For lunch today I got together with some old friends that I had worked with for many years. We met at Rooster’s, an oil-refinery-worker-friendly joint. A number of us had regularly eaten lunch at Rooster’s in Baytown since the late 1970’s. Nearly everything is still the same. My “Henburger” came out on the plate the same way it did decades ago: the patty, bun, lettuce leaf, tomato and onion slice, and steak fries were identically arranged on the plate. They have moved the front of the building from one side to another, though. And it’s not $2.75 anymore.
As we were ordering, one of my friends asked about the steak fries. “Are they battered?”
“No,” the waitress replied.
“They used to be battered.”
“We’ve never battered our steak fries.”
“Maybe not now, but I remember you used to.”
“No, we’ve always cooked them this way.”
I had to intervene. “It may have been a while back. We’ve been coming here since before you were born.”
Later, one of the more senior waitresses came over and apologized. Yes, for a few months several years ago they did batter the steak fries but people didn’t like them, so they stopped. Our waitress was just too young to know this. It is not entirely impossible that we had been eating there since before her parents were born.