Short Stories
Entry No. 11   July 18, 2004

The Hungry Bear Diner
Lac La Hache, BC - 1680 miles along

It was well into the afternoon as I contemplated trying to reach 100 Mile House, a town still 22 miles away. I decided I would have a stop in Lac La Hache, (Axe Lake) which is known for being the longest town in Cariboo stretching along "some 11 miles" of highway 97. Um, I guess if there is nothing else to boast about, then go with that... However, as I passed through the first few miles, I noticed how beautiful the lake was and wondered why they couldn't have thought to boast about the lake. Then I thought maybe they didn't want to boast about their lake being the most beautiful without creating some animosity between Williams Lake, McLeese Lake, and 10 Mile Lake, which were all pretty beautiful as well.

I stopped in Clancy's Post Restaurant for a look but decided I still had quite a few miles of the town to see and wanted to be sure and support a local mom and pop restaurant, so I moved on.

After passing one beautiful scene after another, I came upon Hungry Bear Diner and thought I'd give it a go. I was pretty hungry and asked what the special was only after saying yes to it. She said it was the turkey cutlet with potatoes and clam chowder soup.

Now, I didn't realize soon enough that I was in the interior of B.C., very far from any salt water which therefore made the Clam chowder choice questionable. When I got the soup, it just didn't look like the clam chowder from Jimmy Seas up in Martha's Vineyard or the Forns Family recipe of Falmouth, Cape Cod. I would have made a bet that it was chicken soup and this was my first hint that dinner was not going to be ravenously delicious.

Since I had decided to sit outside, I had to come in to get my food and bring it out. I was fine with that- no tipping would be necessary. As I stood waiting, the cook asked if I wanted any gravy. I struggled for a second, wondering about this gravy and then said sure.

As she handed me the platter, I was wary immediately. Turkey cutlet shouldn't look THAT different from say, chicken cutlet. I didn't know that turkeys had that much gristle either but they found it and seems as though they put all of it on my platter. I laughed as I tried to cut into it, recalling that she asked if I had "cutlery". She must've meant the Miracle Blade.

As I sawed through with my butter knife, I thought you really have to be as hungry as a bear to eat there. Although I can't cook, I'd have taken my PBJ on a black bean salsa tortilla over this any day.

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