Well, sometimes the name says it all. The Friendly Stop was, well, a friendly little stop. This place is one of those I feel slightly remiss calling a dive. It’s just a good little neighborhood bar. It must be noted it did have several dive-ish qualities to it such as a cigarette machine and license plates all over the walls, but overall it wasn’t a place I’d feel bad taking a lady. When we walked in we noticed each table was empty, but the bar was full of men and women that I assume are all regulars. It was tough to tell at first exactly who worked there and who didn’t. This is something I love to see. It’s refreshing to see a neighborhood bar where the servers and the patrons mingle and mix as old friends. In fact, the back dining room of the Stop is accessible only by walking behind the bar. You won’t find that level of trust and homeliness at a chain bar and grill.
The food at the Friendly Stop
Orders were simple and scaled back significantly from last month’s over-indulgence into fried foods… A few orders of burgers and fries and a few orders of chicken wings. Simple enough and tasty enough as the burgers were a little on the small side, but not bad. Most notably, the French fries were nice and crispy-something that forces my memory back to the cheeseburgers and fries my Grandma made me after mowing the yard. The highlight of the food experience, however, was the dessert. You see, their neighboring, fancier restaurant the Grand Finale sends over its leftover desserts from Sunday for serving at the Friendly Stop on Monday. $3 for a gigantic piece of apple cinnamon cheesecake or a large helping of chocolate mousse pie? We’ll take both, please.
If I’m honest, I didn’t put much effort into the above review because it wasn’t the highlight of last Monday. The highlight, as is the case most weeks, was the company and conversation. This past Monday was a big one… One of our most loyal members, Tim, was literally hours away from welcoming the birth of his third little girl. Now, before you think Tim was a big jerk for leaving his wife at home, I’ll let you know she told him he COULDN’T miss a Dives Without Wives week. God bless her. My guess is she enjoys the alone time as much as he enjoys the male bonding time.
With a baby birth looming, conversation naturally leans that way. We talked about his past two birth experiences as well as all the crazy friends we know that shot a baby out in a bathtub at their house. Luckily, we were finished eating before discussing those said friends that sat in a tub of water with their wives during labor. Five years ago as a college student, I can think of no time when birth plans were ever a topic of barroom conversation, but now it seems to happen with more frequency.
After a couple hours of good food, beers, and birthing talk, we drove back home. I couldn’t help but think about how my friend’s life would be so different by the time I got around to writing this post. Most weeks the biggest event in my life involves what food I ate or a new beer I tried, and on a good week perhaps a first date or new girl I’ve met. Tim, however, was involved in real man stuff… being a dad to not only two, but now three little girls.
Congratulations to Tim and Claire on their newest addition. Looking forward to another new addition to the DWOW family this spring when Bryan and Kristen welcome their little boy to the world.