I was pre-stainless steel and we ate with real silver silverware that was a wedding gift when my parents got married. I have inherited three sets of old school silverware but we use a set of Onida Stainless. Polishing the silverware was my job when I was a kid. I don't even break out the silver for the holidays anymore. We were lower-middle-class as far as our disposable income. My Mom couldn't work because she had to take care of my retarded little brother. He was profoundly retarded and was arrested at about the stage where a normal kid would be at 18 to 24 months. A BIG toddler that never talked or grew up. He cost a lot of money to take care of so we were pretty tight for money most of the time.You are middle class or finer if all of your cutlery have matching patterns.
TD - I lllooovvvveeeeddddd cafeterias when they were around. Couple chains in California and Florida that I loved. One was a very local fav in So Cal. They had the BEST and unique Mac-and-Chz With essentially no chz inside but a heavy chz crust!When I was little I loved to go to Luby's Cafeteria. There I could have whatever I wanted and ONLY what I wanted. The used to make a trout almandine that was just so good and they made real mashed potatoes (Not from a powder or flakes) and a cream gravy that was almost at thick as the mashed potatoes. I guess that it was a treat for my Mama because she didn't have to make any of it. This was a me and Mama sort of thing. I don't think my Dad was too fond of it. Cafeterias seem to have sort of died out here. Luby's became a seafood place. Still has the same name or did until it closed last year but became a sit-down seafood restaurant.
TD - I drove 24 miles one way today to get take out today because I couldn’t stand it - I missed my fav Asian restaumy too much.Small towns are the last places that still have the old-time family-owned small restaurants. Big chain restaurants make their money on volume and when you have a town with only 500 people there just isn't the volume that they need to operate successfully.
The current "nice" restaurant in town is Daisy's Diner. They serve seafood, fried foods, and burgers but they also have a nice salad bar. It is very much a family-owned and operated sort of place. It is a little more expensive than a big box restaurant but it is well worth it and they are getting a reputation and drawing people from 40 or 50 miles away to them for their high quality and pleasant atmosphere. (People that live in rural Texas look at 50 miles about the same as city people look at going across town to go to a nice restaurant.) It is a 50 mile round trip to go to a big store or to see a Doctor or to the pharmacy.
They grind their own meat for the burgers and it is fresh never frozen and better than home cooking for most people. They have to die for Chicken fried steak and chicken strips served with white gravy and fresh vegetables of your choice. we usually get the yellow squash smothers with onions. Or mashed potatoes that you can put the gravy on. The gravy is REAL gravy made with the grease from the frying steak and chicken strips and I would like to just get a huge bowl of it to eat like a soup! their salad bar is even super fresh cut and not the bagged commercial stuff that you get in most places. It may not have as many choices but everything on it was cut up there and the bacon to put on the salad was fried that morning for the breakfast run and the leftovers were saved for the salad bar that evening.
I think that because this place is in a small town and a lot of us try to eat there at least once a week it is a very friendly atmosphere. I tip about 40% and they remember us and when we sit down the waitress or waiter brings a glass of tea when they come to take our order. We support our local businesses. If you don't you will have to go at least 30 miles to go anyplace else.
I like good food and appreciate good service and am more than willing to pay for both. In a small town, you either provide that or you don't last long. This is the third life for this place. for decades it was Granny's place but granny retired. The next mane was good food but when Hurricane Rita shut them down for three weeks. They lost their people and ended up throwing most of their stuff out that didn't keep with no power. They just never had the money to get back on their feet after that and Daisey took over. So far so good. Daisey is a lot like Granny in her insistence on quality.