I do inventory for a job. It’s not exciting or glamorous or anything to blog about, but what it does is take me all over the place. I end up in a lot of convenience stores, restaraunts, attractions and things that are generally new to me. My last trip had a particularly large slew of things, being a combination of two trips, and it was all clogging up my brain’s RAM, which I really don’t have that much of. To fight off an aneurysm, I’m going to get it all out of there.
Fast Eddies Bon-Air
In talking to a district manager for Road Ranger, we heard about a place near St. Louis called Fast Eddies, where they’d not changed the food prices since 1982. Myself and the three I usually travel with are all reasonably enthusiastic eaters; we couldn’t pass it up. So we jumped in the Gold Van the next day and the Smartphone went to work finding this haven.
Coming into Alton is unassuming. The fields were flooded, The Mississippi we were driving parallel with blocked from view by a high manmade hill. The first signs of the town are old buildings with old cars rotting in front of them. Fast Eddies is no less unassuming from the outside if you’re driving by it, too, assuming your directions also had you make a ridiculous U-turn across three streets. Parking is hellishly insufficient, and a sign among many others on the wall informed us that this place was cash only. The first look is like looking into a Hooters. Goddamn gift shop to the left, bar in front of you and yes, there was a healthy amount of pretty, but here, not all of them were employees. The patrons ranged from just-old-enough-to-enter (It’s 21+ only 24/7), to the impressively geriatric. This place has no demographic, it has no crowd.
Seating was inside and out, complete with a newly completed permanent awning over the outside, where smoking is allowed. One of the three/four, I can’t remember, bars is out there, but you have to go inside to order food.
Halfway back the long, several times added onto building is the counter, along with the grill in plain view behind. The menu is on the wall, each item given its own square foot of plywood to be painted onto. Mixed feelings stirred up; I like options, but I also hate decisions. 1/2 pound burger with cheese, 1.29. Fries, 99 cents. Other menu items included 29 cent shrimp, bratwurst, chicken wings on a stick, a steak kabob, and (scene missing)
All the food is made to order, and there’s a lot of orders coming in. A sign amidst the menu boards reads “Please allow at least 20 minutes for order”. I’m starving, I’m eager, I’m being seemingly assaulted by a brigade of waitresses asking for my drink order. My coworkers had gone to the ATM, but at this point are back and have ordered, and we look at the numbers on our order tickets. 20 minutes was looking safe. We sit down, a jack and coke for each, and when we get our food and have them condimented (not a word), we head outside, because 3/4 of us are tobacco fiends. The burger was a monster; I’d nearly ordered two and even at a 1.29, I’m glad I didn’t. As for taste, the best burger you’ve ever had at a backyard cookout. Fries are generally fries to me, but I can at least remark that I wasn’t dissapointed.
The interior and exterior are both covered in signs. Signs of all kinds, road signs, advertisements from any point in the last century. It’s the kind of kitch you want to burn down Applebees for, but here, this place is pretty small time; somebody went out and got that sign and put that fucker up on the wall and wiped his hands off for no reason when he was done, and God saw that it was good. I’d love to see the place at a busier time, we were there late afternoon on a weekend and it was still heavily trafficked. They have live music, and it’s first and foremost a bar, I intend to be back and get the full picture.
tl;dr version: cheap food middle of nowhere SHIT ALL UP ON THOSE WALLS its cool man