Down at RJ’s Cafe

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Today’s Catch is coming to you from my favorite local Johnny’s Cafe. This one happens to be called RJ’s Cafe. It’s a 15-minute drive from my house, but it’s worth it — the deciding factor being the pancakes. I am always in search of the best pancakes in town and RJ’s is the closest thing to it in my area. I’m sure it’s a personal thing, but I like pancakes thin and moist. A thick, dry and “cakey” pancake is just not my cup of tea, but that seems to be more often than not what I find.

This is the kind of place where signed, framed promo pictures of stars line the hallway to the restrooms. Dorothy Hamill, Liza Minnelli, the Smothers Brothers, Crystal Gayle, John Denver, Billy Crystal, and Dolly Parton indicate this is a Boomer-fed restaurant, and piped-in 70s classic rock keeps us all happy. “Witchy Woman” by the Eagles was playing as I walked in. Crystal Gayle? I haven’t heard of her in decades, but she’ll probably be in the music mix here any minute singing “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue?”

My server’s name is Laura. She’s worked here for five years, and says there’s hardly ever a letup. Which says something because this place is tucked into a corner of an office complex that is definitely not going to pick up any drive by traffic. You’ve got to know about this place and a lot of people do, making it a place for regulars.

Which is the only thing I don’t liked about RJ’s; it’s too popular. I got here at 7:30 this morning and my favorite booth was open. But by about 8:15 every table will be full and when people start lining up outside I feel guilty about taking up a table, and by 8:30, Laura will add to that guilt and politely urge me on. That’s when I retreat to the local Starbucks to finish up.

Why do I like places like this so much? Aside from the pancakes, I think that’s it — it’s the regulars. People are doing business, getting together with family members, studying the Bible, meeting friends … people are being who they are.  And if you have the chance to meet and chat with anybody here, it will be real. They will tell you exactly what they are thinking. There’s nothing phony about RJ’s. Just like Johnny’s. That’s why Jesus would be here, too. Of course Jesus would be at Starbucks, too. He’ll be wherever people are, even at church. It’s just that I know for a fact He really likes being at RJ’s.IMG_1251

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5 Responses to Down at RJ’s Cafe

  1. Bare says:

    Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue…. one of my favs that I often put in the retirement home gigs!! 🙂 Bare

  2. jwfisch says:

    Wow. Are you kidding? How’s Mellissa?

  3. TimC in Oregon says:

    When a place gets to be too popular it reminds me of something Yogi Berra (the baseball player/coach/manager) said: “No one goes there anymore because it’s too crowded.”

    Uuuhhh…

    Coffee And in Truckee, CA used to have the seriously best pancakes ever. I don’t know if they still do – the last time I was there was 30 years ago or so, but I still remember the pancakes.

  4. Sandie says:

    I used to feel like that when we were CMA officers attending MC Open Houses and other events. Those people were REAL and allowed (and expected) us to be real. They were glad to see us because we were blessed to see them and spend time there. I still miss those times, but I guess they were only for a season. An important fact I learned when I worked with teens, then bikers…I didn’t bring Jesus into any place or situation…He was already there waiting for me to just show up. We believers get so hung up on PREPARING – when all we have to do is SHOW UP…at Starbucks, Walmart (yikes!), the cinema, the game, the Pancake House, maybe even church. Forgetting OUR agenda we need to relax and go with the flow created by Jesus. How did we ever make it so complicated?

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