FOOD- DISH- Breakfast tales: eat, drink, and be wary

A few weeks ago, Jonathan Lord was enjoying his regular Saturday morning breakfast at the University Grill on Ivy Road when something unusual happened.

"I had ordered my food and was just starting to eat when there was a terrific crash, a scream, and the sound of rushing water," he wrote in an e-mail." I turned to see a woman sitting at a table with three other adults and a small baby and she was completely drenched with water, and the entire group was looking stunned. I didn't know what had happened."

"The ceiling just fell on that lady!" he heard one of the waitresses yell. According to Lord, a plastic dish pan, like the ones used to bus tables, had fallen through the drop ceiling on to the table. Lord and his dining companion, an architect, suspected the pan had been placed up there to catch leaks in the roof, and that a downpour the previous evening had filled it to some sort of breaking point.

"I'm not sure if the woman was hurt, but she was soaked and disappeared into the restroom until after I had finished my breakfast and left," Lord wrote. "I did notice that there were quite a few other ceiling tiles that had water stains on them, and it made me wonder how many other water bombs were up there in the ceiling waiting to douse unsuspecting diners!

Alarmed, Dish called the University Grill to see if they had fixed the problem. However, owner Sdavros Adamis told a different story." It was a leak from the air conditioning and a part of the ceiling fell down on someone," said Adamis, who admitted he wasntt there at the time. "It was no big deal."

He also reassured Dish that the problem had been fixed and that no more unsuspected diners would be dowsed. So no dish pan fell on anyone? "No, just part of the ceiling," said Adamis." The ceiling and the dish pan definitely fell on the table," said Lord when Dish called to confirm his story. "The woman was soaked, like shedd jumped in a pool. And I think her glasses were broken."

Ode to the Tavern

Since 1981, The Tavern on the corner of Emmet Street and Barracks Road, as the large white letters on the roof proclaim, has been the breakfast place "where tourists, students and townpeople meet." It's a slogan that has always made Dish chuckle. There's always been something nostalgic and wishful about it.

Twenty-five years ago, before there were five restaurants for every possible taste and sensibility, everyone probably did run into each other somewhere. Traffic wasn't in perpetual motion down Emmet Street, and shopping, making a living, and parking hadn't replaced socializing. If you can imagine a future metropolis rising up around the Tavern's wishful roof-top slogan, you'll see what we're getting at.

So, while there's still time, head on down to the Tavern on August 25 (if its after the 25th when you're reading this, head on down anyway) to help owner, Shelly Gordon, and his crew celebrate his 25th anniversary. Have one last glorious greasy breakfast of banana pancakes and creamed chip beef on toast in the dingy, cluttered joint before you go totally green and organic. And leave your check book and your credit cards at home because the place still only takes cash.

For that matter, leave your cell phones, I-pods, laptops, Gameboys, PDAs , and partisan politics behind. As manager Margaret Podoba reminds the Dish, "Running a restaurant isn't easy. And we want to thank him for doing this." Amen and pass the grits!

Stop whining and visit Fuel Co.'s wine stop!

So, where can you get a good bottle of wine for under $20 bucks? How about a gas station. Okay, so Fuel Co. isn't your typical gas station, but its wine shop is offering an untypical wine promotion: "the Fuel Co. 150." Basically, it's a big collection of wines from all over the world for under a Jackson. In addition, you can stop by Wednesday thru Friday from 4:30 to 7:30 thru September to taste the "Fuel Co. 150" and nibble on delicious finger food. Ah, now there's a reason to fuel up!

The Tavern on Emmet Street celebrates 25 years of giant banana pancakes and creamed chipped beef on toast!