Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Good bye, Hardee's, Taco Bell

My little town proudly sported quite a few fast food joints: Taco Bell, Subway, Taco John's, KFC, McDonalds, Hardee's and Burger King. We recently (last Christmas) a Wendy's.

Not long ago, we went to Taco Bell for supper and Taco Bell was no longer. It had closed down. Now it shared space with the Pizza Hut, which was still in business. The people at the counter had no explanation for why Taco Bell closed.

Funny thing is, while at my father-in-law's funeral, I was being a social butterfly and visiting with people I didn't know, which is extremely out of character for me, but I learned something. My husband's cousin's husband works for Taco Bell. He also knew where we lived. After introductions his first comments to me were: Your Taco Bell just shut down because it was a test market, and we pulled the plug. I stood there with my mouth hanging open and when I zapped back into myself I begged him to bring Taco Bell back. No, it won't happen. Sad. I could have a 4-point taco on Weight Watchers there, and a 7-point burrito. Grrr. I love Taco Bell.

Yesterday morning, in preparation for the new year 2007, I thought it would be fun to do something I do for Thomas on occasion: Drive to Hardee's and get him biscuits and gravy. He loves biscuits and gravy. At 99 cents at Hardee's, it's just cheaper and easier for me to get them there. So I'm driving along, went to McDonald's first because I wanted an Egg McMuffin. Hardee's was across town and when I got to it, I had to stop in my tracks. I was just about to turn into their parking lot when I realized there were no lights on nor had the parking lot been cleared of snow. Shoot! I didn't have time to go back to McD's so I drove home. Thomas, who doesn't like Egg McMuffins, gladly ate mine. Double shoot.

It seems that Hardee's is closing down and in its place will be a brand new Arby's. I'm not overly happy about that. I'm not a huge Arby's fan. Partly because that was my mother's last meal before she died -- that kind of thing sticks with you. Mostly, though, because it's expensive. But whatever, we don't do fast food that often anyway, and there's always Wendy's.

I'm just very sad because Hardee's has been a tradition in my household for nearly 20 years. Bob and I used to get up every Saturday morning and eat at Hardee's -- a ham, egg and cheese biscuit for me -- and then hit the book store at the mall. Ah, those were the days. When munchkin came along, that routine changed. When he was old enough to eat real food, his dad introduced him to biscuits and gravy. He loved them.

So special days always started out with biscuits and gravy for Thomas. Every school year our first day of school started by driving to Hardee's for Thomas's biscuits and gravy. When Thomas was up way too late the night before, I'd bribe him out of bed with a promise of a Hardee's run.

We are sad and disappointed. How will our B&G tradition continue??? I wish we would have known so we could have had one final good-bye. Hmph.

Other rumors are that our local Kmart is going to be closing. I shop at Kmart a lot. It's close to my house, about a mile and a half. This would make me very sad but for the fact that a SuperWalmart is being built about a mile and a half in the other direction from my house. Rumor has it that our local Hy-Vee is going to take over Kmart. Now that makes me happy. I can't imagine being so close to a grocery store! By golly, if it moves to Kmart, then that will save me 3 miles driving to HyVee! Woo-hoo.

Yes, I know, this is hilarious. This is what it's like to live in a small town. Saving three miles IS a big deal here. Not like Denver, where I grew up, and you had to really drive to get anywhere.

One final fast food rant. Our McDonald's had a makeover. They took out the play area and redid the whole place. It is now beautiful with a fireplace even. The only thing is that we wished we would have known ahead of time so Thomas could have said goodbye. He spent many hours playing in there as a small child.

Oh, I hate change. I can live with it all, as some of it is good, but why mess with my baby's biscuits and gravy! Why???



Anonymous said...

Okay Frankie, tell me again why you live where you do? UGH! I finally understand why everyone around you is os miserable..there is no where to shop or eat out! LOL!
Seriously , I am so sorry that your tradition has been taken away. That would piss me off big time! Maybe you can make birthdays a field trip day, and drive to the next biggest town with a Hardee's, do breakfast and then visit a museum or some favorite stores?

Sue said...

The Hardee's in the town 10 miles from us (closest fast food place) closed also. That leaves us with a Mc Donald's and a Subway. It really stinks. Where else can I get a Hardee's Hot Ham and Cheese?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry they've messed with your traditions! Change is hard, especially when you didn't get the opportunity for "one last time." I wanted to comment on your thoughts about not driving far because you live in a small town. My parents live outside a small town, and they drive all the way into town and even across town to do every single thing. My mom puts 30,000 miles a year or more on her car, and my dad probably puts as much on his. As you know, I live in Denver, and we picked a house close to things we need. I put about 7,000 miles a year on my car. I do wish you lived somewhere that would allow you to satisfy your intellectual curiosity. Small towns don't often offer those types of opportunities.


mull-berry said...

Some of the Taco Bell's around here are paired up with a Kentucky Fried Chicken. Talk about a strange mixture of smells when you walk in!

My fave at Arby's is the French Dip with au jus, but like you said ... it can get expensive, so I wait for the sale ... 2/$5.

With more ready-to-eat food available, I bet you could find some good tasting frozen breakfasts to take place of Hardees. Then to make it feel like take-out, you could drive around the block! : )

Ms.L said...

That's totally what it's like in a small town! We have the same problems here and it sucks.
I am so moving back to the big city,lol

Anonymous said...

Two things: first -- that is not a small town. A small town is where the nearest of ANY fast food places is at least a 30 minute drive.

Second, I am so terribly sorry about the biscuits and gravy. I love biscuits and gravy. And, I really know what kind of gravy you're talking about, too. I made biscuits and gravy once for my dh early on in our marriage (when I wanted to introduce him to the kinds of foods I grew up on). He took one look and said, "Hon, that is NOT gravy. Gravy is brown, or yellow if it's chicken. This looks like baby puke."

Sigh... I've never made them again. I sometimes wonder if they still taste as good as I remember.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I am sorry about your family traditions having to change. I suspect after a while you'll be able to come up with another tradition that may not take its place, but will at least be another great tradition.

Silly thought: Can you buy KFC biscuits and some gravy the night before and then warm them up in the morning? No, that's not really the same as going out--not quite as special and you can't do it on the spur of the moment. But I do love KFC gravy.

Hy-Vee. We used to go to Hy-Vee ... I love how they let you drive up and then they load your groceries for you into the car. I wish Costco would do that for us.


Meg L. said...

I got Tochter to try some biscuits and gravy in Texas this week. She tried it but had the funnist look on her face - baby puke - probably what she was thinking.