My sweetie and I visited his father over the weekend to celebrate the latter's 50-something (or is it 60 now?) birthday. Who's celebration of choice was a hog roast at the Greensburg Legion. Since we young'ns didn't have tickets and like to keep our lungs pure, we spent the day helping him around the house and dropped him off at the party before heading down the street for a quick dinner date by ourselves.
Greensburg, Indiana is hardly a culinary hot-spot. The options are pretty much pizza, burgers, fried chicken, and more pizza. My sweetie has a nostalgic fondness for a particular eatery down there: Pizza King. Even though we had eaten our homemade Friday Night Pizza the day before, he convinced me that Pizza King was "different."
Here's my first impression of the restaurant:
That's class, right there.
When we went inside, I found myself in what looked like a hollowed-out barn with tables. The teenage girl at the cash register took our order, and we snuck past the carousing families in the main dining area and the strongly vocal children in the arcade into the empty back room. Once there, I took a look at the receipt: $11.50. The pizza was supposed to be a base of $7, and they apparently charged us for extra toppings because we went halvsies. Plus, the girl had charged me a full $1.50 for water, since it was a "fountain drink." I promptly went back out to the fountain, emptied out my cup, and filled it with Diet Coke.
Yes, it made me sick later, but since I haven't had soda in over a month, it tasted divine. And I wasn't going to let them take $1.50 for water that tasted like it came out of a bathroom tap.
When the pizza arrived, I saw that it was cut into small squares, which had both good and bad points. The good: I ate a lot slower than usual, which made me feel fuller, and I didn't have my usual bedtime hunger pangs. The bad: the piece in the middle with no crust edges had to be eaten with a fork, which made it seem more like a pineapple-olive-tomato-paste salad than pizza.
Though the entire "Pizza King experience" was less than impressive, the food itself was definitely better than average. The olives were firm and not overly salty, and the sauce was less runny than my homemade version. The crust was the best part: thin, light and crispy.
We ate happily, with sweetie playing with the pepper flakes he had always wanted to try as a kid (verdict: they don't taste like much unless you put them directly on your tongue, and then it takes a little while for the bite to come through). Then we sat and chatted to give Who time to enjoy his pork and raffles until a girl who looked about 14 years old sidled in to ask if we wanted anything else. We took out our wallets to leave a tip for the woman who brought the pie to our table, but all he had was a fiver and all I had was four nickels and three pennies. That made me think: what do I ever use cash for, besides tips? In college I frequented the Chemistry and Jordan Hall vending machines, but those devil-may-care-if-I-buy-this-80¢-granola-bar days have ended.
When we swung by the Legion to pick up Who, he asked how much the dinner had cost. His bizarre answer to the reply of $11.50: "That's all?" To me, that amount for a 10" pie and some bubbles in sugar water was outrageous, but it's apparently on the low side by public perception. Maybe he expected his son to down an entire order of breadsticks or something.
All in all, it was a nice experience on someone else's dime, but it wouldn't be my first choice in splurge situations.