There is a restaurant in our community called Country Road Cafe. It’s a tiny place with HUGE food! When we have company it’s our favorite place to take our guests for breakfast because they have such hardy and creative options.
There are your traditional bacon and eggs type of fare, pancakes, etc. Then there is a section devoted to omelets, a variety of Benedict’s and a medley of Smashed Mashed options. Smashed Mashed are the best thing to ever happen to breakfast. It basically consists of mashed potatoes layered with scrambled eggs, layered with different cheeses, dependant upon the type of mash you choose. Each mash also has a different type of sauce, potatoes, and meat. They are amazing. I especially love the ones with cream cheese tucked in there. Every time you spoon into it, you encounter a different treat! They are amazing! And HUGE! They fill the whole plate.
There is a Smashed Mashed called the Holy Cow. This is a heap of mashed potatoes topped with a scramble of eggs, ham, bacon, chicken fried steak, sausage gravy, and crispy onions surrounded by french toast. The french toast are laid on the sides of the dish as if to be a “garnish.” The menu used to say that no one has ever finished it but I recently noticed that disclaimer to be absent.
The last time my brother-in-law visited he attempted to finish the Holy Cow. He was nearing the end, mashed potatoes swimming in his eyes, when he asked the waiter what he would get for finishing.
“Will you put my picture on the wall? Do I get a t-shirt? Anything?”
He apologized and told him they did nothing for the person who could finish the Holy Cow. My BIL put his fork down and pushed his plate away.
On this visit BIL was ready to try again. This time he would conquer the Holy Cow! His nephews were excited and fully supported this foolishness. Sunday morning we went to Country Road Cafe and BIL did indeed order the Holy Cow. He asked again if there was some sort of reward and was once again told “no.”
“You can do it Uncle!” Bug encouraged.
“I’ve gotta see this!” Buddy said in anticipation.
Their Marine Uncle is a hero to them. They think he is single-handedly taking on our countries enemies. He’s big in stature and is one of the few people who can lift Bug without complaint or groan. His heroism and herculean strength is grossly over blown by the boys. Similarly they think my brother, a SWAT team sergeant, is an action hero. I guess this is the way of Uncles and Nephews so I don’t try to diminish their images.
So BIL would have no t-shirt, no photo, no plaque on the wall in his honor, but he would have the undying adoration, respect and love of his nephews and for that he was willing to make himself utterly miserable.
BIL kept a good pace and was careful not to pause between bites. Sometimes he would set the fork down to wash things down with a swig of coffee. If it wasn’t the fork coming towards his mouth it was the coffee.
Bug was excitedly chatting the whole time. “You can do it Uncle! You’re almost done! You’re the only one still eating!” That last claim was only partially true because Bug kept trying to finish his giant pancake, sausage, egg and potato meal so I had pulled it out of reach when I noticed that he was keeping a similar pace to that of his Uncle’s. Buddy had ordered a pancake as big as his plate and repeatedly wondered aloud if any child had ever finished a pancake so large. Yes, I could see my BIL’s influence drizzling down to my children like the gravy atop his Holy Cow. Great.
My husband teased and goaded his brother in the hopes of making him stop. We could see that BIL was starting to struggle. At one point he told the cheering Bug to stop.
“I need quiet to concentrate,” he told him.
“You need quiet,” Bug agreed in the softest voice he could muster.
Concentrate on eating? More like to concentrate on not throwing up. With each bite he would sit up taller and expand his chest broader in attempts to make more room. Finally the last few bites slid down, down, down the hatch. I don’t think it had far to go. More like topping a sundae with a cherry.
We paid and headed out, the boys proudly congratulating their Uncle all the way out to the car. As the boys loaded up, BIL went to the side of the road and behind a tree he hurled. We were all cracking up! With each heave we laughed harder! BIL came back to the car looking a little more comfortable. I handed him a bottle of water. He rinsed his pallet, turned back around, returned to his tree and hurled some more. We laughed some more. It was AWESOME!
Once back in the car we were on the road and reminded the boys that their Unlce could probably still use some quiet as we had a long twisty road home.
“I could hear you heave!” Bug whispered. “Blech! Haelch! Blagh!” Bug imitated.
We were cracking up! “Glory is ugly,” BIL said. Never truer words has he ever said.
Aside: Took more house guests to Country Road again today. Buddy always orders the giant pancake which is about an inch and half thick and as big as a dinner plate. He finished the whole entire thing! (Glad it was Buddy and not Bug…)