En route to Cascadia, we realized that we were going to have to stop in Cimarron to get some food and refill our gas tanks. Clancy wanted to go to Flingers, a chain restaurant, but the first couple towns we looked in didn’t have one. We were about 50 miles from the next large town, which we were pretty sure would have one, so we soldiered on until I realized that my gas gauge was hovering on the wrong side of Empty. Fortunately, a little strip of gas stations and whatnot presented itself and we pulled over.

So we refilled my gas tank and then discussed whether we wanted to stop again 50 miles down the road or just grab a bite to eat in that strip. The convenience store we were at sold pizza slices and whatnot. I saw that there was a truck stop diner next door and went over to investigate if they might have more selection. Their whiteboards mentioned various sorts of BBQ being the specials of the day, but the guy working there handed me a menu which was six pages long and had all sorts of things that Clancy might enjoy. So we decided to do that instead.

Unfortunately, in my little scouting adventure I neglected to notice that the restaurant allowed smoking and so the whole place smelled like smoke. We’ll call that Item #1.

The next thing that happened was that we ordered water to drink. She came out with two relatively small glasses. She said that she would get some more water in a pitcher for us. When it eventually came out, she only filled the pitcher 1/2 the way up. Item #2.

So we ordered. I ordered the enchiladas. Oh, wait, they didn’t have the ingredients for the Mexican food menu that day. Okay, then, I ordered chicken-fried steak… strike two. I was almost begged to ask what actually was available, but I figured that they would naturally have hamburgers. And they did!

“Would you like everything on the hamburger?”

“No tomatoes.”

“Oh, well we don’t have tomatoes anyway. What kind of fries would you like?”

{Look at menu, see options for regular or curly} “I’ll take curly”

“We don’t have any curly fries.”

“Okay, regular then.”

“We can put the seasoning on regular fries.”

I agreed and it was Clancy’s turn to order. She ordered the grilled chicken and lo and behold they had it.

“What side did you want with that?”

“Mashed potatoes.”

“We don’t have mashed potatoes.” {for brevity I will just skip to the part where she pretty much had to get the same seasoned straight-fries that I got. And she got a salad.} Item #3.

She was going out to the car to get something when her salad came. If you can call it a salad. It was half-brown and was about as appetizing as… well as something less appetizing than a salad. I was getting hungry, so I decided to munch on her crackers, which were six months past being too stale to eat. Clancy ate half a cracker and one bite of her salad and put it off to the side never to touch it again. Item #4.

Our main courses came out. Clancy’s grilled chicken was strongly reminiscent of Subway’s roasted chicken except not as fresh and flavorful. She dumped enough salt on it to get it down, though. Item #5.

My burger actually wasn’t that bad on the merits. It was kind of small, though I have to point out that the lettuce at least simulated freshness in ways that her salad did not. No brown, no anything. The meat and cheese were acceptable. The fries were actually kind of sort of tasty.

The problem was that by the time I got my food I had been in the place too long. You know how some restaurants allegedly spray an aroma to make you think you’re hungry? This place did the opposite. It was its own appetite suppressant. The overwhelming smell of cigarette smoke and fried. The flies that were everywhere. The half-brown salad that was still sitting on the edge of our table. The taste of stale crackers lingering in my mouth. I was starving when we got into the restaurant but by the time my burger came out eating was the last thing that I wanted to do. Item #6.

For dinner we got to eat at Flingers at the largish town of Colorado Falls. She ordered the exact same plate there that she had ordered (or tried to order) at the truck stop diner earlier in the day. Everything in the Flingers in Colorado Falls tasted exactly like the Flingers in Colosse, Mocum, and Almeida-Santomas. And it was beautiful.


Category: Kitchen

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5 Responses to Six Items For $14

  1. Kirk says:

    I thought Flingers was a fictional chain, made up for that movie “Office Space.” Outside that movie, this blog is the only time I’ve ever heard of it.

    And it’s strange, how the East and West have different restaurant chains. I had to drive out to Texas to see my first Jack-in-the-Box.

    As for the smoking, it’s banned in restaurants here in FL, unless the restaurant makes the majority of its money through alcohol. So, there are a few places that still allow it, but I won’t patronize them.

  2. Peter says:

    Food snobs love to bash chain restaurants and extoll the virtues of locally owned ones, but sometimes, as your experience illustrated, the chains are a better choice.

  3. Beth says:

    I won’t step into a restaurant that allows smoking inside the restaurant. I like to enjoy my food.

  4. ~trumwill says:

    Kirk, Flingers is a product of Office Space. My access to the Internet is limited and I didn’t have time to check if the actual chain in question is too regional to use, so I used a fictional one the same way I use “Happy Burger” in place of regional fast food chains that might give up too much about where I’m talking about.

  5. Kirk says:

    Kirk, Flingers is a product of Office Space. My access to the Internet is limited and I didn’t have time to check if the actual chain in question is too regional to use, so I used a fictional one the same way I use “Happy Burger” in place of regional fast food chains that might give up too much about where I’m talking about.

    Pardon my confusion. At least I got the reference, though.

    I only eat at Krustyburger.

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