Where shall we eat?

Choosing a restaurant required tactical negotiation. Mom would ask where are we eating supper and someone would suggest a nice restaurant and Mom would reply that Dad hates that place, which may have been true. Someone would suggest a terrific restaurant and Mom would point out that we ate there last week, which we probably did though who could remember? We debated driving to a cozy little place across the county line but it had started to rain, so we stayed home and ate leftovers, which at our house was a pretty good deal.

Dad liked deli for Saturday supper. He liked a nice corned beef sandwich on rye with a little mustard, washed down with coffee and a slice of cake. Mom did not consider a sandwich a proper supper and preferred a hot meal with appetizer, entree, and vegetables. But she acknowledged that Dad worked long days and deserved to relax on the weekend, and would stock the refrigerator with savory meats and salami from the delicatessen near our house. Of course, Mom and I wanted to eat supper too. So she would send Dad out for Chinese food (her plan all along), which Dad loathed and Mom loved, and Mom would eat shrimp fried rice and I would eat chow mein while Dad enjoyed his sandwich and the three of us watched a movie on channel eleven. This, of course, was before cable TV.

Sometimes we would pile into the family car and drive the short distance to the delicatessen, which in addition to wonderful takeout had a spacious restaurant that smelled faintly of sour pickles. The food was excellent, the service prompt and friendly. We ate hot meals, which pleased Mom. She usually ate roast turkey with stuffing, Dad always ate chopped sirloin with mashed potatoes, and I alternated between chopped sirloin and fried chicken. Because it was Saturday, we splurged on desserts of éclairs and ice cream. It was still daylight when we drove home.