Monday, May 5, 2014
'Sloppy Otters' Mexican Restaurant, Can I Take Your Order?
'The Sloppy Otter', it really started out as a joke, just a funny tittle Monte gave our soon-to-be family ran restaurant. Using an abbreviation of my maiden name, and his love for Sloppy Joes, he'd figured it all out, even gave each of my family members a roll in his business plan. Wait... what was my role.... waitress.... maybe.... I can't remember, but I do remember the roles of others. My Brother, the cook, obviously for his natural love of food. My Mother would run the business end, she was always great with numbers. And my Father, being the inherent handyman he was, would keep everything running in tip top shape. Evidently Monte's roll as business owner, allowed him to have the final say on each menu item...... only Sloppy Joe variations. That was over ten years ago, but that name has stuck.
What do we name the pretend store/restaurant the children set up in the front room.... 'The Sloppy Otter'. What about Sloppy Joes for dinner, where do I serve them from.... 'The Sloppy Otter'. And when I cleaned out an old chicken coop, giving the boys a corner club house, what was the name we painted on the sign hung above the door...... 'The Sloppy Otter'. So this evening was I surprised when I asked what they were going to name their Mexican cuisine restaurant.... not at all..... 'Sloppy Otters' Mexican Restaurant was the perfect name for their al fresco dinning experience.
As a weak attempt to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I decided on Tacos for dinner. When I realized friends were joining us for the evening I slightly increased my effort and gathered what I could find to make some sort of festive dessert.... cookies, old gumballs, crushed aging ice cream cones, and two eager little helpers. What did we come up with.... little edible sombreros???? But leave it to the creativity of six children to transform our predictable meal into a fun event.
Some of the best play happens when I completely stay out of it. They set tables, made menus, even a set up a place to pay your bill. I was just a bystander in their production. I did step in when I overheard their plans to invite the neighbors to their eating establishment. What I witnessed through an open window as I chopped lettuce and flipped quesidillas was magical, I'd never been so content in my role as a short order cook.
So the next time you're in the area, and ready for a truly unique dinning experience, stop by the 'Sloppy Otter', tell them that Syrina sent you..... my advice..... stay away from the Sloppy Sunny Side Up (exactly what it sounds like)..... go for the Vege Joe, it's not too bad..... and maybe.... if you're lucky there will be a couple of young servers hanging around to guide you to your seat.