(Exit 74 off Interstate 84)
1257 Buckley Highway
Union, CT 06076
Dear “The Traveler Restaurant,”
Your food sucks. It’s flat-out awful, in fact – your chef or team of trained monkeys can’t even cook an omelet without screwing it up. There should be some kind of law against bad diner-style restaurants just off expressway exits, particularly ones that this critic visits with high hopes and an empty stomach after sitting in stop and go traffic on the Mass Pike for far longer than it should ever take to drive thirty-odd miles.
Nonetheless, I grudgingly admit, you are charming and original. I haven’t been to another restaurant that gives away books free with every meal, nor have I been to any that feature a fully stocked used book store in the basement. You have both, and that’s truly bizarre.
Another pleasant surprise was a box of 7” records that yielded titles like Stevie Wonder’s “For Once In My Life” and the Holland-Dozier-Holland nugget “Band Of Gold” (both revelations in monophonic). While fifty cents is expensive for a 7” of questionable condition, both of the above and most of the other eight discs I selected had some information left in the grooves, though I think you’re going to have a hard time blowing out your remaining stock of Conway Twitty and Dean Martin vinyl.
The 12” LP box was abysmally void of anything interesting, though, much like the meatloaf sandwich that somehow included nothing recognizable as meatloaf. Good thing I ordered it with cheese, or I might have had to more closely ponder the loaf’s ingredients. My ex-roommate’s mother found your onion rings palatable merely because they included whole rings of onion; this is scarcely a big endorsement.
I suspect, though, that you have already established your business model, and it includes more gimmicks than quality. That’s your prerogative, of course, and you will no doubt continue to haul in customers that like the idea of free stuff, as well as the oddball literary types that seemed to be prevalent the other night. You just might not have me as a customer again (that is, unless you get in a new shipment of records – I loves me a good gimmick).
Mike King of “Twenty bucks a day.”