Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Question Game

My friend Misty and I have this ongoing (over the span of several years) game in which we try to come up with original questions that are very fun to answer for all involved. This game probably emerged from a late night talk one July 4th when we were teenagers, lying on quilts and gazing at the stars, eating potato wedges and sipping RC Drafts (the yummiest pop ever, but sadly no longer available!). We pondered deep things such as "If you could go back in time and change one event, what would it be?", "Who is the worst villain in history?", and "What are those people in that airplane thinking right now?". That night ended in the arrival of "the beast", an incident that will go down in Fairmount Lore for ages to come!

Since then, excellent questions have emerged, some of which take several days to
answer, such as "If you were a Mermaid, what would your (hair, tail, weapon, jewelry, animal pet and place of residence) be?", "What is your walkout song?" and "Name 50 things you hope you do before you die." One of best questions that has recently been put on the table, I alluded to here. "What would your restaurant be?"

I had several people guess what I would have, and since you were all quite close, I thought I'd tell you my answer, and then pose that question back to you. So here is my restaurant:

It would be all veggie (but not vegan), fair-trade, and organic. Not that I alw
ays eat this way, but there are enough places that aren't those things, so why add to the abundance? The food would be VERY tasty, so that even the pickiest eaters would like the food. I would also have a menu that rotated quite a bit, so that foods could be served in season. Here is a VERY important element: the seating would be extremely comfortable! The layout of the dining room would be sort of broken up into rooms, and the tables would mostly be couches with adjustable coffee tables or really comfy cushions on the floor. My lunchtime boast would be "kid-friendly" with all kinds of cool activities for kiddos to do: food art, storytimes with food themes, make your own pizza, etc. I have a great plan for "Charlie's Chocolate Feast", and other fun fondue-based meals. I'd keep a few staples on the menu (like potatoes, mac and cheese, etc) so that people could count on their kids liking stuff. At night, the restaurant would morph into a wonderific coffee house that offers a full line of coffees and teas and also a full menu. That way, you could eat dinner, but be all comfy and stay as long as you like. The "couch-booths" are a big part of the plan. You could have your book club meeting there, meet for a Bible study, eat out with friends, or just slug coffee and write on your blog! I got the idea for the adjustable coffee table from Kevin, who has just this item of furniture at his abode (not sure if it's his or a roommate's). I'd also feature events, like art shows, book signings and musicians (I'd be very choosy!). We'd also have a book corner where I'd feature my favorite books for all ages (this would also rotate).

So, do you want to come? Does that sound like a great restaurant? I had to laugh, because after I described it to Josh, he stated "I just don't think a man would want to eat there". WHAT? (Please prove him wrong, my male readers, please!)

So what would your restaurant be? Please post your original ideas and give me some feedback on mine! I'll leave this post up a couple days so that everyone can have a chance to read each others' answers! Also, I need a good name for my restaurant.


Kevin Foflygen said...

As long as you wouldn't mind me sitting there for hours upon hours mooching off your wireless, I'd go to your restaurant.

Hmm... my restaurant would have to have a sushi buffet -- good sushi, mind you. None of those rookie-friendly 'Philadelphia' or 'California' rolls. Live music, that's another must. And really good coffees and teas. Free refills. Free wireless. A variety of lightings. One section would be dimly lit and furnished with a Reformed color scheme (deep, rich browns); another would have multi-colored track lighting with more unconventional seating (artsy-fartsy, purposely pretentious); and another, not-too-bright white lighting and more study-appropriate furnishings. All seating would be tested by certified slackers to ensure lasting comfort.

So the overall style would be kind of eclectic, but not in a tacky way. The music would also be eclectic. Jazz, blues, bluegrass, classical, the occasional cheesy lounge music (just for fun). Nothing too loud, though. And the food would follow the same trend. International appetizers, like: samosa, Cornish pasties, egg rolls, stuffed peppers, spanikopita, Jamaican beef patties, felafel, fried plantains, etc. Obviously sushi. Deli sandwiches. Soups. Some of the less usual meats, like: alligator, rattlesnake, ostrich, buffalo.

