The Wayside is a diner in central Vermont where meatloaf, seafood pie (seafood + butter + Ritz crackers), maple cream pie and hot rolls rule the roost, so what better place to dine at after a day of meetings about far more heady things (graduate program pedagogy! various epistemologies! and other multi-syllable words). Besides, any place regularly given five stars out of five for beef hash or chicken pie has to be good for you.
I talked my friend and boss Ruth into going with me, which worked out particularly well since she had a car, I didn’t, and it would have taken me 12 hours to walk there. At our booth, I filled up on all manner of high-fat, super-tasty, sumptuous and simple foods, and we caught up on our lives too.
I have had many great meals and even better company at the Wayside over the years: an international group of women who couldn’t stop laughing about anything mildly funny because we were so exhausted, over a dozen women at the college for a writing group facilitation training, a poet-carpenter who I talked with about Blake over mashed potatoes, and little escapes from residencies at the college to have some breakfast for dinner on a little date with just myself and a good book. This is possible because the Wayside is the kind of place you can go to with a beloved, a galloping group of friends or people who will soon be friend, or by yourself, any configuration easy as pie there.
By the way, the pie is great although I was too full from seafood stew, V-8, hot rolls, onion rings and apple sauce to make it to dessert. By I’ll surely return this week, probably when I need to vanish myself from big groups of people and 16-hour workdays to read a magazine and eat something that takes me back to my own diner-imprinted childhood.