Was a culinary curse at work while I spent a week back at the family homestead? You be the judge...
Sunday: On the way back from a family daytrip to Toledo, we planned to eat dinner at Quatro's in Monroe. Not the cheapest place to dine, but it always had a good selection of meat dishes and special touches like an extensive Weight Watchers-friendly menu. We sensed something was amiss we approached the parking lot and failed to see a single vehicle. The worn exterior looked as if it hadn't welcomed diners since our last meal there. We didn't bother to pull in to see if there was a sign on the door indicating what had happened and drove on to another family favourite, Salvatore Scallopini in Southgate.
A search of the web doesn't provide any answers as to what happened to Quatro's, other than hints a management change had caused a drop in quality. We guessed the economy of southeast Michigan may have helped do it in.
Monday: After spending the day with Amy and Gavin at Point Pelee, we planned to meet Mom for dinner at Shin Shin, our usual haunt for Chinese food in Windsor. We arrived to find the "Closed" sign hanging and a note. Luckily it wasn't a repeat of the Quatro's experience—the closure was for a month-long holiday. We wound up at Tunnel Bar-B-Q, which I don't think I had eaten at since high school other than take-out desserts. Given the luck we were having with restaurants and TBQ's ownership and financial issues in recent years, it wouldn't have shocked me if something had suddenly happened to the venerable establishment. Though the menu has been updated, most of the elements I remembered remain: top-notch side ribs, old-school frozen krinkle-cut fries and over-the-top desserts (it's probably a good thing I rarely indulge myself with a slice of their chocolate torte, which I occasionally requested for my birthday).
(For a idea of what TBQ looked like in its early days, check out International Metropolis.)
Tuesday: Something I never expected to see in Amherstburg has popped up: a sushi bar. Mom had heard through the grapevine that it was good, so Sarah and I decided we were going to bring a few rolls home for lunch. We drove over...and discovered it was closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. By now we figured the food gods were feeling mischievous.
Thursday: On the way back to Toronto, we stopped at roadside stands along old Highways 3 and 18. As we neared Blenheim, we needed a rest/drink stop, which the 7-11 had often provided. As we were about to pull in, a shocking sight awaited us.
The word was drawn slowly out of my mouth, like a character about to crash in an action movie or cartoon. I repeated it once or twice, much to Sarah's amusement. The 7-11 I'd stopped at for years was now an empty shell. No satisfying my Slurpee addiction this time.
We pulled into the Tim Horton's across the road.
The tally: one permanently closed restaurant, one restaurant on an extended vacation, one restaurant taking a day off, one convenience store that no longer handles argumentative lottery players.