It’s Friday night, I’ve got a new haircut, and I’m going out!
Chuck and Geri are waiting for me at Cafe Groovy Gritz in downtown Truth or Consequences. They’ve been trying to get me to join them at their favorite restaurant ever since I met them a few weeks ago.
But what about Bridget and Spike?
The crew has never been left alone in the Casita, except for my brief trips to the shower building. I turn on the television, give them a kiss, and hurry out as the wailing begins. Before hopping into the PTV, I explain to the guy camped across from me that it’s my first time leaving them in the camper, and I hope their howls don’t bother him. He says, “It’s okay. Your trailer must be well insulated. I can barely hear them.”
He either has a hearing deficit or he’s lying like an rug.
Cafe Groovy Gritz is quite a surprise! Chuck and Geri wave me over. Geri has a glass of raspberry iced tea and Chuck a bottle of Polygamy Porter ale (“You can’t have just one!”). Chuck introduces me to Elmo who brings me a lite beer and lights the fondue candle. We load up our plates with nachos and ladel spoonfuls of the cheesy concoction on top. It has just the right measure of zing.
“Gosh, this is good.” I remark as I feed my face. “I could come here and just eat this stuff.”
The atmosphere is friendly, relaxed and cheerful.
We’re on the hippie side of the restaurant (The other side is cowboy decor.) The walls are a happy yellow adorned with flowers the size of pizza pans. Flower power! Wispy, flowing purple curtains drape alongside the windows. Lava lamps glow. The place is immaculate.
The menu at Groovy Gritz is primarily made-from-scratch soups, salads, sandwiches, and burgers. The Kick-Ass Green Chili Burger and the Build-a-Mega Burger look like stand-outs. Geri and I pick the New Mexico Stacked Cordon Bleu Sandwich and Chuck gets the Chicken Parmesan Sandwich with marinara sauce. Both are served on a Kaiser roll with pickle. My sandwich is scrumptious and the side order of cole slaw is the best I’ve ever eaten! Geri lets me have some of her sweet potato fries. I’m so glad I skipped lunch.
You don’t have to work at conversation around Chuck and Geri.
We eat, drink, and laugh together. They introduce me to the owners, Rob and Joyce. Chuck tells me, “Joyce taught chef school up in Albuquerque for years.” (25 years actually). Geri and I are too full for dessert. Chuck asks Elmo for some cake.
Suddenly I hear bagpipes coming in the front door!
“Bagpipes?” I exclaim. I’m surprised and confused . . . why bagpipes? . . .why here? . . . until I recognize the melody . . . It’s “Happy Birthday!” For ME! We all laugh as Elmo sets an “Insatiable Groovy Grit Cake” down in front of me, a lit candle on top.
“Rob, how did you sneak those bagpipes past me to get out the front door?”
“It wasn’t easy!” he laughs.
What a wonderful birthday celebration!
I thank Chuck and Geri both for treating me. As we stand in the dark outside the restaurant, I hug Geri and tell her, “This is one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had!”
Take a look at the Cafe Groovy Gritz website: www.Groovygritz.com