February 29, 2012


What makes a truly American restaurant?  In a way the much maligned chains are an offshoot of American dining experience: affordable, quick, no fuss, nothing fancy, filling yet good, and these days increasingly nutritious and calorie conscious. 

But these are chains, good in some ways: you can search for your fave in town after town on your road trip; they open early in the morning and late at night; no tipping if self-service, but for the very same reasons humdrum: none of that special eating-out feeling, and “mass-produced” yet still tasty.

That is why the Little Red Barn Restaurant and Lounge in Washington State was such a find.  A former barn – how much more American can you get? - this place has been open for around 40 years now.   They are famous for their Chicken Fried Steak (US$8.99) which is served with two eggs, hash browns and toast.  The steak was not bad by my standards, and I say this because the chicken did taste delish but was a bit dry.  The burger (US$5.49) was alright, served with a choice of green salad, potato salad, cole slaw, cup of soup or French fries. I have to say Burger King does a better job.  So why then do I say Little Red Barn (it is not little) is a find?
The service, the attitude, the friendliness, the “home comfort” one feels.  You can travel all over the world and one can say comparatively most Americans are genuinely friendlyand truly polite.   When you are hungry and traveling alone, being welcomed with an honest smile and that "glad you're here" look is a big big thing. 

At Little Red Barn, everyone was nice especially Cherri Crossland who has been serving for 11 years.         

So if you’re in the area, take a break from the chains, and imbibe Americana in and out at the Little Red Barn.

The Lounge is separated discreetly by a wall and at a distance, unnoticeable so the kids will barely hear any crowd or smell the liquor.  

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