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February 2008 - Wilcox
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"Berry Pancakes"
Stephanie Curtis - 2008

  Earl J. Wilcox

                An Extreme-Makeover Breakfast

Most adages about finding good food at diners where
bikers, transients, or truckers hang out are patently wrong.

These vagrant food snatchers wouldn't know real food
if it came up and bit them. Gramps and his pals are also

dense about diner grub, since their main entrée is a cup
of coffee strong enough to win a weightlifting contest.

Still, it's hard to resist a bikers' hangout when the joint
advertises breakfast for under five dollars. Most places

won't let you look at a menu, use the toilet, or give you
a glass of water, without lemon, for that price. Tex's

Diner — former sushi bar café turned western steak house—
is a cross between Madam Zola's Palm Reading Parlor and

a dump waiting for an extreme makeover. This morning we
tentatively settled into a tawdry table at Tex's after the man

himself showed us in, ambled off toward the kitchen, then
returned with a pot of something. Between sweeping out

the remains of yesterday's biker bash and hustling tables, Tex
tells all: "Duke woke me at 7:00 this morning, pounding my door,

yelling ‘they's already been six cars drove off ‘cause Joella
didn't show again.'" Tex adds: "It's the third Saturday she

hasn't come in, so here I am half-awake and dribbling coffee,
not even sure if I'm dressed." Pleasant and articulate,

Tex even wisecracked about his extensive menu. He might give
his diner a bad name if he keeps serving up talk and hot food.

Arts & Crafts Menu Border - Ca. 1910

Earl J. Wilcox, founder of The Robert Frost Review, has been strongly influenced by Frost and Galway Kinnell. Wilcox also dotes on Whitman, Dickinson, and all things contemporary. His poetry currently appears in ‘zines such as Lunarosity, Word Riot, Southern Gothic Online, Strange Horizons, and Underground Voices, and one of his poems was nominated in 2006 for a Pushcart prize.

Earl is a regular contributor to The Centrifugal Eye.

Contact Earl

Sunday Dinner
Number Twenty-Four: Planked Sirloin Steak
"Saute 1 tbsp ea. chopped sweet red and green peppers, parsley and onion, 1 clove garlic and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Spread 1/3 mixture on hot plank, arranging potatoes around edges. Pan broil a sirloin steak 8 minutes. Remove to plank. Spread with 1/2 cup butter and remaining peppers mixture; slide plank into hot oven to finish cooking." ~from New Dinners, ca. 1910.
Elizabeth O. Hiller

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