Dear Red Zone Cafe,

Please don't take offense, but yours is an inner beauty. On the outside, you look neat and proper like any strip-mall cafe, nothing too fancy. You're not in a particularly posh part of town (3602 Slide Rd) either, but the exterior of anything is rarely of any real importance.

As soon as I open your door I'm usually met with a small wait line. That's okay, it goes quick, and before I know it, I'm seated in one of your bright red upholstered booths or at a well-worn wooden table. I prefer the booths but honestly, I'd sit on a rock to eat your food.

Within seconds I'm always greeted by an incredibly nice waitress. You might have a waiter, but I've never seen him. Depending on the time of day, I'll order your fresh and piping hot coffee or a delicious Coke Zero and honestly, I cannot thank you enough for having that as an option.

Photo by Luke Pennystan on Unsplash
Photo by Luke Pennystan on Unsplash

Every time I open your menu I am stunned by the reverse-sticker shock. A hamburger for under $5? A chicken fried steak dinner for under $10? What is this? The 1990s? And the breakfast items are even more affordable.

You're always bustling but quick to serve me, which I appreciate. I have noticed that most of your crowd is a little bit older. With age comes wisdom, and these folks know that you're one of the best options in town for the foods we crave the most.

You just get it all right- the mashed potatoes with brown gravy, the broad, flat green beans with bacon, the chili with plenty of saltine crackers. It's down-home food in a no-nonsense environment that makes me feel at home. I love it.

Red Zone, don't you ever change. You're perfect.

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