Birthday 45: The Food So Far

Jack's Donuts!

Partial sampling of the flavors and gargantuan portions at Jack’s Donuts.

It’s that time again! This week I turned 45 without entering true Midlife Crisis mode yet, and with only modest physical damage reminding me of the ravages of time. The knee I sprained in Elkhart two months ago has healed and regained more than half its flexibility back. My chronic back pain has left me alone of late. My poor sleeping habits have been slightly less out of control most of this week. The recurring heartburn that’s begun haunting me this year has subsided so far this month. The worst thing going for me at the moment is the giant eyelid pimple that greeted me in the mirror this morning and irritated me most of the day. And you can tell I’m getting old because here’s a short entry about food but the first thing on my mind is all my aches and pains.

For the past several years my wife and I have made a tradition of going somewhere new for each of our birthdays. For me last year, it was a super-hero museum in Elkhart. For Anne last year, it was a lavish museum in Cincinnati. Now it’s my turn.

Unfortunately we’re not quite there yet. My birthday activity is what we’ll be doing this coming weekend. In fact, as I type this I’m putting off a few remaining tasks just so I can get to one task in particular, which is typing this entry about the tasks I’m not doing while I’m typing this entry even though it counts as such a task in my mind, albeit not a task as crucial as the other tasks that will enrich our big weekend much more than this entry will, but only if I stop doing this task and do those tasks instead.

If this typing task seems loopy, blame the sugar. Fattening opportunities a-plenty keep opening up for me this week. Exhibit A: those donuts in the lead photo, courtesy of my sweet, enabling coworkers. These oversized delights came from Jack’s Donuts, which has a few locations in the central Indiana area, including down the street from our workplace. Jack’s is a convenient pitch-in go-to, a nice place for an all-carb breakfast, and a safe bet for coworkers who know me somewhat well. They brought in so many that we have a half-dozen left two evenings later. We’re doing what we can to revivify them with nuking and toppings before they reach terminal staleness.

Tuesday night we went to dinner with my mom, who’s retired and not exactly flush with disposable income, but insists on treating us anyway. I kept it simple and went with Barbecue and Bourbon, one of the fine establishments that brought us joy and sauce at Fantastic Food Fest.

Barbecue and Bourbon!

Parts of the building imply this once may have been a seedy dive for racing fans. Today, other parts of it are looking much better now.

One catch: Barbecue and Bourbon is in the town of Speedway, which is swamped every May with thousands of Indianapolis 500 fans looking for ways to kill time in the weeks leading up to the race and in the moments between beer binges. The restaurant isn’t that big and was packed upon our arrival. After 45 minutes of waiting and playing on my phone, a group of ten finally relinquished their squatting rights on two tables up front and made way for us at last.

The results were tasty. Worth a 45-minute wait? Open to debate.

Cajun Chops!

Cajun chops, fiesta corn (with onions ‘n’ peppers mixed in), potato salad, and cornbread that I wish had been the size of a pie. These were all good things.

Not pictured: an even better appetizer sampler of catfish nuggets (lightly breaded with pleasant seasoning), fried mushrooms (nice balance of breading and substance, not just glorified hush puppies), and potato skins filled with pulled pork (nearly a meal unto themselves, and a fantastic one at that). For the record, Anne also approved of the meal-sized catfish she ordered. Fine place overall, but we recommend trying it one of the other eleven months of the year. Not even the Brickyard 400 brings in the masses quite like the Indy 500 does, so even August would be a better bet.

The day after my birthday, my supervisor refused to let up on the sugar and we found ourselves inundated with cookies from a City Market booth called Just Cookies because she felt like it. This wasn’t strictly for my benefit, but it’s close enough to a birthday snack encore that I’m calling it exactly that.

Just Cookies!

I’ll vouch for the macadamia nut cookies.

…and that’s where my birthday’s at so far. So far we haven’t scoped out any creative culinary options where we’re headed, so this may be the end of interesting meals for the next few days. I’d rather not eat nine straight McDonald’s Extra Value Meals in a row, but this outing was added to our calendar at the last minute and therefore doesn’t have much of a budget. Updates as they occur, assuming I can stop typing now, finish my to-do list, and actually make sure we’re ready for takeoff so there’ll be reasons to update.

7 responses

  1. Happy belated birthday. 45 minutes for BBQ! That’s commitment. I hit the big five OH next month. Mysterious pains, night sweats, waking with various and sundry injuries one could only get while training for the Olympics, yep, aging is not for the faint of heart. Literally.


    • I’d heard about the pitfalls of aging in my youth, but I undererstimated just how bad “old” could get. And I’m sure the worst is yet to come. Rats.

      As for the 45-minute wait: that was us being stubborn. We knew if we walked out and went to the other restaurant down the street, a table would open up immediately, and the other restaurant would have a longer line or run out of meat. Frankly, we trapped ourselves there.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “You can tell I’m getting old because here’s a short entry about food but the first thing on my mind is all my aches and pains.” I loved that. So true (for myself, too)… What is it about getting older that makes us talk about it so much? I guess it’s the realization that we are not except. I never stop wondering about my own surprise on what age does to my body. It’s not that I thought I would never get old. I just never put the pieces together and deducted that I would also age, visibly. These two things were so not the same in my mind. 🙂


    • I hear that! The young don’t just think they’ll live forever; they also think they’re impervious to any harm short of a runaway bus. But as all these little infirmities begin to pile on us one at a time as the years pass, eventually we realize what our elders meant by “It’s all downhill from here!”

      Liked by 1 person

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