Jay Peak – 5/2001

“The Guys” had just finished a spectacular day at Jay Peak. Glade skiing had been the finest since I can’t remember when (which doesn’t say much as I CAN”T remember when). I suspected something was up as we exited to the right from the mountain, yet I dare not question our “Fearless Leader”.

We pulled into the thriving metropolis of Montgomery, VT, already familiar to the seasoned van occupants and began our perusal of the eating establishments. I spied JR’s on our 1st pass, but was overruled as we proceeded to the parking lot of snowmobiles. The “$9.95 all-you-can-eat” sign seemed attractive until you viewed the buffet, which was a little difficult to see through the fog. It took some urging, yet my habitual whining paid off and we caroused down the block to the only other eatery: JR’s.

I viewed the blackboard specials with satisfaction knowing we had found a respectable restaurant. I tend to order from the specials so I quickly memorized the offerings and recited them to the group. We ordered our beer from the draft menu, which included my favorite Vermont Micro, Long Trail. My misguided companions asked for the Sam Adams. Some old dogs just can’t be taught.

Our server placed a flat dish of olive oil, chopped garlic, and a splash of balsamic vinegar at the table. I embarrassingly explained the offering to the dismay of my companions. But as I sliced the French baguette and demonstrated the technique, we were quick to order a second serving.

Most ordered the house salad with the homemade dressing, which we all enjoyed; I just can’t remember what it was, (did I mention my memory problem). I ordered the Blackened Swordfish with baked potato only to be chastised by the “Captain” for promulgating the extinction of the species. “Singing Don”, fearing that he might miss, out also requested the swordfish. We were both satisfied with the texture and lightly blackened seasoning, just wished there was more on the plate.

“Fearless” being a meat eater at heart selected the regular beef ribs passing on the special baby backs. I only heard grunting and gnawing during the meal with the exception of “I’ll take it” when the “Singer” offered his broccoli. Another satisfied customer!

“Mean Gene” opted for the scallops provided it came with real mashed potatoes. It appeared to me to be served in a light cream sauce which he seem to enjoy, only to be envious when he queried Keith on his selection of the Shrimp Marinara served over a bed of pasta. Need I say more?
We needed a caffeine jolt for the balance of the ride home, all fearing our server might give one of us the cup designated for the “Captain” (seems they had developed a unique understanding during our brief encounter).

At first there were no takers to the dessert offerings, then the gates were opened and a rash of requests for the coveted pie ensued. I hesitated and asked for a repeat of the list. Something in the name “Suicide Pie” should have clued me. I missed our server’s reiterated warning at my selection, yet when she placed this monstrosity of 4 layers of chocolate cake with ice cream and whipped cream, I knew I had overindulged. Like “Uncle Buck” I struggled to finish and needed a bail out from “Singing Don”. Next time we’ll order one for the entire table.

Overall this was a pleasurable dining experience that we willingly demonstrated in the gratuity section of the bill. I think JR’s will be on next year’s agenda of “The Guy’s” weekend… if there is another.

~Larry Ortmann
Lift Lines – May 2001