...to sweeten up the night.
Judy Collins, 1973
You can't escape their radio ads. It has given their stock price a big boost. Whether you must have an Egg McMuffin or Sausage Biscuit, you can get it at your local Golden Arches any time of day. So what's special about that? Barb and I have been eating breakfast for dinner for more than 40 years!
It started before we were married, before we even knew each other. Our families both were fans of Walker Bros Original Pancake House in Wilmette. The scent of baked apples and cinnamon from the unworldly apple pancakes would waft out onto Green Bay Road, and the line on Sunday morning would stretch down the sidewalk for blocks and blocks. Both our families craved the massive treat, but neither wanted to brave those long weekend morning lines. So it became an evening delight, after the crowds had wilted away and you could sit and enjoy the gleaming wood tables, the Tiffany Lamps and of course, the mounds of butter and apple slices that made up the signature dish.
After Barb and I married and began our slow, westward migration (Skokie, Niles, Arlington Heights, Long Grove) through the Chicago suburbs, we received a special blessing. It seemed that every time we moved, a new Walker Bros outpost opened within a three mile radius of our new home. They weren't exactly stalking us, just letting us know that their was no escaping their treats. And though we never stopped enjoying, our tastes, and our waistlines, would slowly evolve with time. The apple pancake became a less frequent visitor on our plates. The kids were born, and for those lucky years while my parents were still alive "The Grand Treat" for grandparents and grandchildren was a frequent order, my mom eating the pancakes, Michael and Laury sharing the accompanying snack size Snickers bar. And my aunt, the skilled artist, would perform her magic rolling the lingonberry stuffed Swedish Pancakes. Their was always the rich brewed coffee for Barb and the almost hot enough tea for me. Once the kids were gone, the Danish Garden, a massive airy pancake filled with Havarti cheese and vegetable chunks became our standby. More recently Barb has discovered the Healthy Start, and I usually satisfy myself with a bacon waffle or pancakes. We know the waitresses, we know the customers, we know our Friday night routine. And a week or two we celebrated a nice evening by revisiting our old friend the apple pancake. It was still delicious.
Now we are moving, or at least have a full concrete foundation in our hole in the ground. We will be 5.7 Google miles from our favorite Walker Bros. A tad beyond our usual 3 mile radius, with a few Mickie D's in between. But you know what? Walker Bros will still be our destination. Because I will never trade my Walker Bros for a drive through biscuit. Not any time of day!
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