Thursday, March 12, 2015

When is a Snack Bar Not a Snack Bar?

Saturday was one of those days where we had a lot on our agenda. It was all boring stuff like getting the car washed and buying a GPS which then involved signing up for a Costco type membership at a huge store called Makro. In addition to all of this, we (meaning I) wanted to go to the Botanical Gardens. It is still summer here. It will be fall soon and I thought the gardens would be a fun adventure. 

All of the errands of course took forever and by the time we got to the Botanical Gardens we were really hungry. My original idea was to buy food and have a little picnic in the gardens, but then we didn't see a place to buy food on the way so we ended up eating at the Tranquility Restaurant inside the park. From looking at it the restaurant it looked like a snack bar.  You place your order at the window and the seating is all outside. 

I'm not bashing snack bars. I have great memories of eating ice cream sandwiches and other goodies purchased at the snack bar at Lake Taghkanic State Park with my mom back in the 70's. Based on looks I expected a snack bar and what I got was different from what I expected.  I think that's the enchantment of living here. While many things do seem familiar, really it's all different and it's all new. 

We walked up to the counter and there were menus. Bound menus with all kinds of unexpected choices such as waffles with ice cream.  I ordered grilled cheese and tomato with chips. I am a pretty healthy eater but man I love grilled cheese. I also think ordering chips is way more fun than ordering fries and the only thing more fun than ordering chips is ordering frites. Anyway, there were two women behind the counter and one took our order and the other did the cooking. The food was all cooked to order. We tried to pay when we ordered (snack bar style) and the woman told us we pay later and we should go sit down and she would bring the food out to us. She gave us real glasses for our water. I know I keep mentioning real glassware versus plastic but I keep getting surprised when glassware is used outside. What's next? Running by the pool? 

The food came out on real plates and with real silverware. The woman brought us a tray of sauces including a little squeeze bottle of white vinegar and tomato sauce (which we would call ketchup.) The grilled cheese was cut into fancy quarters. 

The Tranquility Restaurant reminded me that I am in a new place and I don't know much about anything. There are surprises everywhere. 

Oh and the gardens were nice too. There were lot of people having little parties and people out walking dogs. I look forward to visiting again.

Emmarentia Dam

From the Rose Garden

1 comment:

  1. I think one of the great things about SA from an English speaking person's perspective is how there are so many everyday things that are similar and different all at the same time and in unpredictable ways. All the former British colonies are like that but each in a different way. I wonder if the French have a similar experience in francophone Africa?


About Me

My photo
Hello and thank you for taking an interest in my blog. This blog tells the story of some big life changes. First, my husband and I have just moved to Geneva, Switzerland for a few months following a few years of living in Johannesburg, South Africa. The two places could not be more different. I'm excited to share our adventures, challenges and insights with you! My thoughts and opinions are my own.