Lunch at Flo’s
While living in Texas in the 1980’s, we happened upon a local restaurant called Tom and Joe’s. It was typical diner fare: burgers and fries, chef salads, malts, milkshakes and more. It was fun eating there and when we are in a new small town, we often search out one of these places. Places where the locals go. Places where you can hear the regional dialect, get the skinny on what’s going on in the area and schmooze with plain folks. We found one of these the other day in the town of Grand Coulee, Washington: a diner called Flo’s. Flo — whose real name is Emily and who had bought the place from the original Flo — was holding court at a table of local folk, jumping up to run the till and help clear tables. “Never go back to the kitchen empty handed, didn’t you ever hear that?” she told me as she collected our plates and glasses. Flo is looking to retire and head to Salem, Oregon to be near her daughter. “It’s been twenty-five years,” she said. “I’m tired.” I don’t choose to eat this way most of the time but it was a great lunch — here’s to the next Flo.