And of course, a vast library of: classic literature, Reformed theology, old magazines, brainteasers, philosophy, photography, cookbooks, Shel Silverstein books, etc.

sara said...

I LOVE IT!!!! I would be there!! It sounds wonderful.

Coach C said...

Gretchen, please listen to your husband on this one.

If I went there with my wife, I would have to stop at McD's for a Big Mac on the way home just to balance things out.

I do like vegetables. I eat gardent and fruit salads, but if there is absolutely no meat - how can the food be "tasty"?
At least tell me you are going to cover everything with cheese. ..

The only reason a man would go there is if he is married and has done something very bad or wants to buy a boat. A single man would definitely go to your restaurant because it would obviously be a great place to meet women. . .of course they would probably all be commie-lib-feminists. . .

foflygen, I don't know you, but you kill me.

Kevin Foflygen said...

Hey Gretchen, I heard you're sick. Maybe it was all the vegetables. Anyway, get well soon, my "commie-lib-feminist" friend.

Didju hear? Bill was rear-ended by a semi on the expressway. He's alright, but -- as you can imagine -- his car's a wreck. Crazy Kentucky drivers!

And coach, I'll have plenty of meat at my restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Your restaurant sounds wonderful! A possible name could be "Veggie Queen," a takeoff on Dairy Queen, which is a favorite of both genders. The kids' lunch/activity room could be called the Homes Cool Room.

If I had a restaurant, I would like to keep it organic as well, but include certain meats (the clean ones as described in the Old Testament). I would have a multi-ethnic menu that included my favorites such as baked potatoes with toppings, Mexican and Italian food, and Asian appetizers. I'd make it kid-friendly and include lots of reading materials as well.

Gretchen said...

Kev -- THANK YOU! I am glad you'd drink my free-trade coffee and mooch off my wireless. I'd be happy to frequent your Sushi House as well. The lighting variety is a fantastic idea. Can I steal that bit for my restaurant?

Sar -- Thanks! I knew you would!

Coach -- hmmmm. . . I guess I am really surprised that your wife has not trained you better! I wander how many things she has cooked for you that you happily ate not knowing how good for you it was! HA HA!! I would certainly think you'd enjoy a slab of gorgeous pie with a big mug of coffee, being devoured on a comfy couch. As for cheese? FOR SURE! Thanks for the compliment!

Kev #2 -- thanks for the get-well wishes. You are the 2nd person to do so (after Josh Powell yesterday!). I did hear about Bill, because Josh went to the bookstore to get pencil lead and Jimmy told him. I feel better now.

Morning Rose -- your restaurant sounds a LOT like mine! I'd be going there for sure!

Anonymous said...

hi, this is peyton. i am at miss grechin's house. we went swimming. we aren't supposed to go in the hot tub but we did anyway!! HA HA HA!

Hindto said...

Okay Im just ROTFLOLWIMKPMP over Coach's post.

Still laughing.....

Anonymous said...

ahhh the question other game is quite as fun or long-lasting.
I already told you my idea for my resuarant/theatre. The mob front inspired me, and mine would be like a 1920's speakeasy, when you first come in people (actors) are just dining, but then you go through the "dining room" give a little knock on the "kitchen wall" and you go on through into a huge dancehall/restaurant and there will be fake shootings and fights going on the whole time. obviously anybody who works there would be in 20's attire and be a trained actor/actress....
oh I wish I could go there right now!
Also, I think that you don't really want people like coach at your restaurant anyway, and so his post only influences your choices for the menu.
Thanks Kevin, for being the true man knowing that coffee and books should be all that men need in dining.

Gretchen said...

Hindto: I'm unsure as to what all those letters stand for. Please enlighten!

Emma -- OooooooooH! BOINED!!! You want some aloe for that burn, Coach?
And I like your idea a very lot, too. I am sure Kevin would like it, too, because he is into Mafia stuff (or used to be or something). Thank'ee for commenting on my blog-ola again!

