It was a dark and stormy March afternoon. The month had come in like a lion. I wandered the streets aimlessly with my associate, our souls as depleted as our stomachs. My ravenous appetite grabbed hold of my senses like a fever, transforming me into an animal, dead set on scouring the city to satisfy my hunger.
We happened onto Franklin Street, my old stomping grounds, the memory of a lost love taunting me from around the corner. I turned into the first eatery I could find, a glowing yellow marquee summoning me though the downpour. Entering the building, we were immediately consumed by neon. Glowing signage yelled out from all walls of the oversized half-room containing six spaciously arranged pool tables to my right. To my left, another hall encased a smattering of televisions hovering over an ovoid bar, with a courtroom mural looking on. I grabbed a seat and perched to witness a handful of locals settling a dispute over a game of billiards. Overriding my distaste for the French, I asked for a roast beef sandwich, au jus dipping sauce and fries, while my associate grimly settled on a chipotle chicken sandwich and tots.
As we ate, we soaked up the atmosphere. Was this a cupful of Reno we found ourselves steeping in? Bright lights, game tables and a hint of cigarette smoke teased my senses. My beef arrived sandwiched between two slices of delicious bread and was partnered with some of the saltiest drippings I'd ever tastedperfect for me. If it doesn't collapse from the weight of the world, my heart may one day fail from salt intake. Until then, I'm the sultan of sodium. I purloined a smidgeon of chicken from across the table and marveled at its mildness. While the fries were sizeable and tastyperhaps an eight out of 10the tots were average; both were provided with fry sauce accompaniments. The cracked cup housing my water, leaking until the table shed tears like the sky outside, did nothing to cloud our opinion of the meal.
I sipped Coke from a straw a mile long as the atmosphere permeated my skin. "No Lawyers"that's a helluva theme. The owners' chance run-in with an attorney and this is the result: a tavern that advertises exclusion of specifically employed patrons.
The associate and I dropped the check, thanked our classic beauty of a waitress and departed. Drops of rain pelted the earth and the world seemed darker sans the neon, but we soldiered back to the car, refilled with enough vigor to last us one more day.
Travis Estvold harbors a secret desire to become a hackneyed trash novelist.
The Crescent, 5550 W. Franklin St., 322-9856, Mon.-Sat.: 11 a.m.-2 a.m., Sun.: 10 a.m.-12 a.m.