Better than the 2nd Window

One Liner WednesdayThis post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series: One-Liner Wednesday. I don’t usually do well with the one-line thing, and this week is no exception, but I think I have a pretty good, albeit two-part excuse.

First, the comment I wanted to share wasn’t a “one-liner” in that is isn’t something you can say to someone else, or that you might expect to hear in normal conversation. Still, as I think back over the variety of things that were said to me last week, by people in the outside world, this question stands out as the one that made me feel the best.

Second, the comment begs a (rhetorical) question that I inadvertently answered. That’s OK, I’ve established the fact that I often answer rhetorical questions, in the same way that I offer solutions for problems my wife wishes I would just acknowledge as existing.

I stopped at Maddie’s (the restaurant, not my dog’s place) on the way to work last week to get something to go for lunch. I took the menu and started looking at sandwiches.

“Can I help you?”

“I’m going to get a sandwich to go, for later. I just have to decide what I want.”

“OK. In addition to those, we have Chicken Salad today.”

“Mmmm, that sounds good.”

“Maddie makes the best chicken salad. All fresh ingredients and she cooks the chicken right here.”

“Let’s go with that.”

After a few minutes, the waitress brought me the to-go container with my sandwich, some pickles and some chips. Then she added:

“We serve that with a cup of soup here. Do you want an instant soup to go?”

The way she asked made it clear that she really wanted me to enjoy lunch. No one else that I would deal with that day, until I got home, seemed to care if my day was good, bad or otherwise. I realized just how little effort it takes to make someone feel good.

I thought about using that as my one-liner, and I thought I would pose the question that I raised a long time ago when I first wrote about Maddie’s, i.e. why do I ever stop at a fast-food place.

Yesterday, I was going to stop at Maddie’s for breakfast, but they were crowded to the point of having no parking places. I stopped at Dunkin Donuts for coffee and McDonald’s for an Egg McMuffin. When I spoke to the place-your-order-here-spot on the menu board, the conversation, if you can call it that was short and not sweet at all:

I’d like an Egg McMuffin.”

“$3.49. Pay and pick-up at the second window.”

It’s just not the same.


  1. Dan, two comments really.
    1: I really like McDonalds Sausage and Egg MacMuffins – my fave!
    2: I am surprised that you all that spare time to photograph your food. I am retired and I don’t have that spare time (maybe it’s because of the work you give me – grin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 1) I do like Egg McMuffins, and sausage biscuits, but there’s nothing better than that homey touch (Issac’s ???)

      2) I had to go back several months to find these photos, as I almost always forget before taking those first few bites.


  2. This is bad. Now I need to eat something unholy, I mean unwholesome.

    I love it that all kinds of Maddies deliver. And one time in Ljubljana, when McDonalds was still sort of new, I ordered a salad with eggs and upon opening the container was terribly tempted to go back to the counter and tell them that their eggs smelled bad. Which is even funnier in a language with the same word for ‘eggs’ and ‘cojones’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would make for an awkward complaint ;-)

      Sorry for making you hungry. I knew that if I only talked about the food, someone would say “why no pictures?” It’s always hard with food posts.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry, Mary. I knew I was running that risk. I was even hungry when I looked it over to see that everything had posted correctly. Fortunately, I’m working from home today, so I could eat.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Important question: Does she make her chicken salad with mayonnaise or salad dressing? Oh, and another: Is it the kind with grapes and nuts in?

    Maddie’s sounds like my kinda place. We had a great soup/salad/sandwich place in Corydon, but it turned out to be WAY more expense and work than than the owner/cook had expected (she shouldn’t have been so good!), and it closed, alas. Treasure Maddie’s!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mayo and no grapes and no nuts. A.K.A. the way I like it :)

      Sandwich plus chips and pickles = $5.75 – Could I spend less on lunch at McDonald’s? Probably but not enough to make it matter. In fact, I am happy to give these guys a nice tip on top of that price.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. They are all so nice in that place. Just plain friendly people. The places like McD’s and Dunkin Donuts that have a timer running to measure the start-to-finish transaction time are actually discouraging human contact. It makes it so clinical. It would be different if the food was really good, but…


  4. I like a sausage and egg burrito every so often (and it’s a great deal) or these days, a $2 mocha. But I always try to say good morning and ask how the person is, which usually elicits a surprised but nice response. I think fast food places are a bit like UPS: they want their workers to work as fast as possible, which usually doesn’t allow much time for chat, friendly or otherwise.

