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Oooooohhhhh I just have to tell you about the nicest restaurant Bobby Stark took us to. It's a relatively new place in an old renovated movie theatre. I understand they used to show dirty movies there way back when; that was long before it became a restaurant naturally. It's the Catablu at 2441 Broadway. The menu says it's a "Gourmet American Grille", whatever that's supposed to mean. I think they spelled 'grill' wrong but the interior is done fabulously. I just love what they've done to it. It makes you feels so, so comfortably.

It was just before Christmas and Bobby Stark was feeling generous and offered to take the whole WAYNEDALE NEWS gang out to lunch. At least he took the ones that he could get a hold of. He said for everyone to leave their spouses and loved ones at home; the lunch was just for the staff. I'm so glad he thinks of me as part of his 'staff'. I don't do much; I just write what I think, is all. Somebody must read what I write; I've been getting fan letters from as far away as Florida and California. At least those people will know where to eat when they come to visit Waynedale, Indiana.

I think they wanted me to leave Wayne home on account of his not having the proper up bringing and table manners it requires to eat at a fancy place like Catablu. I do wish I knew what that word meant in American. I remember a movie called CAT BALLOU but I doubt if it was named after a movie that starred Jane Fonda. The movie may have played there once back when it was a nice neighborhood movie theatre. I wouldn't know but Wayne said it didn't play there after it became 'something Blue' or whatever the name was. I wanted to know how he knew that but he just muffled his words and didn't look up from his paper. I do know he reads the newspaper from front to back and doesn't miss much. Why would he remember that?

Anyway, Bobbie called for a reservation and couldn't get us in until after 12:30 PM. Heavens my tummy is set to eat at noon every day or it just talks to me and it is so embarrassing. Everyone thinks it's one of the other noises I sometimes make. It's an old people thing I guess; I just have to eat a cracker or something or I'll be so embarrassed.

We got there at precisely the right time and there was hardly anyone there. I don't see why we had to wait until that time. I'm sure they could have said, "Come on down," and let us eat at 12 o'clock. As the way it was it took them quite a long time to prepare our meal after we got there. After we sat down they asked us what we wanted to drink and I ordered a large water with a slice of lemon. I do hope Bobbie didn't have to pay for that. I could have ordered wine but I still had housework to do when I got home and wine makes me feel, well let's just say Wayne would have been pleased. I drank two waters.

I think they are slow preparing the meals so we could have time to talk and visit a while before we got busy feeding our faces. I know Wayne and I don't talk much when he starts a feeding frenzy. You can't understand what he has to say when he has a mouth full of food.

Bobby said it took a long time to prepare 'gore may' meals; that's why they served us some bread sticks and some kind of flat bread sticks with a small container of chopped olives while we were waiting. They were tasty. I don't see what was so 'gore may' about my sandwich; I just ordered their 'Lunch Special'. Afterwards, I asked Samantha our waitress, what I had just eaten and she said it was, "Shaved Roast Beef on 3-grain bread topped with grilled red balsamic onion, baby field greens, and Brie cheese. I didn't know I was eating anything near that fancy.

I do know it was supposed to come with "fresh" slaw but Samantha apologized and said they were out. I was given a larger portion of potato salad to make up for the missing slaw. I so had my spit glands primed for that slaw. Their potato salad is good but I don't think it is as good as mine. The potatoes were cut in too big a chunks. I had to cut them up to get them between my partials. I can only open my mouth so far or they will fall out. I need some of that plate stickem stuff that they show on TV where they take a big bite out of an apple and don't leave their teeth stuck in it or use it to pick up a coffee cup with one finger.

Their potato salad seemed to be made from cooked, unpeeled red potatoes, with chopped red peppers and celery and a dreamy salad dressing of some kind. It was good but it just wouldn't go over at the Ladies Aid Society potluck dinners at my church. It was too fancy and I'll bet it's expensive to make.

Cindy Cornwell and I split a dessert. It was fabulous and like I heard a New Yorker say once, "It was to die for," whatever that means. It was scrumptious. I think Cindy ordered what they said was a Large Turtle ice cream cake with raspberry sauce. Our piece was as big as a soccer ball that had been cut in half and then divided into quarters. I guess you could say it was the size of one eighth of a soccer ball. Well maybe not exactly that big but it was a very large portion; I could see why Cindy offered to share it and ordered extra spoons. Let me tell you, I could have skipped the meal and just eaten that dessert.

It was vanilla ice cream sitting on a kind of chocolate Oreo cookie base of some kind or other and it was covered on the large side by a thick chocolate coated shell that contained caramel and pecan nuts, I think. I just know it got my saliva glands worked up just looking at it. Ohhhh and it was sitting in a pool of bright red raspberry sauce. I spooned, dipped, and glommed my way through that dessert until my spoon tangled with Cindy's and we realized there wasn't any left.

Of course we offered to share some of it with Bobby, Robbie Jackson and Ray McCune but they refused. I don't think they wanted to wade in and get spoon bruised. They finally did take a taste or two between our spoon flingings. Bobby said we could order another one if we wanted to since it was Christmas and all but Cindy and I reluctantly said, "No." We do have to watch our girlish figures you know. I had to loosen my girdle in the ladies room.

The next time I go to Catablu, I'm going to go straight for the dessert and then order their Santa Fe Cobb Salad. It sounded sooooo good. The menu said it was made with chicken, smoked mozzarella, chorizo sausage, black beans, frizzled blue corn tortillas, chile-lime vinaigrette and guacamole. I may order both it AND their Tucson Turkey Salad with roasted peppers, baby artichokes, apple smoked bacon, pine nuts, basil and white balsamic vinaigrette over watercress. I hope it comes with order a large doggy bag.

'Gore May' or Gourmet, whichever, I give Catablu 98 forks. I never give 100 forks and I always leave room for improvement. Thank you Chef Tony Valensa; I'll be back but probably without Wayne; He would want to nibble on my Turtle the sneaky little darling. Till next time Taa Taaa.


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