Donna and I led a small contingent of Masters Miata Club members to Miller’s Bread Basket in Blackville, SC for breakfast.
This morning Donna went along for a ride in the Miata, which she misses, to the local Dunkin Donuts for a quick breakfast. She wanted to go this particular morning for two reasons, 1) the a fore mentioned Miata ride and 2) because the local DD has free copies of the Aiken Standard for customers and Wednesday is the day there are grocery coupons in the paper.
We are getting away cheap because we bring our own drinks and all we buy are a muffin for me and some doughnut holes for her. When the girl waiting on us asked what we wanted I said, “I’ll have a Coffee Cake Muffin and my wife will get 4 Munchkins.” As I was about to say, ‘Two glazed and 2 chocolate glazed’, as that is her go to order for the doughnut hole variety when Donna said, “I want 4 chocolate glazed.” I repeated to the server, “Four chocolate glazed Munchkins”, all the while thinking, ‘She usually gets 2 glazed and 2 chocolate glazed.’
We sat down and when Donna opened her little bag and showed me — 2 glazed and 2 chocolate glazed.
*The force is strong with this one.*
Regular readers know that our go to Sunday morning breakfast is about a 10 mile bike ride to Ridgecrest Coffee Bar in east Aiken with a 3–5 mile ride home. Well, our go to meal is to split one of their signature Breakfast Paninis: large pieces of thick crusty sourdough bread surrounding a layer of white American cheese, a 1/4″ thick layer of baked scrambled egg patty and 3 or 4 slices of deli ham and toasted/melted in a industrial panini press.
The pressing does a great job of toasting the bread in a perfect “ruffles have ridges” way and melts the cheese, but the ham can be an issue. Depending on who was cooking on Sunday mornings the meat, which comes out of the fridge, was anywhere from lukewarm to actually cold, which totally ruins the combination. In the beginning we made a “suggestion” to the owner one morning when she was there that they should heat up the ham first. She said, “They are supposed to, but I’ll reiterate that to them.” Since then we have had slightly better luck with the results. So recently Donna has specifically reminded me, because I’m the one who traditionally does the ordering, to remind them to really make sure the meat is hot before making our sandwich. And most of the time I actually do tell them to, “Make sure the ham is hot.”
Today when I ordered from the young girl at the register I started with, “Please make sure the ham gets heated up real well because my wife likes her…errr-likes it that way.” I almost said, “…my wife likes her meat hot.” I self corrected mid-sentance because I just wasn’t sure if she would have understood that I wanted to make sure the ham was hot in the sandwich for my wife, groaned at my double entendre, thought I was flirting with her or maybe even bragging about my imagined sexual prowess.
On this visit to Hendersonville we didn’t stay in our usual Holiday Inn Express, instead I figured we could save more than $20 by staying on the other side of the Interstate at the Mountain Inn and Suites. Sometimes, and this was one of them, you get what you pay for. The walls were thinner, the shower weaker and the TV was a tiny 24″ LCD wide screen model with no available HD channels.
We put some of that money saved to good use on Sunday morning too. The free breakfast at the hotel didn’t start until 6:30 and we were up and ready to go at six. Figuring that the quality of the morning fare would probably be mirrored by the quality of the room, we opted to walk the 100 yards down the road to a Waffle House.
Because it was early, there were the night shift folks waiting to go home and day shift workers just coming on, so there were like six Waffle House employees in the restaurant and just two customers, Donna and I. We had snagged a Sunday Asheville paper on the way out the door of the hotel to enjoy as we were waiting for our breakfast to arrive and because I was reading, I really wasn’t paying attention to the conversations of employees, but occasionally I’d catch a snippet. One of them that stood out was when one of them said something like, “You know, like John says, ‘Tee Eye Em, Too Much Information.’ ”
Even though this morning’s temperature was borderline freezing, Donna and I still bike rode over to our usual Sunday breakfast spot, Ridgecrest Coffee Bar for a panini. We were the only folks in the place until we were just about finished and a family of five came through the front door.
It was a man and woman probably around 30-years old, two boy kids maybe 5 & 6 and a infant in one of those car seats with a basket handle. The parents had on puffy vests, car seat infant was under a blanket, but the kids were just in flannel shirts. As the group approached the counter, the younger of the two kids, noticing the sliding window behind it, said, with as much exasperation as a person that age can muster, “They have a drive-thru!”
I’m not sure whether his annoyance was because he had to get out of the car and walk 15 feet to the door (in the cold) or because this was the first time in his life he had ever been in a restaurant that had a drive-thru and and they hadn’t used it.
We drove to Lexington to get bagels for breakfast. We have come to the conclusion that we just can’t live with the store bought or Dunkin Donuts version of a bagel, so we have been pretty regularly (once a month) driving to Bruegger’s Bagels to get something that more resembles the real NY/NJ bagel.
On the way back we stopped and got a couple of Motoring Challenge points, the Cemetery above and a Sign with Bullet Hole(s). Even though the total trip was a hundred and twenty miles I only counted half that towards the miles driven, because that was only half the reason for the trip.
Miata Top Transitions since 06/25/15: 146
Totals So Far: 38 points & 800 miles
Another on our dwindling list of Motoring Challenge destinations was “Your Favorite Restaurant.” We went round and round on this one as we have a few places we really like to eat, but this is it, the Mellow Mushroom in downtown Aiken. While it is a chain, each restaurant is different in look, but the aesthetic is the same. We’ve eaten at a couple of other locations and the food is consistently great.
Now we have to admit that is not finite, next year if you ask the same question the answer might be different, but looking back, the menu aesthetic might be the same. A year ago our favorite restaurant was Apizza di Napoli on the south side of Aiken. A couple years ago we couldn’t sing the praises of West First in downtown Hendersonville, NC enough.
Totals So Far: 150 points & 7980 miles