    I was curious about the “instant soup”, though. Did she give you regular soup to go or an instant soup?


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just responded to Lois with that same thought, Janet. Those places put the emphasis on fast, not food. I do like the Egg McMuffin and the sausage biscuit, but the experience is like stopping to put gas in my tank.

      She offered instant soup. I didn’t want the soup (I was hard pressed to finish the sandwich) but the offer made me feel so nice.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. And if she gave you instant soup, did she also provide a bottle of water with which to reconstitute it? Or was the water instant too?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mmm, chicken salad. I think I make the best chicken salad, but to be honest, I’ve never met one I didn’t like! :P
    Places like Maddie’s are to be cherished :)
    I enjoy sausage biscuits from McDonald’s. I don’t eat them often, but when I do, I enjoy them. Somethin about the eggs there doesn’t taste right with me, and their syrup is ungodly sweet, so it’s a sausage biscuit or nothin if I’m there. And a Coke, Dan. A really big Coke :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The sausage biscuits from McDonald’s are very good. And, I discovered that they do bake the biscuits on site. I ordered one once and the clerk said “our oven is broken so no baked items today.” That made me feel good. Dunkin Donuts stuff is all pre-cooked somewhere else. McD’s does use real eggs, but I’m guessing they cook them in oil, whereas, I think Maddie’s and I know my wife cooks them in butter.

      It’s funny what you said about chicken salad. I prefer homemade, but I will often try it in places like this. Tuna Salad, on the other hand, is my wife’s or nothin. I man, I’d probably eat it if you made it, but not from a restaurant.

      I do try to let them know that I really appreciate their being in business. When we lose places like this, they don’t get replaced.


  7. So true, Dan. It take very little effort to be nice to someone, and it can make all the difference to them when you are. Just a smile sometimes is all you need! So why the heck aren’t we all doing it more…?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sigh … Here I go again, reading a post about food when I am hungry. I mean, how does that work? What are the odds of that happening? Thanks, Dan, for putting a rumble in my stomach. As for niceness that goes a long way, doesn’t it? So glad you found some!! <3

    Liked by 1 person

  9. AHA! My timing was perfect! I read this post just after I finished eating so none of this appeals to me right now :)
    … and who wins the customer service award is a no-brainer!!

    But I have to comment on your statement “I offer solutions for problems my wife wishes I would just acknowledge as existing”. OMG! This must be a guy thing. After all these years, Husband still hasn’t mastered the art of simply nodding his head and making sympathetic noises.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m so glad I had dinner before opening your post! Wow those buns at Maddie’s look so good.

    I like Egg McMuffins, and Breakfast Jacks. I don’t eat them very often, but when I want one I want one! At this point I doubt I’ll ever out grow them, but Maddie’s breakfast sandwich just might make me never want again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Deborah. I still like the Egg McMuffin and the Sausage Biscuit, but when I have time to stop at Maddie’s, it’s always a better sandwich. They also make a Pastrami omelet, that they serve with spicy brown mustard as an option. At first, I thought that sounded weird, but oh my goodness, it’s so good. Of course, if I eat a full breakfast there, I’m basically done for the day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That does sound weird, but I like spicy brown mustard so I’d try it.

        “Of course, if I eat a full breakfast there, I’m basically done for the day.” You say that like it’s a bad thang! I don’t think I’d mind if that was my meal for the day as I imagine a full brkfast from Maddie’s would be quite delicious and FILLING! :)


  11. Servers who care are truly “saints,” Dan. This one made sure you were a satisfied customer and “lunch eater” later. I made up that word combination apparently. This was a great one liner. Soup makes lunch a perfect meal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha – I could have used that. They are just so nice there. They offer me a small coffee while I’m waiting, and they will top-off my to-go cup if I bring it in.


  12. These days the emphasis is on speed rather than customer service, Dan. That’s what I believe. You pay and get aside. However, there are establishments where you get exceptional service and they are still beating the MNCs because they treat customers as people and not a number.

    Liked by 1 person

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