Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Oil, Root Beer, & Leading a Life You Love
ROUTE 66, WEST CENTRAL--One of my favorite collecting activities (in the cheap thrills department) is ripping off images of Albuquerque postcards from EBay. It really isn't hard: just do a "save as" and it's yours. Anyway, I was driving past the Route 66 Malt Shop this PM when I remembered I had seen an old postcard of that building and the bus terminal next to it before. It used to be the Horn Oil Company with coffee shop and motel. So I pulled in.
The sign said "Home Made Root Beer." I ordered one. I love root beer. Have you ever had the "home brewed" root beer at Il Vicino? Get the large one. Anyway, I settled for a burger and potato salad to showcase the beverage. The root beer was great...certainly smoother than Il Vicino's with sweet but subtle overtones of well-aged plastic containers. In fact, a root beer reviewer rates the Route 66 Malt Shop Root Beer as #5 out of the 143 that he has reviewed nationwide!
I had also seen the waiter before. In fact, I had seen him last night while MaryAnn and I were sauntering across the street at Old Town Plaza. He had been "driving" a ped-i-cab, looking for customers. Now here he was waiting on tables during the day and pedalling the Plaza at night. For the life of me I can't remember his first name, but his last name is Whitney. He worked as a stock broker for 15 years here and in Denver...and then one day...(You know there is going to be a divorce in here somewhere)...one day he sold everything and moved into one of those little motel rooms in the above postcard. He owns nothing but some clothes, he says.
But his health is great, both mentally and physically. And he lost 50 pounds from his stock brokering days. And happy? Well he convinced me. Just another lucky guy pedalling his way through paradise.
A final thought. Everybody who does restaurant reviews loves this place...especially the Salmon Burger made with fresh salmon. It is just a small hole-in-the-wall kind of place. There is only one table that holds more than two people. Bring someone special...a person who smiles a lot...the kind of person who thinks clouds make pictures. You won't be sorry.