This month's Dive Night was a real adventure. Ruthie and Ray, the couple with the secret dining destination, picked us up at our house at the usual Dive Night time. Husby and I piled into the van and off we went. Off we went...*chug, chug, chug*... We got about three miles away from our house and the vehicle decided to kick the bucket. I was sure we were all going to die as the van seemed to pick the most inappropriate place to konk out, right over the crest of a hill on a 70-mph freeway. Luckily we could roll down the hill and halfway up the first exit ramp thanks to Ray's superior vehicle-manuvering skills. We didn't die, but the van certainly did.
Husby looks especially happy to be stranded on the side of the road waving like that.
Yep, there it is. The engine. Luckily Ruthie and Ray have one last offspring living in their house, so Ruthie called him up to come rescue us.
Once the loyal offspring dropped Ruthie and me off at our house we waited for the men to call us with news that the tow truck had arrived. Then we hopped into our fully-functioning vehicle and continued on with the Dive Night adventure.
You just can't go wrong in Nordeast. Ray directed us to Elsie's: Restaurant, Bar, & Bowling Center. What fun!
"Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition presented to Elsie's Restaurant in recognition of outstanding and invaluable service to the community." Signed October 13, 2008 by Jim Ramstad (US Congressman). Really?
This is the perfect dive, endorsed by Congress! Our waitress had a contageous enthusiasm and added greatly to our experience. We started out with a much-needed libation (after the trying time we spent with the belly-up van) and perused the appetizer menu. We really wanted to try the Reuben Bombers, but because we arrived late they had already sold out. (A perfect excuse to return to Elsie's!) So we decided to try the "homemade" deep fried cheese curds and the handbreaded portabellas. OMG.
Yeah, the cheese curds were good, but those portabellas? To die for! And the appetizer basket was full of these magnificent treats. They're served with a ranch-type sauce. Really, really good.
As for our entrees, we had the Pot Roast Melt (with onion rings), the Hot Old Fashioned (with turkey), the Hot Cali Turkey Club, and The Works Burger
Pot Roast Melt (Ruthie)
Hot Old Fashioned (Ray)
Hot Cali Turkey Club (Husby)
The Works Burger (me)
If you'd like to see what each of these sandwiches consists of, check out Elsie's menu. We were all thrilled with our food. Everything was delicious and hot. Sandwiches come with homemade potato chips, but can be substituted with fries, onion rings, etc., at an additional cost. This food was so darn good I can't even put it into words. And Elsie's is a family-friendly restaurant.
But wait, there's more.
BOWLING!! Not to worry, the restaurant and bowling alley are sufficiently separated to allow for a meal uncluttered with strikes and gutter balls and the accompanying hoots and hollers of success or defeat. But both food and bowling are under the same roof making for an entire evening of fun for everyone.
Blacklights and glow-in-the-dark bowling balls makes for an exciting evening of bowling. It's been so long that I've been in a bowling alley I didn't know there is now automatic scoring. I never knew how to do all of those slashes and exes, so this technology is a huge plus for someone like me. Sadly, we were unable to bowl a line. Ruthie and I were wearing our summer shoes with no socks, and there was no way on earth I was going to put my bare feet into rented shoes. But we had a cocktail in the bowling alley and had a lot of fun watching other people bowl.
Despite our slow start, this month's Dive Night was a huge success and a lot of fun. We had an especially good time playing in the blacklights of the bowling alley. Husby did his Micheal Jackson impression with his blazing white socks, and Ruthie and Ray had an enormous amount of fun riding on the swingy chairs. I enjoyed watching my favorite bowler who would walk up to the line, stand there, and swing is arm back and forth before letting go of the ball. Next time I go to Elsie's I'll wear socks and work off the big meal with a line or two.