Sunday, October 27, 2013

Following the police

Ennis Cafe located in downtown Ennis, Montana
I love just about everything about comedy. Even when I complain about something in the back of my mind I know that I'm extremely lucky to be doing what I do.

One of the perks (and curses) of being on the road is eating on the road. It's easy to eat fast food when travelling because it's easy to find and it's "consistent".

The real adventure begins when you have the courage to try a place you've never been to before. When you see the signs for McDonald's, Arbys, Burger King, Taco Bell and all the other fast food franchises it's tempting to stop there to eat. You pretty much already know what you're going to get and it's cheap. I can go through a McDonald's drive-thru and get 2 Double Cheeseburgers, Fries and a Diet Coke (you gotta draw the line somewhere) for about $6. It's fast, easy and let's be honest, my body is well-adjusted to that sort of food.

Deep fried Pork Sandwich served cafe style
at the Ennis Cafe in Ennis Montana
You can move up one rung on the restaurant ladder by going to an Applebees, Ruby Tuesdays, Denny's, Village Inn, Waffle House or any other of the national chain restaurants. The foods a little better and it costs a little more. You also have to tip so it's not hard to spend $10 - $15 to enjoy the food and decor of a corporate design team.

When I first got on the road I didn't go to many of these places, I was a vegetarian for the first 13 years I was on the road. So are you asking yourself if he was a vegetarian how did he get as big as he is? It's a pretty simple answer, you can eat all the veggies you want but if you are washing them down with Snickers Bars,  Ho Hos and Ding Dongs you're not going to stay thin.

I went back to eating meat 5 or so  years ago and when I did I was able to start eating any place I wanted. Now when I'm on the road my favorite places to eat are cafe and diners. I grew up in the Midwest and the food in these places reminds me of the meals I ate growing up. The taste is great but it's also comfort food. I couldn't enjoy it anymore if I tried. I like everything from the thick plates and coffee cups to the murmur of people chatting at the dinner table while they're eating.

Eggs, Hash Browns, Sausage, a Biscuit and
Coffee. The perfect cafe breakfast.
You may wonder how to find a good cafe or diner. Yelp, Urbanspoon, and other web sites have ratings. I'll tell you they're worthless. There are too many people out there that are perfectly willing to trash a restaurant because they were having a bad day and it took longer then they thought it should to get their food. Or there wasn't enough Sweet & Low on their table. Or the coffee was too strong or too weak. Once "wronged" they pick apart everything else about their dining experience. It makes them feel better. They get their revenge by posting something that sounds like it came from a reasonable person. The truth is these rating come from bitter, angry and unhappy people who feel life has been "unfair" to them. The truth is they wouldn't be happy if someone dropped everything they think they want in front of them. Of course there are some legitimate bad reviews on these sites, but I would say they are few and far between.

If you're going to eat old school then go old school when you make the choice of where to eat. Count the cars in front. The more the better you see, the better it's going to be. If there are semis parked there, even better. Those guys know where to eat. My personal rule is 1 semi equals 3 cars. You can count yours however you want.

If you are looking for the best of the best, follow the police. They work in the same area every day. They've eaten everywhere and they know the places to go and more importantly, where not to go.

I'll take 3 squad cars over a 3 star Michelin rating any day ...

Vilmos has been a standup comedian since 1992.
He created a web site with Podcasts by comedians.
He is the host of The Green Room which is the longest running Podcast on standup comedy.
He also hosts The Mentorist v2 and The Spew.
His web site is
Follow him on Facebook at or Twitter @vilmosthecomic.

No comments: