Sally and I were each on the way home from work this afternoon when we converged on the Radio Shack in Lincoln Heights Shopping Center. I returned the digital recorder I purchased yesterday, since the one I was replacing that had gone missing at church miraculously appeared in the sound booth this morning.
Anyway, I only had about 45 minutes before I needed to go back to church for a Board meeting. We decided to walk over to Hogan's Diner. We walked into that 50's themed establishment, hung our coats on the stainless steel rack and slipped into a booth. Broccoli cheddar soup was the special, and I ordered a patty melt with the soup as the side. When the server asked Sally what she wanted, we said we would share.
A few minutes later our server brought out two plates with two cups of soup and a lovely, half sandwich on each. They split our order without our having asked. The cook came out and asked how we liked the soup. I had the strange sense of being in another time.
After a bit of a visit with the cook we left, agreeing that we would return. Comfort food is more than a recipe. It is an experience of place and relationship and caring. Yes, the sandwich and soup were very good, and inexpensive. The experience, as the commercial quips, was priceless.