Today after work, I drove home and picked up my wife, then went over to my grandparents house where we all piled into my grandpa’s car and went out to dinner. About a week ago they invited my wife and I to join them for dinner at the Spaghetti Warehouse, somewhere we’ve never eaten before, but a favorite of my grandparents. In my mind I pictured a big dusty room, filled with shelves floor to ceiling, all holding plates of spaghetti. The server would write your order on a pad and venture deep into the warehouse, searching through the incredibly organized warehouse that is arranged alphabetically to find the specific plate you ordered. “I’ll have one B-3, the spaghetti with meat sauce.” In reality, while it was a big brick building that had at one time been a warehouse, it was a normal restaurant on the inside with no floor to ceiling shelves anywhere in sight.
There were all different varieties of light hanging from the ceiling, some with plaited glass, presumably recycled from other restaurants that sadly are no longer with us, may the rest in peace, and in the middle of the dining room sat a large trolley car, inside which were chairs and tables, giving the diner the feeling of eating on a train. We sat at a table in the corner, my grandpa and I ordered the spaghetti, and my wife and mimi got the fettuccine alfredo. I considered getting the fettuccine, but we weren’t at the fettuccine warehouse, so I stuck with what the restaurant was named for, and I was not disappointed. In my experience it’s pretty hard to mess up a plate of spaghetti, although on rare occasions I’ve eaten at places that have, but the spaghetti warehouse came through. The portions were large, and all four of us got to-go boxes that were filled with about half of the pasta we were served, and it was relatively inexpensive, not that I paid for my meal, thanks to my very generous grandparents.
After leaving the restaurant my grandpa drove us around downtown and showed us a tea shop where my mimi used to eat lunch when she was a young girl attending modeling school in Memphis, and we drove past the old building where my grandpa used to run his furniture store and was standing on the sidewalk while the car containing Martin Luther King Jr. after he’d been shot rushed past him towards the hospital. We drove back through midtown and saw the first apartment that my grandparents lived in after the got married, and paid only sixty-two dollars a month. It was a fun night filled with good food, and a lot of reminiscing for my grandparents, sharing their history and stories with my wife and I. Maybe one day I’ll be able to take my grandkids to eat at the spaghetti warehouse, and to drive them along those same downtown streets, sharing with them the stories that were passed on to us tonight.