Last night Pete and I discovered a most unusual restaurant tucked up here in the woods by our house: The Out Back Chili House. Reservations are a must! There is only one table. And your server is dedicated to you and only you the whole evening. And surprisingly affordable! Let me tell you all about our night.
Pete and I cleaned up and each put on our very best nightwear. He, plaid lounging pants and a grey muscle shirt. The combination really set off his golden hair and piercing blue eyes. I chose my flower print clingy a-line spaghetti strap gown that comes about mid-thigh and accented it with my mothers double strand pearls and one of Donna's lovely anklets. Then we went out and walked around to the back porch. There we were met by our lovely server. Cute, young and sassy, I do believe she was flirting with my Pete. Her name for the evening was Clara.
Clara wore a hot pink scooter skirt with a turquoise top and a striped vest. She had long, flowing, strawberry-blond hair. Her eyes danced with merriment and her face would often turn cherry red with the blush of embarrassment as she interacted with us throughout the night.
We met Clara at the porch and she walked us past an overloaded pear tree to reveal a roaring fire in a fire hole in the ground. Just beyond it, under an opening in the pecan tree tops, was a carpet with a small wooden dining table and two chairs. Beside the table was a lantern and upon it's top was a Navajo tablecloth with fresh gardenias in a vase and a candle. After seating us, Clara took our drink order. I choose the Coke and 7, Pete opted for an ice cold Miller Lite. Clara left our silverware with us and turned on some soft music. A delightful and romantic mix that included Otis Redding, Johnny Rivers, Billy Joe Royal and Delbert McClinton.
We lit our candle and relaxed. We could look directly into each other's eyes and touch our fingertips across the table. We found that when we slipped our shoes off we could also rub the other's foot underneath. Quite titillating!
"Clara" returned with our drinks and gave us menus that revealed that homemade chili was THE dish of the night. Could be order in variety of ways with extras and options. We both chose the Frito pie with onions and grated cheese. I asked for a refill and Pete joined me in ordering Coke & 7 this time around. Our server left us in solitude to contemplate the music, the fire, the stars and each other.
The music was just loud enough to hear every word, but low enough to hear the chorus that was coming from the woods of chirping crickets and tree frogs. Occasionally the fire would snap and pop. I don't think I've ever been in a restaurant with a more pleasant atmosphere.
Our dinner arrived carried expertly by Clara on a large tray held erect on the fingertips of one hand. She served our food and I have to say I have never seen such a simple dish garnished and presented in such a pleasing way. Pete and I both dove right in. It was delicious and just the right temperature. I ate until I thought I'd pop and then Pete polished off what was left of mine after finishing his own. Time for a smoke and more conversation as we sipped our drinks.
At just the right moment Clara was back, ready to take away our dirty dishes. There were peppermints to combat the onions. And she went away to tally our "bill". She soon returned. It seemed a little pricey at first, $45.00. But once I understood that my imaginary Visa was accepted there, it became a great deal. Pete dug out a little cash for a tip for Clara. As she was so young and precious, we invited her to sit and visit with us while we finished our drinks. We all did some star gazing and she and Pete searched out the big dipper but couldn't locate it last night. When we were done we helped her close down the restaurant by turning off the lantern, putting the CD player in the Bronco and sitting the table under the shed.
"Clara" came inside and put on her bed clothes, snuggled up in the blue lazy boy with her teddy and the TV. Pete and I disappeared into our room to play a little "dice".
Another wonderful, unforgettable evening in Caneyhead.
(This all started with an email from my Pete at work yesterday challenging me to "e-mail me naughty things you are going to do to ME this WEEKEND...
or if not Me , tell me anyway.
If , When , Where , How and How Long...-" I answered him throughout the day, one email at a time for each of the five conditions. When I got home last evening, I cooked up the chili and left everything necessary out and accessible in the kitchen. When I invited Hannah to participate by being our server, she was overjoyed! Happy for us to have a special evening, and to get to play pretend with two adults. We all worked together to have the fire, table, lantern and music ready to go. Once we were all dressed and ready, we went into "character" and remained there until we came in the house afterward. And I have to say Bug threw herself into her role and went the extra mile to make it all "real" with a menu and order pad and all those little touches. I share this in hopes it inspires YOU to do something a little unusual, creative and inexpensive with your own mate.)