The arrival of cool weather usually finds me irritably tugging on jeans, promising myself I will start eating home-cooked meals more often. (Those summer sundresses can be quite forgiving.) And so for a couple of days, I try. But with so many fun reasons to "run out of time" to cook, I usually find myself back in the habit of picking up the phone to place an order. Last night was no different. After all, the kids needed to eat at 5 p.m. in order to get to flag football on time. When they got home, they had to be snacked, scrubbed and snuggled before hitting the sack at 7:30. By that time, there was a pretty big game under way, and it would have been just plain crazy to attempt to cook anything that might be remotely edible.
So, we hit the speed dial and spoke to a voice which has become quite familiar. "Little Owl, can I help you?" asked a comforting baritone. Yes, familiar voice on the other end, you can help me. You have so many times before.
Obviously, Little Owl is a standard at the Pignotti home. We have been dining in Flagstone and ordering take-out from Little Owl for as long as I can remember. And we are not alone. Little Owl does a pretty good carry-out business, and can brag that it is the oldest dining institution in Geneva. The year-round Friday night Fish Fry is fantastic. I know plenty of Tri-Cities folks who can call themselves regulars. A taste or two of the halibut or haddock is all it takes to get "hooked." Yes, many a Friday night we have found ourselves at Flagstone, which shares the kitchen with Little Owl, and offers a roomier and more contemporary vibe than The Little Owl, itself.
Monday night's special is beef stroganoff or lasagna. I would love to try the stroganoff one of these Mondays, but usually end up with lasagna or the turkey reuben. On this particular Monday, I felt like having a sandwich and fries, so I went with the reuben, which I might add is equally as tasty with corned beef. A creature of habit, Joel always orders the same thing, dine-in or take-out. And I, of course, always harass him just a little bit, but end up eating a lot of his, secretly glad he chose the sauteed walleye-pike once again.
On this Monday night, Joel went off to pick up our order and grab a quick beer while waiting and watching the game. He didn't get to see much, since, as usual, service was quick. Our meals arrived back still nice and hot, packaged neatly and containing everything we might need. My reuben was as good as ever. With just the right amount of sauerkraut, swiss, and turkey, nestled between two pieces of toasted dark rye, it was exactly what I'd expected. Since I get the 1,000 Island dressing on the side for take-out, so as not to sog the bread, there was plenty of extra for dipping. Crispy fries, a pickle, and coleslaw accompanied my sandwich. All were delicious.
Joel's fish came cooked to perfection, along with tarter, lemon, and a load of fries. He orders double fries rather than the vegetables that usually come along. I know some folks who love those veggies, and Joel is a veggie-lover, but these have never quite impressed him. The fries, on the other hand, always do! The fish also comes with a soup or salad. The salad is pretty typical, and the soups are usually quite good.
The Little Owl has it down. Whether dining in or taking out, you can count on the kitchen to get it right. If you live in the area and have never been, you owe it to yourself to check out Little Owl. It's comfort food at its best, and convenient to boot. It won't be long before I am back.