Writer’s Workshop: Friendly’s


I haven’t participated in this for a couple of weeks. The prompts haven’t appealed to me, and I’ve been inundating you, the readers, with plenty of posts anyway. But I told myself I would get back to doing these.

One of Mama Kat’s prompts for today is this one:

Write a blog post inspired by the word: Friendly


I saw this one and all I could think of was Friendly’s, the restaurant chain.



I don’t think I’ve ever eaten at Friendly’s. I might have eaten at Stuckey’s, though.



And I know I’ve eaten at Perkins



And Howard Johnson’s, and Bakers Square, and a lot of other chain restaurants like that.

I mention this because I used to like to go to restaurants like that when I was traveling on business. There are nights that you don’t want to eat at McDonald’s or Burger King or one of the other fast-food places, and you don’t feel like sitting in a big chain restaurant like TGI Friday’s or Chili’s or Carrabba’s or something like that. Places like the ones I mentioned are right in between the two. Not fancy, but you don’t have to unwrap your dinner, either. When you’re eating by yourself, you want to feel comfortable sitting in the restaurant and reading the paper or a book, or doing crossword puzzles or sudoku. Doing that at a real restaurant just doesn’t feel right, and fast-food places are usually full of kids and noisy and the furniture is uncomfortable. Plus, you can get a real breakfast for dinner if you want. Not just an Egg McMuffin or a Breakfast Burrito. You can get bacon, eggs, sausage, pancakes, toast, you name it. Sure, you could go to IHOP or Waffle House for those, but the real advantage of going to the casual-dining places I mentioned is they have pie.



Of course, what’s even better are the local casual restaurants. We used to have lots of them in Chicago. Open 24 hours, breakfast served anytime, a full range of desserts, and the coffee is always good.

I remember one trip I was on, to Burlington, Iowa. I don’t think I ate for three days. I was at the client site at 6 AM, work through lunch, and wouldn’t get back to the hotel until 10 at night, and I’d just crash. Finally, I decided I had to eat, so I went into one of those places at 10:30 at night, and I ordered half of what they had on the menu. Patty melt with fries, a bowl of chili, salad bar, and I told the waiter to bring coffee and just keep bringing it. I was STARVED.

You eat like that, and people start watching and pretty soon you become the entertainment. I didn’t care, I hadn’t eaten in three days. When the guy comes with the check, he said, “Will there be anything else?” And I said “What do you have for dessert?” I practically had to pick the guy up off the floor…

14 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: Friendly’s

  1. I’ve never been to any of those pie serving restaurants, they aren’t in California.

    My favorite places to eat are mom & pop places I find on the YELP app.


    1. I did most of my travel in the pre-Internet days, where we had to ask at the hotel (where they usually told us about their restaurant) or you drove around and looked for a place to eat. Those were usually the ones we found…



  2. You may have never been to one, but I used to live too close to a Friendly’s restaurant. Within easy walking distance and their fribbles [thick milkshakes] called to me. Almost daily. Hadn’t thought of that place in years. On a different note, I’ve never heard of a Bakers Square! Are they regional?


        1. 99’s are mostly in the northeast, primarily the Boston area, I think. The reason I asked is because Bakers Square and O’Charley’s are both owned by the same company, and O’Charley’s now serves Bakers Square pies. We usually try to take advantage of Free Pie Wednesdays…


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