Hope you had a grand Christmas. Glad you stopped in. Take a seat while I gently brush the cookie crumbs off your face. Please help yourself to a cup of coffee or tea and some buttermilk pancakes with scrambled eggs, cheddar, ham and green onions.
The last week of December is a funny, in-between kind of place. We’re saying goodbye to the old year while gearing up for the new. Pictured above is Vincent van Gogh’s favorite café in Arles, France. He immortalized it in his oil painting, “Café Terrace at Night,” (aka, “The Café Terrace on the Place du Forum”).
In a letter to his sister, Van Gogh mentions how pleased he is to do a night painting without the use of black. The golden light from the lantern illuminates the terrace, facade, sidewalk and paving stones. This was the first time he used a starry background in a painting.
When I first read Cynthia Rylant’s beautifully crafted collection of vignettes more than 10 years ago, I didn’t realize there was a real Café Van Gogh. All I knew was that I wanted to visit the cafe she had created in Flowers, Kansas, for hers was a place of magic and miracles — an obligatory stop for anyone searching for a reason to believe.
Of all the restaurants I’ve featured recently, the Merton Restaurant in Taiwan has got to be the most unusual. Chocolate sundaes will never be the same. (Sorry about the brief advert at the beginning.)
I was sure visiting all those restaurants last time would have kept you satisfied for at least two days, what with dinosaurs, a wild menagerie of zoo animals, Chinese take-out, greasy bugs, sprinkly seaweed and a mountain of cherry pies.
*looks at you and recognizes lean, hungry look*
Well, I can’t really blame you, because we seem to have the same habit: we like to eat every day. No problemo. I’m happy to take you on another restaurant tour. Hope you’re in the mood for more Chinese, some burgers, wild tigers, a troublesome bee, and a stampede of oinkers. Oh, and you have to mind your table manners.