When Courtney and I are feeling lazy or the fridge is empty, we frequently make the run down the hill to Wendy's, where we indulge in mass-marketed fried delights. Except we don't really run, we drive, and we always bring it back and eat it on the coffee/dinner table in front of reruns on the TV.
I've always been ashamed of our regular patronage of fast food restaurants, not because I give a crap about what you think about me stuffing my face with delicious spicy chicken sandwiches, but because I feel bad about all the independent local restaurants that could really use our business and probably make better food anyway while we're dropping $10 on the same tasty junk you can get anywhere in America.
Enter the Speedmart Deli. Until recently known as the Smoky Mountain Deli, it's just a couple hundred yards further than that pigtailed redhead, and for months I've been making the case for trying out what some say is the best Greek fare in Knoxville. Only problem is, it's in a gas station. Courtney has a long standing prohibition against eating food from gas stations, so every time I brought up the idea of picking up some gyros from the deli instead of yummy greaseballs from Wendy's, it was promptly shot down.
Not tonight, though. For some reason, we agreed on the gas station. It’s a small station/convenience store, and I was curious to see how they fit the deli inside as we stepped around the guy smoking out front under the awning rather close to the gas pumps. Next to the counter where you pay for your fill-up and pick up a carton of your favorite brand of menthols is another counter that I assume is the deli. I say I assume because it had a menu board hanging over it but there was not a single food item in sight, aside from the racks of chips and beef jerky behind us and a few pre-made salads in a display case. The guy guarding the cigarettes divined our intentions and yelled out the backdoor, apparently trying to find the person responsible for the hummus and tzatziki.
Feeling that my lady wasn’t too keen on the menu choices and not feeling too inspired myself, our course reversal was decided when the guy who’d been smoking on the curb out front came in through the back and started tying on an apron. As Courtney pointed out, the dude did wash his hands, but I grabbed a to-go menu and we made our escape.
So it was that we came to feast on sandwiches and Biggie fries from the greatest idea Dave Thomas ever had.
And that is the story of dinner.