Monday, August 18, 2008

The Tale of the Taco Salad

We had our usual "Saturday Special" this weekend, but instead of going to the usual fast food places we haunt, we decided to head to Mayberry's for a midday meal and sit in the restaurant.

It's a "seat yourself" kinda place and we always choose a boof if one is available. Since we were there in between the main lunch rush and the dinner crowd, there were several boofs available. We chose one, got a highchair and settled in.

Our server was a newer girl and didn't recognize us, so she brought us menus (we almost always order the same things every single time, so getting a menu is like a novelty).

A few more people entered the restaurant while we waited to place our order, but aside from just glancing at them as the door opened, I really didn't pay much attention. I mean, it isn't unusual for us to see people we know there, but it only takes a half second of glancing to discern whether you know or don't know the people coming in the front door.....

A couple of ladies ended up in the booth directly behind ours. The one lady - let's call her Patty - was right behind me and she was talking in a louder than average voice. Try as I might not to eavesdrop on her conversation, it was really difficult because she said everything in an amplified way.

A few moments into this, I took a glance behind me to assess the situation as I looked around as if I was checking out the decor and realized that the woman Patty was with was Asian. We'll call her Sunny. I only heard Sunny speak twice the entire time we were there and I could tell that, while her English was quite good, it was obviously not her first language and she spoke slowly, deliberately and quietly.

Then I realized that Patty was talking to Sunny as if she was deaf, instead of just being a person who didn't have a strong command of the English language. You know how some people just get louder instead of speaking normally and slowing down their words to foreigners? Well, Patty was a guilty, guilty gal.

Patty decided that they would order the taco salad and split it. She then went on at length about the taco salad, telling Sunny that this taco salad's chili either did or didn't have beans (I can't remember now) and that several other places also served a taco salad.

As if poor Sunny would be starving to bits and think, "Hmmmm, where can I get a taco salad?" When, in reality, she probably just wanted some of her own comfort foods.

Anyway, Patty went on to tell Sunny that Taco Bell served taco salad and so did Wendy's.

Mayberry's taco salad is served with Frito Scoops and I heard Sunny ask if they were "chips", which they technically are. But Patty said, "They're SCOOPS. Dorito Scoops."

Great - just what poor Sunny wanted to know, I'm sure. The almost completely wrong brand name of the chips.

If there's one thing I can't stand.... well, there are lots of things I can't stand, but one happens to be people who don't pay attention to details. If you're imparting some great wisdom to another person, at least get your facts straight.

And further more, let's face it, all Sunny needed to know was: "Yes, they are chips. Corn chips."

Well, at the very least, Sunny was out with a nice person who seemed to be interested in getting her to try some "typical" food served here in the US.

And I hope she enjoys her time here in beautiful West Virginia.


  1. Mmmmmm... Taco Salad! Deep Fried Cheesecake! Feeling a need to visit Mayberry's....

    And you will notice I'm 1st!!

  2. I still haven't experienced the deep fried cheesecake. (And we can thank Ron for getting me started on the "deep-fried" thing this morning...thanks a LOT, Ron!)


    If Sunny started talking Japanese, one wonders just how much of Patty would understand. I'm bettin' not much.

  4. Ron - anytime. I'm always up for deep fried cheesecake.

    Laura - you'll have to swing by too!

    Tiff - I really felt sorry for the Asian lady.

  5. Geeeezz. I can't believe WV is letting in people from other countries to visit Mayberry's and eat American food.

    :-p I kid of course!

    Mayberry's is actually one of my favorite places. Not because the price is that good, or the service, or the food (although it usually is!) but because it is quaint and friendly and just nice. It doesn't stink of "chain brand" restaurants. I have never tried the taco salad there though.

    My uncle (British) married a lady from Bali. I always spoke to her in delicate English but I tried not to be patronising and talk down to her. My uncle, however, would speak in a baby English to her. It was kinda weird and uncomfortable to be around.

  6. I miss Mayberry's...we stopped by school yesterday for the open house, but Little Bit and I were out voted over stopping at Mayberry's for lunch :(

  7. Taco salad? At Mayberry's? I'll have to walk down the road and check this out. I usually get the hot dogs.

  8. AC - I've never had any of their salads. I'm hooked on the sammiches. And I never understood the baby talk thing for non English speaking people, either.

    MEL - I totally forgot about the open house! I was too busy with my crossword puzzle.

    Brad - if you're in Saint Albans, WV, then you must try it out. I can't vouch for any other Mayberry's in or outside of the state of WV. :-)

  9. Yummers.

    I have to admit to being guilty. I talk louder (not on purpose) to my Grandpa, because he yells when he talks. :)

  10. Sure wish we had a Mayberry's here in Houston - sounds like my kinda place!

  11. I tend to talk loud because I find people ignore what I'm listening??

  12. @.@ Mayberry's!

    Doesn't it make you wonder how the two of them ended up being out together in the first place?

    My ex-bro-in-law from the disastrous first marriage to Old Cake Icing Ass was Scottish. He had a really difficult accent for me to understand, but we got along great because we both didn't care for England so much. Even really wanting to know what the heck he was saying, I found myself just nodding and tuning the noise of not knowing out because asking people to repeat themselves when you can't understand them isn't a big help if they won't slow the hell down.

  13. I had a co-worker that YELLED or 'conformed' his speaking to how he 'imagined' that others would understand him.

    For example, he added 'ie' or 'ey' to every word when he spoke to Korean subcontractors (Like-y, slice-y, trim-y, board-y).

    It was horrifying.

    Finally, one of the crew heads (after approximately 18 months) cussed him out and said "CUT-ey it-y out-y, man-ny. I-y am-y from-y CINCINNATI!"

    That was equal parts humiliating and hysterical to watch.

  14. Catscratch - I have a tendency to talk loudly on my cell phone because I feel like people can't hear me...LOL.

    T - I think you'd like it.

    Efen - I do get ignored. I never thought about just being louder! ;-)

    BB - Yes, I did (and do) wonder how they managed to be out together. Since I speak Spanish fairly fluently, I'm lucky enough to know "Mas despacio, por favor" (more slowly, please) - which is helpful at the Mexican restaurants. Otherwise, I'm just lost....

    Renn - that is so horrifying! I can't believe it took 18 mos before anyone said anything.

  15. Nurses have a tendency to do the same loud thing....what irritated me were the ones that called every patient honey or dear IN THEIR LOUDEST VOICE....HERE IS YOUR JELLO HONEY......not exactly a taco salad story.

  16. My father speaks no German and my host grandmother speaks no English, but they have wonderful conversations where neither yells at the other and no one bothers to translate because it would totally ruin it.

    Mayberrys... yum. Caramel apple pie with pecan ice cream... mmmmmm...

  17. What's Mayberry's? Is it like a Bob Evans or Cracker Barrel?

  18. rosemary - I don't mind being called "honey" (it's my 3rd name, behind my given and "Mommy"), but I've noticed that with nurses too. Maybe they're just used to dealing with people confused and on pain meds? LOL.

    Inanna - you should meet us there sometime. We're in there at least once a week.

    Laureneer - no, it's a locally owned place, sandwich shop/deli type thing with great ice cream and desserts. We've known the owners for years.

  19. What? Is this on? Hello? What am I missing? Is it glamorous?