Dinner tonight was at Sam's Joint, a popular local bar and restaurant chain in this region of the country. Sam serves up mean baby-back ribs that beat anything concocted by a Texan. Of course, he ain't quite mastered the taste of Carolina barbecue, but he's getting close. Sam uniquely clutters each of his joints with junk, the type of stuff found in old barns and high price antique shops. Pictures line the wall, toys hang from the ceiling, and knickknacks are crammed onto ledges. You probably have an idea of what I'm talking about. Sam's collections gives your eyes something to feast upon while you're waiting for those ribs to settle. Generally, this is a good thing. But tonight, we got seated at what must be the vegetarian table. Maybe I should have tipped the hostess, but Sam's ain't that kind of place. She sat us at a table with the picture of the 1940 graduating class of the Indiana School of Embalming. Thats right, staring at us in their bow ties, black coats and greased-back hair were at least 50 undertakers. What a sight for my eyes as I licked sauce off my fingers. I laughed and kept gnawing and thought about other meal that I had in a plush hotel in Salt Lake City.
Lunch, during a meeting of board members from Intermountain Health Care hospitals, was at the Grand America. A fancy joint, this establishment isn't known for their ribs, but they have more forks and linen that Sam could ever imagine. And, come to think of it, they don't give you the option of drinking beer out of the bottle. Anyway, at this fine luncheon in which we were armed with a half dozen forks and other implements of consumption, a world renowned heart specialist talked about recent changes in heart surgery. About the time we moved from our salads to our entrée, which was quiche, the good physician showed a video of open-heart surgery. Nothing's more stimulating for dieting than watching the fat being cut away as the surgeons make their way into the chest. In case you're wondering, the quiche was wonderful.