Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Sausage Gravy

"You have been accepted," said the letter, just like the one I had received days before. Seven applications had gone out, and two acceptance letters had come in.

The good news was, I was going to law school. The better news was, It wasn't going to be in California.

Puget Sound was the location of the first offer. Salem was the second. Since I had read that the Puget Sound institution was going through a fluctuation in their accreditation, Salem was going to be my choice.

Sure, I'd driven through Salem. Twice, actually, but never really off the freeway. So, it was with a sense of wonder and awe that I arrived, late in the summer of 1994.

Some three years later, and $100,000 poorer, they gave me a piece of shiny paper and sent me on my way. Although, to be honest, I didn't go far at first.

I did my time, as they say, and made my home with the future Mrs. G&T in the quaint little capitol city. Now, to be fair, Salem takes its share of ribbing, some deserved, and some not. Yes, it was the deserved setting of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.

However, it must not be overlooked that Salem also has a fine disproportionate assortment of breakfast joints. Nothing is quite so pleasing as waking on Sunday in Salem and selecting from dozens of tasty breakfast selections.

While I lived there, one of my favorite was a white-washed egg house called Cafe Today. Half self-serve, half Northwest chic, the Cafe was always bustling, the the smell of homemade sausage gravy filled the air.

The chunky gravy was gray, spicy, sticky and meaty. It went on meat, it went on biscuits. Hell, it went on everything. The servings were large, but my plate was scraped clean. Damn,I loved that gravy!

Nothing lasts forever, and my time in Salem was no exception. In the years that followed, Cafe Today ran its course and eventually closed its doors.

Other ventures came and went in the spacious white space. Its current incarnation is called Lefty's, and they serve pizza. On Tuesdays, they serve poker. And tonight (Thursday) they will be serving up something hot and red.

We're going down to Salem for Inog's Red Elvises party, Mr. G&T, Mrs. G&T, Fred, and Fred's special buddy from Boston or Charleston or where-ever-the-hell-he's-from...
We're going down. Down to Salem. Down to Lefty's. We are going to partake, and it should be good. I'm not sure what to expect, and really, I don't think I want to know.

Wish us luck!


  1. Red Mutherfuck'n Snakes on Elvis's Mutherfuck'n Plane!

    If you get there before I do, just start drinking. I'll catch up.

    If you get there before 7:00, just stop by the office for the pre-party.

    Hell. Even my office has more than one bottle of scotch.

  2. Cafe Today, reincarnated as the Sassy Onion Grill, but with the same sausage gravy and french toast, is still there. Lefty's is next door. Unfortunately, they are not open for late-night-post-drinking-gravy-fests. However, on the other side, Adams Ribs, otherwise known around my office as the Meat Palace, is open for late-night consumption worthy of Festival of Meat status

  3. Meat thats a good name for a band... and quit your whining about school loans. When mine topped 175k I stopped keeping track.

  4. Mrs. G&T3:28 PM

    I'll be at inog's office for the pre-party to smell the scotch.

  5. I am surprised you didn't mention the Off-Center Cafe. That was even closer to your old home - stubling distance anyway.

    I will also be at Lefty's tonight!!!!!

  6. Dr. Brian, I too have school debt but I was a romantic and majored in art. You at least have a chance of paying some of your debt back. I was a dumbass and plan on sending them the minimum possible. Because the man has me under his thumb for my entire life. I need to lower my standards and marry well. Hopefully that doesn't involve making babies.

  7. First - Brian tried as many of the "breakfast specials" as he could find at the copious adult establishments which also filled Salem's "cultural" offerings.

    Second - Red Elvises - That is awesome. I see them driving down Lincoln Blvd here in Santa Monica all the time. A big GMC cargo van painted...noticably. Its a slightly longer drive for me to see them at Lefty's, but I'm there in spirit.

  8. The Red Elvises new pianist and accordian player blew our mind. She had some passion for playing. We had a ball. I wish Brian would get off his ass and post on the experience.

  9. Thanks Ryan. I"ve been in an arbitration all morning.

    I'll try to post something tonight.

    I should have brought my camera...


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