Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Holiday Buffet

I've recently discovered an amazing new restaurant in the Quad Cities' – Capriotti's. The one singular item that makes this sandwich shop stand out above the half dozen other sandwich shops in the metro area is a delicatessen treat known as “The Bobbie”.

“The Bobbie” is the general equivalent to the sandwich one might make on the day after thanksgiving. The start with a supple, sweet, hoagie bun. Adding in a generous helping of shredded cold turkey, they dollop on a succulent cranberry sauce, followed by just the right blend of stuffing, and top it all off with a generous slathering of mayonnaise. It is one of the most enjoyable sandwiches known to this man.

I was conveying the awesomeness of Capriotti's to my friend Dan one evening, when we stumbled upon a brilliant idea for a restaurant – The Holiday Buffet.

It would be rows upon rows of buffets, each with a festive holiday theme. At each bar our beaming patrons would find their favorite foods from that corresponding day of celebration.

There would be watermelon and fried chicken at the Independence day buffet. At the Easter buffet you'd find ham and colored eggs. Thanksgiving would have the obligatory turkey, with all the stuffing, cranberries, potatoes, yams, and the like. We might have a Presidents day buffet, with some of the past oval office food favorites. Memorial day deviled eggs and marshmallow fluff. You get the picture.

We wouldn't be selectively American and Christian in our holiday selection. We'd have matzoh balls for passover, baba ghanoush and hummus for Ramadan (this buffet would only be open between sundown and sun rise).

From this conversation grew the spark for a song.

A long distance truck driver, stuck far away from his family on the night before Thanksgiving. He stops at a mysterious restaurant to clear his head and recharge – The Holiday Buffet. There he finds an impressive array of foods from every holiday of his past. The emotional connection to this food is magical – the reminiscence makes this hard old truck driver want to stay and eat forever, safe from the cold, lonely road.

But the Holiday Buffet isn't the real thing – the food we eat on these special days is not what makes the festivities memorable. It's the people we're with. It's the stories we share. It's the love of family that makes the food such a powerful force.

So the trucker tears himself away from the buffet and trucks on, drawing ever closer to his family, his real holiday experience.

Call it a Christmas take on The Eagles' “Hotel California”.

Listen, enjoy, and comment.

Holiday Buffet
I'm out on the road again
This cold November wind, sure ain't no ones friend
Haulin' 30 tons down the line
Tryin' to get home this holiday to be with mine

My eyes are bleary, head is groggy - way up there
I see a shining light I see an answer to my prayer
The neon warms my soul tells me everything's OK
As I break these 16 wheels at the Holiday Buffet

Oh my soul
I don't know
I ain't never heard of
No Holiday Buffet

Oh my soul
As I slow
I think I like the looks
Of this Holiday Buffet

I strolled down the aisles
I could hardly believe my eyes
I saw festive treats
All color shape and size

Began to fill my plates
Those memories return
Pullin' at my heart strings
Makin' my stomach yearn

Oh my soul
Where'd you go
Those memories come floodin' back
At the Holiday Buffet

Oh my soul
Row by row
This food it takes me back
At the Holiday Buffet

Independence watermelon
A slab of sweet Easter ham
President's day cherry pie
Thanksgiving yams

Tacos for Cinco de Mayo, corn beef & cabbage for Patty's day.
I keep fillin' plates
Tryin' to eat my blues away

All this food around me
Sure is good but it ain't right
Fillin' up my belly
on this lonely winter night

This feast ain't what I need,
Gotta get away
Gotta drive all night
from this Holiday Buffet.

Oh my soul
Where'd you go
You cannot fill that hole
with a Holiday Buffet

Oh my soul
Row by Row
Flyin' through the snow
From the Holiday Buffet

Every now and then
Haulin' through the east
I think I see a neon sign
I think I smell a feast

Although I wish I could
Sometimes I think I might
Can't find that Holiday Buffet
From that cold winter night

What do I want for Christmas? For you to get on Twitter and Facebook and tell your friends about Musings of a Renaissance Man in Training. 

Oh! look here - a button for you to do that right now!

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