Where nothing is fancy, everything is good, the toast is plain and buttered just right, the sausages, exactly the way you like them and the eggs — when you say you’ll have them over m’easy, a phrase you invent on the spot, they understand — the staff have been there for seven hundred years and could work at the fanciest restaurants in the world and show them how it’s done. Among other things, they call you hon the correct way and when they ask how things are they actually give a hoot. And that orange slice! And the packet of peanut butter. Mint tea in the silver thing that leaks and well-thumbed newspapers stacked on benches for anyone to read. The young woman, slightly stoned or wanting to be, who comes in and orders a juice, drinks it down quick then says she forgot her money and would it be okay if she went to get it. Staff says sure, hon, you do that. And while she’s gone they take her empty glass away and there’s something in their face that says they know she won’t be back but that’s okay, that’s the way it is sometimes. And then the young woman comes back, with her money, and orders another juice. It’s that kind of place.
(P.J.’s, Whitby, ON)
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