Thursday, January 17, 2008

Memory-envoking Food

Today I had to take my car, Garfunkle, to get worked on. He needed his 10,000 mile service, and he also had a funky tire . . . turns out it had a nail in it, and I had driven on the messed up tire (I kept putting air in it!!) long enough that it messed up the whole thing. SOOOO . . . needless to say, Garfunkle was a little bit expensive today. But that's okay. Beetles make me smile - and I want to continue to drive him, so I'll pay to have him fixed.

Because the Volkswagen dealership is several miles away, I had my husband drive me and we dropped off the car, to be picked up tomorrow. We had our youngest daughter with us and decided to stop someplace we had not been to eat in a long while:


The picture shown is of an MCL Cafeteria in Richmond, Indiana, but the one we went to was in a different location. The name has now changed to MCL Restaurant & Bakery. I guess their marketing people decided that being compared to the food served in high schools and hospitals wasn't necessarily a good thing.

When I was younger, it always seemed like a big treat to get to go to MCL with my Grandparents. Grandma and Grandpa always knew everyone there, and everyone always fawned over me, because I was SO CUTE. Of course, if I had looked around at the time, I would have realized it was because ALL of the grandparents went there to eat and most older people love to be around young children because it makes them feel younger themselves.

In my teenage years, MCL came to be known as "Mom's Cold Leftovers" or "MediCare Lounge" (I know - not very nice) - and a place I didn't want to be caught dead in. But now that I am 'older and wiser' I realize how much fun it was to go that place with my Grandparents so they could show me off to other people and let me indulge in HOMEMADE FOOD . . . (Okay, I must stop to make a point here . . . my Grandma was a FABULOUS cook and I was blessed with having homemade food all the time growing up - but sometimes, even Grandmas need a break!)

When I told my daughter about how my Grandma used to take me to MCL - she said, "I'm going to go with Grandma to MCL on Saturday!" (News to Grandma, I'm sure . . .)

The restaurant brought back a lot of good memories for me and my husband (whose Grandmother took him to MCL when he was a boy.) has a great review of MCL with some pictures of the plethora of food that is available for you to choose. Yes, it is served cafeteria style - but unlike any cafeteria I've been to.

There is so much to choose from that my head explodes beforehand, and my stomach usually explodes after! But it was definitely worth it. Their Beef Manhattan was just as good as I remembered it, and their macaroni and cheese was even better! I passed on the pecan pie this time, but I drooled near it as I went by. ;-)

So, if you're in the Midwest (Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio) and you get a chance - stop by an MCL cafeteria. Just be sure to bring a larger pair of pants and a cute little kid to show off.


Barry Pike said...

MCL does have good food and they give you outrageous portions.

We seldom go there because you-know-who has some deep-seated aversion to standing in line to get food. She did work in a cafeteria in her teens and has never recovered, I think.

"I want to be waited on", is the usual line I hear.

Shoemaker Family said...

I have never been to MCL...and actually had NO intentions of going there. But Sep has memories of heading there as a child too - must be an Indiana thing! ha ha :)

Beneath the Shadowed Trees said...

I love the MCL too. Nana took me as well. We eat there from time to time cause it is something I crave.