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Monday, June 27, 2005

PT World Tour, Part 5

Parts 1 2 3 4 4.5 5

Dateline: Independence, OH

Note: I bear no malice whatsoever to the people at Abba's Deli. It was very nice of them to seat us even though we were late.

We left Queens a little later that I had anticipated, but I figured, it was Sunday morning and the drive should be pretty fast. WRONG. We ran into bumper-to-bumper traffic as soon as we go off of the Frog's Neck Bridge. This continued until we got over the George Washington Bridge. I couldn't see any accident or construction, and still have no idea why there was so much traffic. I think the bottom line for NY is: There are TOO MANY PEOPLE WITH TOO MANY CARS THERE, AND SOME OF YOU NEED TO LEAVE.

Anyway, at least there was no toll going to NJ. My theory is that if they charged people to go to New Jersey, no one would even set foot in the state. Once we got there, we made up some time. Crossing into Pennsylvania, we were greeted by the sight of the Pocono mountains, still the most beautiful part of the drive. My wife is terrified of the sharp turns and steep drops on this part of the road (or is it just my driving?) so she relinquished control of the van to me and headed to the back. We got some nice pictures on the road.

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The PTMobile Cruises down I-80 in PA...NOT

Pennsylvania is beautiful, but it's also very long. We got to the Ohio border after 5 pm. At this point I called Abba's in Cleveland and reserved a table for 6:30. Normally I'd be reluctant to give a specific time from the road, but since it was Sunday night, I thought that if we showed up without a reservation, we'd be turned away. (You're saying, "No way! What kind of Jewish restaurant would turn away 6 hungry children who've been on the road for 8 hours?" This one would, and did a few years ago, so I always make a reservation now).

We got to Beechwood at around 6:30, but for some unknown reason (read: bad Karma) we took a wrong turn and headed to Highland Heights instead. It was only after repeated remarks like "wow, this place has changed" and "this doesn't look familiar" and "hey, when did they build THAT?" that we realized we were heading in the wrong direction and turned around.

We got to the restaurant 20 minutes late, and *surprise* they had given our table away (even though I had told them that I was DRIVING IN FROM PENNSYLVANIA when I made the reservation). To be honest they didn't give it away because we were late. They gave it away because they thought we were already there. What? I don't know either. Doesn't make sense to me, but the exact same thing happened last year too, and we were on time then.

Anyway, they were nice enough to give us a table (after someone else left) and we got served around 8pm. Oh, except for my French fries. For some reason they forgot about those. They also ran out of steak knives, so they gave us a boning knife instead.

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Now THAT'S a knoife!

We were seated next to a lovely couple, who unfortunately were eating with this guy who spoke very loudly and continuously about himself the entire meal. He looked like Fred Savage. I kept thinking, "Maybe they won some kind of radio station contest, like 'Have dinner at a Kosher restaurant with Fred Savage.'" Then I thought, "Poor Fred Savage, being reduced to this. He was so great in The Princess Bride." Then I thought, "Poor people next to me, this guy won't shut up." Then I thought, "Maybe I should give the husband the boning knife." Perel and I kept smiling to each other. I'm sure she got a lot of material out of it.

We had to ask 3 times for water, and the bus boy kept telling us "I'll get to it when I can" (NO TIP FOR YOU). Around 8:45, the waiter, after being asked about the missing French Fries, said, "They just dropped them into the fryer, it won't be long." To which I literally responded: "OH! I thought you were going to say 'They just dropped them on the FLOOR!!'" HAHAHAHAHAHAH.....

BTW, I did tip the waiter 15%. The food was good, and it wasn't his fault he was so overworked. Maybe some of those people clogging up the NY freeway system could move out to Cleveland and become waiters in Abba's Deli.

Tomorrow: Homeward bound.

Parts 1 2 3 4 4.5 5


Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

You never have to pay to go to Jersey. Not on any of the bridges or tunnels from NYC, and not from the Delaware Water Gap bridge coming in from Pennsylvania. On the other hand, you always have to pay to go to Staten Island.

"If you have ever wondered if you are in hell, it has been said, then you are on a well-traveled road of spiritual inquiry. If you are absolutely sure you are in hell, however, then you must be on the Cross Bronx Expressway."
-- Alan Feur, The New York Times, 2002.09.20

velvel said...

Par for the course at that restuarant.

Air Time said...

We used to try and stop in cleveland on our way home from NJ, but we always have such a bad experience that now we just keep driving and try to survive on potato chips and whatever we remembered to bring from NJ.

I like that you don't have to pay to get into Jersey, but I am always willing to pay when i leave.

Anonymous said...

THROG'S neck Bridge. NOT FROG'S neck (it's another of those Dutch names)

PsychoToddler said...

Air Time:

If you anticipate having a hard time at the restaurant, then it's not such a disappointment. Anyway, since there's no restaurant in Milwaukee, we are OBLIGATED by Jewish law to stop at ANY kosher restaurant along the course of our travel.

Anonymous: See one of my prior posts. I've been calling it the Frog's Neck since I was 4. Old habits die hard.

Velvel: I'm just not as cosmopolitan as you. Any other suggestions for affordable but good eatin in Cleveland? I doubt we're going back to this place.

Doctor Bean said...

Mmmmm.... That's a nice hunk a cow you were eating. By the way, Psychotoddler, take a look at Velvel's blog to get the fix for why your right sidebar is down below the main body of your blog. It was plaguing the Coffeehouse too and making all the muffins scroll below the tables. Thanks to Velvel, I fixed it!

Jack's Shack said...

And you wonder why I badmouth cleveland.

PsychoToddler said...

Bean: The problem is that the pictures are too big. I decided to leave them bigger for clarity. Eventually the sidebar will return.

Stacey said...

Unfortunately, Abba's isn't known for its service. Never has been. There are much better kosher restaurants in Cleveland, but I have to say that steak looks delish!

The photo of PA is so familiar to me and so beautiful. You should see those trees in October. There is nothing like it.

You are making me homesick. Texas is flat, flat, flat and the trees are ugly and short.

jewish said...

abba's is NOTORIUS for bad service and misplaced orders...