GLENS FALLS— Last week, I reported on the New Way Lunch 100th Anniversary celebration at their South Street location in Glens Falls. I was stunned that in my four years here I had never experienced a New Way meal.
When I mentioned this fact to several people in the newsroom and while attending the Adirondack Theatre Festival opening of "Beau," the response was unanimous.
"You have to go there," everyone said.
So, after the show, my husband and I walked over to the restaurant to see what we were missing.
He opted for three hot dogs with the works and onion rings, I chose the half Greek salad.
The food was just as everyone had said, delicious.
But what happened next made our New Way tale much more interesting.
There were two young guys sitting at the counter, obviously a bit drunk and a lot hungry, with one devouring the dogs at a pretty quick pace.
But it seems, the hungry duo was not really interested in paying their $5.25 tab.
"You have to pay for your food," the server said.
"We will, we will. Just give us a minute," the one sitting at the counter in the baseball hat said while his buddy left.
"Hey, you have to pay for your food," the server said again and now supported by another employee.
A woman sitting at a booth across from us calls over to the guy at the counter, who said he was still hungry.
"Your friend just fell down out there, he's laying on the ground," she said. "I think he got hurt."
The guy sitting at the counter got up, as if to leave. This time, he is warned that if he doesn't pay the $5.25, they are calling the cops.
"Oh, no don't do that, I'm gonna pay," he said, fiddling with his cell phone and pulling out what looked like a credit card.
At the same time, the server is also checking on the downed guy outside who seems to have recovered from his tumble and is back inside.
"Hey, I didn't realize it would be such a big deal," the tumbler said about the unpaid tab. "Yeah, sure I'll pay."
The guy still sitting on the stool at the counter calls over, "pay for an extra one, I'm, still hungry."
About 20 or so minutes have passed and other hungry customers are coming in and getting food, despite the two-guy debacle.
Another employee picks up the phone and says, "I'm calling the cops."
"No wait," the tumbling guy says again. "I've got it, I had no idea this would be such a big deal?"
And I'm thinking, such a big deal? Do you regularly eat in restaurants and not pay?
While I can't assume anything, the two were wearing expensive shorts, shoes and shirts, looked like Abercrombie, but I can't be sure.
Again the employee starts dialing 911.
The hungry, non-paying duo look at each other, agreeing they are not going to pay.
"OK, then we're gonna have to run, now," the tumbler says to the guy at the counter and they blast out, running toward Glen Street.
The Glens Falls Police respond, but it seems the hungry duo is gone.
I am sorry for the employees who had to put up with it, but for voyeurs like us, it was a night we will remember.
When we left, we made sure to put the $5.25 in our tip, just in case the server had to pay for their tab.
We thought the excitement had passed, but on our way out, a big guy, who really sounded and looked like a detective, stopped us, saying, "You smell like hippies, I smell the patchouli."
Adding, "And I love the hair," pointing to both my husband and I and our somewhat matching long hair.
He proceeds to interrogate us about where we live, where we were from, what we were doing.
"Why are you driving from an hour north near Vermont to come here?" he asks. "That worries me."
And I wonder, why is that?
"What do you do for a living?" he asks me.
"i'm a newspaper reporter, are you a cop?"
"Oh, no. no," he said. "Just interested."
And he walks off, away from Glen Street, turning back one more time.
"Hey, love the hair."