Kevin Foflygen said...

Emma, the 20's theme is a frabjous idea. I'm there! You'd like the Seelbach in downtown Louisville. It was one of Al Capone's old hangouts. In fact, I believe one scene from "Untouchables" was filmed there. The "Oak Room" on the 2nd floor is real classy looking.

Music suggestion:

"Five foot two,
Eyes of blue,
But Oh what those five foot could do..." (I was just whistling that at work today)

Also, you should have shady looking guys sneaking barrels of booze to the backroom every once in a while.

Coach C said...

Emma, your idea is a good one and it doesn't leave steak out of the equation. I'm sure gangsters ate steak. There is a restaurant in Milwaukee called The Safehouse that is based on the Cold War and has a "secret entrance" that requires a secret password.

I've been there. They serve burgers, if they didn't only women would go.

mom2mine said...

I almost spit out my water when reading Coach's post. My DH could have written that.

BTW... We can still get RC here. It used to bottled here. I don't know if they still bottle it here since Cadbury shweppes bought them. I love RC myself. Reminds me of childhood.

Donette said...

I always wanted to go to the Safehouse, but my husband (who was still my boyfriend at the time) wasn't nearly as excited as I was. But I agree that Emma's idea sounds like a ton of fun!
Not to ignore your idea, Gret. I would definately go there, too!

I've thought about opening a restaurant, but I think most of what I would do Panera Bread has already done. I love soups and sandwiches (especially paninis!) and I love that they have sweets and coffee, too, so you don't have to go for a full meal. One difference I would have (and one that is oft mentioned here) is that I would have comfy seating. Why not encourage people to stay for a while? Then they would probably end up spending more money!
I also love the food that The Upper Crust serves. Remember that, all MBBC alums? Nothing is more comforting than a great piece of pie. MMMMMMMMMM . . .
Can you tell I like food? :-)

Anonymous said...

I love the Upper Crust pies too. They rival those of the Norske Nook. My restaurant would have homemade pies such as key lime, lemon meringue, strawberry, and banana cream. They would not be overly sweet or rich, but satisfying at the end of a meal.

Gretchen said...

Kev -- WHERE is the Seelbach? We are so going there next time you come to visit, Emma! Has anybody seen my gal?

Coach -- I know of a bunch of male vegitarians (for instance an entire sub-continent full of them called India). Maybe I have met men with more well-rounded taste buds because of the business I am in, namely, the book business. . . whereas YOU are in . . . well, the SPORTS business. (need I say more?)

Mom2 -- in the glass bottles???

Nett -- I am so with you! Panera is like my dream restaurant, but that is another place Josh is not overly fond of going to. Even though if we had that food at home he'd love it!

MR -- I am HUGE pie person! I can never really eat a WHOLE big piece, but I do love 'em! In fact, I had pies instead of cake at my wedding, and my friend Misty and I made them all!

Anonymous said...

I would love to see some of your wedding pics, especially of all those pies! You must have made a ton. :)

Amy said...

Make sure you scotch guard those couches and clean them every night or that "comfy seating" will attract some unwanted guests (nasty).

Kevin Foflygen said...

The Seelbach's just past "4th Live" at 4th & Muhammad Ali (street address: 500 S 4th St).

Here's some info from their website (

"At The Seelbach Hilton Louisville, you'll experience refined Southern hospitality and relaxation amidst turn-of-the-century artwork and antiques. In fact, the grand ambiance inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald to use the Seelbach Hilton Louisville hotel as the backdrop for Tom and Daisy Buchanan's wedding in 'The Great Gatsby.'


"The Oakroom ... Renovated from a billiards hall that once drew Al Capone, the restaurant now offers Kentucky fine dining created by the Executive Oakroom Chef, Todd Richards."

They also have live jazz Thurs-Sat starting at 8PM, which is actually what drew me there. In fact, I've got a funny story about my first Seelbach experience: