By Kevin Williams
There are certain restaurants when I am traveling, that stand out like beacons of familiarity on the highway. They are comfort food favorites where I know I can sidle into a comfy booth, sip endless vats of Coke, and get some just-like-home cooking.
I love Eat N Park in Pennsylvania for this type of food. Shari's in the Pacific Northwest is a favorite. Man, I love their pies. Art the end of a quesadilla and fries and Coke type meal, chase it down with a piece of pie. SIGH, really, I'm envious of people like my Dad who can eat whatever they want whenever they want. Because if I was like that, I would eat whatever I want whenever I want. Well, I pretty much do, but I'd do it even more if my metabolism would let me....
Wikipedia describes Shari's like this:
Most Shari's restaurants are built to this design; it places the kitchen in the center of the restaurant, providing easy access for the waiting staff to serve customers, and increases the number of tables next to a window.
Historically, upon entering a Shari's restaurant the dining area was divided by half, with one half on either side of the entrance. One side would allow smoking and the other would be non-smoking. Today the restaurants are non-smoking; however some Shari's restaurants have opened up video lottery rooms (some of which allow smoking) which occupy a portion of the former dining room and are walled off
My part of the United States has a scarcity of these comfort food chains. No, Cracker Barrel doesn't qualify....no booths. A restaurant has to have booths. Bob Evans? Meh. Maybe. Perkins. That may come the closest. For a restaurant to make my perfect comfort food list, they have to serve breakfast all day. Denny's would qualify, but there aren't many Denny's near me....Oh well, my 13-year-old niece, Lorelei, recently embarked on a cross-country trip with family and captured these scenes from Shari's. Ah, now only if the restaurant chain would expand east.