We had to run out to Shipshewana in the middle of Amish land tonight to pick up Sera's quilt. Magi was in a support group in which the membership sent each other patches of material to be included in the quilt. We ate at one of our favorite restaurants, Das Dutchman Essenhaus, when we dropped the quilt stuff off. Essenhaus prepares food like my grandmother used to. Salad, freshly baked bread, fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, noodles, fresh corn, dressing, and pie for dessert. Oh, and it's family style and all you can put away. The wait staff just brings you huge dish after huge, delicious dish.
Well, since we had only recently eaten there, we tried a new place in downtown Shipshewana. It was a very Essenhaus-style place called the Blue Gate. Yikes. I ordered the all-you-can-eat cod with fries and cole slaw, while Magi went with the open-faced turkey sandwich. Sera had the child's meal of chicken and noodles. My fish was incredibly salty, and Magi's sandwich was underseasoned and had a big lump of fat mixed in with the dark meat. Sera's meal came out of a can. Canned carrots, canned chicken, all for $4.95. The waitress asked me if I wanted more fish before I had even tried it, and never came back to the table. She spent the entire time we were eating talking to the people at an adjacent table about her life as a waitress. It was only when we got up to leave that she came back and dropped the check on the table, saying, "Pay the cashier." She should have chosen her words more carefully, because the cashier is the only person working there who got money from me. The cashier asked how everything was, and I told her straight out. She looked around to find out who our waitress was, and that was it. I told her that we wouldn't be back, and she made no attempt to find a manager or anything.
Guess where we stopped for dessert on the way home?