Regulars for the weekend

This restaurant has no website. It does not take reservations. But when you're driving down Main Street, you can't miss it. It's got a big front lawn, a picket fence that separates the grass from the road, and a quirky sign that reads "Save The Yetis." It's the best restaurant in town.

I already knew it was owned by a guy who was once partners with a certain prominent Brooklyn restaurateur. Still, I googled it again before showing up, to see if I could learn anything else (dishes to order?). A tweet from the restaurant's account, posted earlier that day, appeared as one of the top results: "kitchen is rockin' & rollin' to get things ready for our re-opening tonight - it's good to be back!" Apparently, they were fresh off a spring break. Our timing worked out.

It's a big house, painted blue-grey with white accents. There are two floors, although I don't know who occupies the upstairs. Downstairs, the restaurant spans three distinct rooms. I imagine that tables here are in high demand come summertime, but a big wraparound porch and a relaxed bar scene make it easy to kill time on the premises, provided you're not hangry.

We were quoted 30 minutes but waited at the bar for less than 20. The owner, who was playing host for the night, came to show us to our table, letting us know he would transfer our drinks.
"I already closed out," my boyfriend informed him.
"Have you ever been to a restaurant before? Now you've gotta tip twice," he joked.

We were given a roomy booth for two in the front, square-shaped room, which had a table in each corner. It was just intimate enough that we could closely observe the dynamics of the other three groups of diners, yet the acoustics of the space made it easy to hear each other and no one else. The wine was good enough, and the menu was approachable, full of apps and mains I'd happily eat. I'll rarely sit back while someone else assumes ordering duties, and yet here, for whatever reason, I would've relinquished that control in a second; I was comfortable with whatever. The food that we ended up with was simple, hearty, and warming, and we left satisfied.

So we returned. The next night. And as per ritual, put our name down, and grabbed some bar seats. When our host came to retrieve us, the owner walked by. "Welcome back," he said to me. And when he noticed my boyfriend, who had given him his name the night before, he stopped completely. "Yo, Saarim, you're back," he pronounced. "And you're getting seated in the same place," he laughed. Next thing we knew we were sliding into a familiar booth.

I like to switch things up; to try as many new places as I can. But there's a time and place where this doesn't apply—like when it's between one spot, another, and the best restaurant in town.

There's something special about finding comfort in a restaurant when you're away from home. Have you ever found yourself returning to the same place again and again while in a new city or town? I'd love to hear about it.

🏡 💛
Prairie Whale
178 Main St, Great Barrington, MA 01230
(413) 528-5050

*Since I was traveling last week, I'm doing a doubleheader this weekend! This is part 1, expect part 2 tomorrow.