On Tuesday I get off work at five, right in the middle of rush hour. It doesn't bother me to drive home in the mess, though, because I know Hubby Tony's gotten home first and put dinner (usually leftovers or something that just has to be microwaved) on the table. This week, though, Tony is away on business, so I could do whatever I wanted. After I clocked out from the Customer Service desk I went to Macy's and did some shopping, then decided to get something to eat.
On my way out of the store I grabbed a couple of free magazines, then sat in my car with windows rolled down and the radio on and ate. The pizza was great...good crust, lots of pepperoni, and a nice thick layer of cheese. It was just enough. When I was finished I put the pizza box in a trash bag and set the bag on the floor of the passenger seat.
After the pizza was gone I read magazines for a while, then decided it was time to get back on the road. Instead of using the highway (which would mean turning left out of the parking lot) I decided to go the other way and take Manchester Road for variety.
The traffic was light, but I was driving west and the setting sun was right at eye level; I started thinking about where I could stop until it went down a little. And, I was still hungry! When I was deciding what would complement the pizza I'd had, I recalled a phone call that had come in at work yesterday. The woman was asking about the mall's restaurants, and asked if we had a Pasta House. (We don't). I guess that idea had smoldered in my mind since then, because when I drove past a Pasta House my car automatically turned in.
Pasta House Co. is a St. Louis restaurant chain that's been around since the 1970s. They have a lot of great dishes on the menu, but no trip to Pasta House is complete without a bowl of their Special Salad. If someone tells you they had a "Pasta House" salad you know exactly what they're talking about...its a tasty combination of iceberg and romaine lettuce, red onion, pimientos, artichoke hearts, and Parmesan tossed in a red wine vinaigrette.
I walked up to the carryout counter and ordered a small salad to go, then asked the cashier how many people came in and ordered just one thing. She smiled, and said it happened all the time. It took about five minutes for my order to be ready. I carried it out to the car, took the lid off the salad, and dug in. The lettuce was nicely chilled, and there was just enough dressing to coat all the ingredients. It really hit the spot! There was also a small brown paper bag that held two dinner rolls, which I saved for tomorrow. The carryout container and fork joined the pizza box in the trash bag.
By time I polished off the salad it was almost dark. Again I headed west. Since I'd already had two courses of a meal, I decided I should finish it off with dessert. I drove past big box stores and strip malls, but I couldn't find anything that sounded good. I was almost all the way home before I saw a FroYo frozen yogurt store. Bingo!
For the third time tonight I carried my food out to the car and ate it there. However, this time it was completely dark. In order to have enough light to eat by I had to move my car from the spot right in front of the store to a spot halfway down the parking lot next to a street light. I parked the car, turned off the motor, and dug into my cold, creamy goodness.
When I finished, I crumbled up the container and threw it in the bag with the remains of my other food. My trip home had taken three times as long as it usually does, but since there was no one waiting for me that was OK.