having spent a good chunk of the mid-day walking around Broad Ripple Village, hunting and/or gathering lunch.
We were, however, manifestly out of sync, with various tasks and ablutions to accomplish. It was twenty minutes later before we set off, perhaps not in as good a mood as we should'a and when we arrived -- no truck. See, there's this about food trucks: they only carry X much in the way of raw materials; when the cupboard is bare, that's it for the day. Business had been good....
"No problem," sez I, "we'll get Cajun takeout at Yats!" They're right down the block (and in three other places around town, too!). We parked the bikes, trotted in, scanned the blackboard and made our choices -- as owner Joe popped out of the kitchen with a big smile, to ask, "How ya doin'? Still got that scooter?" in his trademark Nawrlins growl. We were fine, and I still did, and there was much good feeling all 'round; he slipped back to work and we told the nice fellow behind the counter what we wanted. They'd just run out of my first choice -- not a problem, the menu is filled with tasty delights -- so I had to pick another; dug out my pocketbook as Tam ordered and when the counterman looked back at me, he shook his head. "Oh, no," says he, "your dinner's on Joe! -- be sure and get something to drink!"
And that's Broad Ripple and that's Joe -- Yat's was well over three-quarters full and the neighboring establishments (Jazz Kitchen's eclectic mix, Mediterranean at Sam's, pub grub at a couple other places) were doing as well, dinner-hour in full swing, and the pure glow of beneficence was shining down; we just happened to wander into it. It's the kind of thing that reminds you life's too short to not stop and enjoy it.
Pozole Stew and Sucka-tash for me (the latter with hominy!), Chili cheese étouffée with crawdiddies for Tam -- and after a feed like that, if you are not yourself suffused with the warm beneficent glow, you ain't human.
IT'S A KLUGE
8 hours ago