Whenever the Beast and I have access to a car we drive to Harvey’s on the Queensway for dinner. We could go anywhere with a set of wheels, like Eigensinn Farm or Langdon Hall, but we eat at those sorts of places all the time. Harvey’s is more exotic. The drive there is usually filled with our excited singing and the recitation of our “dream order”.
Beast: I’m going to get a hotdog just for the drive home.
Foodie: We should get onion rings too!
Beast: On top of the poutine?
Foodie: Not on top of the poutine, but in addition to it.
Part of the allure of this particular Harvey’s is the staff: they’re delightful. Rashma was all smiles when she took our order: a cheeseburger, a double bacon cheeseburger, two orders of poutine, a large onion ring, and a hotdog. Not once did she try and convince us to get combos. Who needs a pop when there’s a delicious Chilean Carmenere at home? The best part about Harvey’s is the bill.
Rashma: That will be $20.52 please.
Beast: Dinner’s on me. (He’s always quick to reach for his card when dinner is cheap. That way when we’re out at a fancier place, he can politely remind me that he got dinner last time.)
And then the fun really started: Bella, the lady who dresses up your burger for you, is always working when we visit. She’s an attractive, middle-aged woman and Bella is extremely enthusiastic about what she does. So enthusiastic, in fact, that one might assume she’s wired up on meth. Let me put it another way: she could easily be a character played by the formidable Kristen Wiig on Saturday Night Live.
Bella: Hello hello there. Who’s having the hotdog. Have a hotdog here and it’s a hotdog. Takers? Takers?
Beast: Yes. That’s my hot dog. Just ketchup and mustard please.
Bella: Just ketchup and mustard please–won’t argue with that. No sweet relish?
Beast: No thank you.
Bella: You’re sweet enough already (winking). Oh yes, sweet enough. And I mean that it in a completely professional way. Ketchup and mustard–won’t argue with that. And I have a cheeseburger. Who’s having the cheeseburger.
Foodie: That would be me thanks. Just mustard, onion, tomato–
Bella: How about two tomatoes?
Foodie: That would be great.
Bella: Two tomatoes it is then. Two tomatoes.
Foodie: Could I get extra pickles? I love the pickles at Harvey’s.
Bella: (Looking at the Beast, winking again) Well, a girl who knows what she wants and she wants pickles. We’re going to give you four pickles. One, two, three, and four. And who’s having the double bacon cheeseburger.
Beast: Just some ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, tomato, onion and lettuce please.
Bella: No pickles? Oh I can tell that he’s not a pickle man. No pickles it is for this one. And I’m going to put this all in two bags now because we don’t want anything tipping over on the ride home do we. No, no, no we do not want that to happen to dinner. You know, I like having fun with my customers and if you’ve had fun tonight you can always go to this website (pointing to the bottom of our receipt) and write about your experience here today because it does trickle down (makes trickling-down actions with her hands) and don’t forget to mention Bella! That’s me.
Oh yes it is. The Beast and I, our faces frozen in gigantic teethy grins, waved good-bye to all our friends at the Harvey’s and walked to the car with our dinner. The onion rings were gone before we left the parking lot. At home, we unwrapped our gourmet spread on the coffee table in front of the television.
There was little talking, only feasting on greasy, cheesy, terribly wonderful food.
I nearly forgot our dessert! We picked up six red velvet cupcakes before driving to our Harvey’s from a bakery on Queen Street West (just west of Sorauren Ave.) called Yummy Stuff. I was only going to get four but then the nice lady told me that you don’t pay tax if you get six. And that way, we’d have enough cupcakes for breakfast.
Beast ** (stale burger bun)
One footnote here: I don’t actually know what somebody on meth acts like but I’ve heard people say on the television before things like, “that person is fucked up on meth man…”