Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Grandma's Cafe, Silver City, NM

Every restaurant in town is closed on Memorial Day except the big chains. Grandma’s Café has an open sign, so I whip a fast left and narrowly miss the one car coming from the opposite direction. It’s everything you’d expect from a café named Grandma’s:  A friendly (in a surly way) waitress. Tables decorated with floral plastic table cloths with matts on top. Thick white dishes. Jam in a  jar, with a big spoon sticking out.  A bottle of hot sauce next to a vase with a little bouquet of flowers.  Walls covered in floral wallpaper. Windows dressed in lace. Wood floors. A counter with a display of cereal boxes and a glass case full of pies.

A simple looking overweight man comes in and sits at one of the center tables. The waitress greets him by name: Bruce.

A teenaged boy named Jimmy swoops out of the kitchen and tells the waitress not to give Bruce a hard time. “You mess with Bruce, You’re messin with me!” Then to Bruce he says, “I got yer back man!” Bruce is beaming.

The waitress is chubby but has an amazing amount of energy for a sixty something woman. She asks Bruce if he wants coffee. He says no. “What? Our coffees’ not as good as McDonald’s”. Bruce says he wouldn’t go to McDonalds if you gave him a hundred dollars. It takes him a while to say it. She delivers coffee to the other customers, comes back to Bruce and says “So, we’re not your second choice after all?” He drawls out that he’s surprised to find Grandma’s open, all the other restaurants in town are closed. The waitress replies, “We’d be closed too if Jimmy had just hog-tied Gramdma this morning like he was supposed to.”

Two other locals come in, see Bruce and join him. There are a dozen tables seating 2-8 people. More than half are full, and there’s only the one waitress. She fills my cup – “You may have wanted the day off, but it sure looks like you all have a good time here.” I tell her.

She smiles and whips over to the next table to fill them up.