Mrs. Wayne Dale is still on her bare-it-all vacation. A week or so ago she packed up her tubby hubby and her 'thong' and headed for the sunny South to put a finishing touch on her tan for the winter and I lost the draw again to write her column. I just hope she doesn't insist we all take a look at her tan like the last time she got back from Florida. Wayne was so tanned he looked like a big disrobed football without the lacing. She on the other hand looked like she was wearing a set of brown coveralls that needed ironing.
Not sure of what to write about, I put together a few comments about the food that I've eaten at different places here in our great town of Waynedale, Indiana. I have some complimentary remarks and some plain comments about some of our local foods. I apologize for being frank but if I don't like a certain food or service I will tell the management first and our readers next. If I don't like something that is being served some place, please go ahead and try it any way; don't take my word for it. You decide for yourself and let me know what you think. In the meantime the management may upgrade and improve that particular food for the better. You decide if it is good or not.
First: I went to Upward Soccer at Avalon Missionary Church. I enjoy that program and it's refreshing to watch children play a game 'just for the fun of it' and not be serious about winning. I enjoy watching parents cheer for their children and their team and not get hostile like I've witnessed at some Little League Baseball games in the area.
Two years ago they served some great Coney dogs and some of the best popcorn I'd run across in a long time at the games. I usually bought 8 or 10 hot dogs and as many bags of popcorn at the same time and distributed them to my daughter-in-law, wife, son, and son's mother-in-law. They were good. I didn't get to enjoy their food last year when they changed the players' eligibility rules and my grandson wasn't eligible to play due to his age. This year however, both my Grandson Cole and my Granddaughter Molly are playing soccer. I went to their first game and decided to get a hotdog and a bag of popcorn to eat during the game.
They used to have a Pepsi trailer parked beside the building and 'ADULTS' served the food from there. Now they serve it from a dining fly right outside the side door. I don't think the trailer has anything to do with the quality of the food being served but it helped create an atmosphere, you know? Something has happened to the quality of the hotdogs and the popcorn they're serving though. The hotdogs no longer have that delicious Coney sauce they used to have when they served them from the trailer.
Now they are being served with an almost tasteless orange colored sauce that overflowed the paper container, dripped, and ran down to my elbows. There was plenty of it. When I first saw someone else order a Coney dog, I decided I'd better order only two instead of the usual 8 or 10. I wanted to test them first. Unless they change and go back to the good Coney sauce they had two years ago, I won't be ordering any more coney dogs. I may decide to eat them with just ketchup or mustard though. Oh, and they don't serve onions on them either and they aren't serving 'Waynedale Dogs' like I was told they might be doing.
The popcorn had a good flavor but it had too much oil on it for me. I guess I'm getting old and can't take oily or greasy, foods like I used to. The American Legion Post #241 has a GREAT popcorn they serve to their customers and they give you a choice of eating plain or buttered popcorn or they'll give you a cheese flavoring or a Cajun flavoring to sprinkle on it. Their popcorn is definitely not oily or greasy. I suggest the popcorn person at Upward Soccer get in touch with the American Legion and learn their secret. I'm sure you will sell a lot more popcorn.
There is a BIG PLUS to this believe it or not. They have a wide assortment of canned drinks, including bottled water, various and assorted candies, and chips besides the popcorn and hot dogs (see their ad in the Community Calendar elsewhere in THE WAYNEDALE NEWS). AND everything is priced at only 50 cents. I know 50 cents for anything is almost unheard of in today's food-vending market (e.g. Three Rivers Junk Food Alley and other festivals in the area).
Next Stop - I took advantage of the KFC coupon in our last edition of THE WAYNEDALE NEWS (page S8 Spotlight section) and drove over to the Bluffton Road restaurant the day the coupon said, Sunday, August 25, 2002. The coupon said, "Manager's Anniversary Sunday Special – Buy One get one FREE – 8pc. Chicken only $9.49." That meant I could buy 16 pieces of chicken for a few pennies over $10, which included tax. Now to me, that's a good buy when it comes to chicken and I didn't have to fire up the BBQ grill either. I like Bluffton Road KFC chicken since they brought in another team to run the restaurant. I just wish they had enough 'extra crispy' to fill my order. I had to take some of the Colonel's regular chicken and I'll have to admit, I like their extra crispy best. Sunday's dinner at home consisted of chicken and Joanne's special salad. Pat, the manager told me to keep looking for other KFC coupon specials from time to time. He has a promotion coming up to help organizations like schools, scouts, and other groups earn extra money so look for it or, better yet, go ask Manager Pat about it.
Last Stop(s): The best hamburger in Waynedale? I'll have to say, "There are two places that make hamburgers the way I like." Loco 'N Motion on Lower Huntington Road and Karen's Kitchen on Bluffton Road both make hamburgers that are delicious and reasonably priced. They both hand form their hamburgers and don't rely on a machine to punch out a perfect round of ground beef. I think they must also use a better grade of beef than most fast-food restaurants in the area use. And the atmosphere is friendly in both places, although Karen's Kitchen has more room in their dining area for camaraderie among the patrons. It's a great place for Senior Citizens to meet and talk.
One more stop: If you want a good Waynedale Dog then you will have to go to the 'DOG OUT' Hotdog Stand over on Taylor Street. No one else in the area makes them as far as I know. What is a WAYNEDALE DOG? Surely you jest. Have the owner, Donny Ray Carpenter, make you one, try it, and then you'll know. Till next time, instead of Mrs. Wayne Dale's TAA TAAA, I'll just say, "Later."
Note: Our Associate Editor is a self-proclaimed Dutch oven chef, a plain foods gourmet, and teaches cooking to Boy Scouts and Scout leaders. He also has a lousy 'luck of the draw' when it comes to writing columns for other people.