Main Street eatery worth noticing

Loretta and I recently found ourselves, mid-afternoon, on Main Street in Richmond. I had just undergone an abdominal CT scan that had required me to miss both breakfast and lunch and my wife’s lunch had consisted of a snack-pack of cheesy crackers. We were hungry and decided we’d eat at the little family-owned Mexican place we’d enjoyed sometime last year.

Unfortunately, we discovered that particular eatery had not stayed in business long enough to get itself listed in the yellow pages. On the other hand, it’s not unusual for Main Street eateries to be listed but out of business by the time the yellow pages are actually printed. We noticed that there were at least four new ones opened since the last time we’d driven the relatively short, three or four blocks, situated between East Main and West Main that comprise plain old “Main Street.”

So we decided we’d try something new and I’m reasonably sure the one we selected was the former home of the Mexican place we’d liked so well. In any event, the sign on the window indicated that the place is now called Meeple’s Café. I have no idea how long it has been there but it was new to us. We simply don’t get to downtown Richmond very often.

Turns out the place is one where you grab a menu, find a seat, scan the list of stuff to eat and then place your order at the check-in counter where you pay in advance of actually seeing the meal. It also turns out that the place has been around long enough to attract a host of devoted college students. I suspect that it is also popular with after school high school students because it has a several tables at the back of the dining area set up for electronic gaming.

At first I was ready to walk out of the place because there was a standing line of customers waiting to place their orders along with upwards of 75 or so already seated, but it was raining outside and too windy to go exploring for other possibilities.Still, the fact that they had seven different styles of hot dogs on the menu was the only thing that kept me patient enough for Loretta to get in line to place our orders. I’ve yet to meet a restaurant hot dog that I didn’t love and suddenly found life not worth living if I didn’t have one soon.

I should stop here and acknowledge that there are more than 80 other items on the menu including an array of pizzas, burgers, tacos, soups, salads, quesadillas, deli sandwiches, etc. In other words, just about anything you can imagine the student body anywhere craving is available at Meeple’s, there on Main Street.

After Loretta had placed our order, we started noticing that we were at least 45 to 50 years older than anyone else in the place. The generation gap was wider than the Grand Canyon, relatively speaking, but if any of the other customers noticed the only grandparents in the room, otherwise filled with late season millennials, they were remarkably polite about it. We never noticed anyone staring at us and that leads me to believe that enough of us old timers frequent the place, often enough, that we are not considered novelties.

Loretta ordered the “Kentucky Proud Dog” topped with “ bacon, caramelized onions beer cheese and bourbon siracha drizzle.” I had the “chile slaw dog topped with homemade Texas chili and cole slaw” along with a side of four-cheese mac and cheese. All three items were absolutely excellent. I know this because Loretta was unable to stuff down the entirety of her dog that included a quarter pound, all beef, frankfurter with the aforementioned toppings. I made sure that roughly ¼ of hers did not go to waste.

I do expect that we would have drawn some attention if we had taken advantage of the opportunity to paint a rock. However I still don’t know what this fad is all about that includes painting messages on skip stones and then “hiding” them in spots where they are apt to be found. So far I’ve found three such stones in Paint Lick emblazoned with tiny flowers and such along with the message that “Berea Rocks.” I wasn’t even looking for them and had no idea as to what I should do with them so I simply left them where they were.

Anyway, if you go to Meeple’s they will supply the “rocks” and all the paint you need to do one.

Reach longtime Enterprise columnist Ike Adams at ikeadams@aol.com or on Facebook or 249 Charlie Brown Road, Paint Lick, KY 40461.