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When I signed-up for comedy, I didn't realize what an endurance test it would be. I did a show in Dallas, PA at Misericordia University on a Friday night, than woke up at 5:30 am to drive 10 1/2 hours back to Chicago, showered and headed up to Milwaukee to do a private party with only a couple of hours to spare. Backtrack to Wednesday, Feb 19, where I left home at approximately the same time to do another private party. The show was for the Senior Bowling League at St Claire Lanes in St. Clairesville, OH. Gary Holubeck, the proprietor, had informed me that one member of the group had died recently, and they were in a somber mood. The show wasn't well attended due to do that, and the fact that they'd been bowling for 3 1/2 hours prior to the show. The problem was that the venue didn't have a seperate room to do the show, and while it was agreed in-advance that all the lanes would be shut down for the show- a few of the lanes were occupied by special needs groups, making that impossible. Those that stayed enjoyed the show, and Gary couldn't have been nicer about it.
Luckily for me, and thanks to roadfood.com, one of my most trusted resources for food on the road, a place called Mehlman Cafeteria happened to be across the street from the venue. Discreetly located off the main road, and almost the size of a football field, this place doles-out 12,000 meals of comfort food a week. What's more impressive, is the menu still offers pricing from the early 70's. Pictured below is stuffed chicken breast, homemade chicken gravy, deviled eggs, scalloped potatoes, roll, and dutch peach pie. I actually went through the line twice, and got salad, fried chicken, and beef stew as well.
With a day to kill in-between shows, I drove-up to Pittsburgh, and stopped for oatmeal banana pancakes at the Dor-Stop Restaurant. Than I cruised down to the strip-district, near downtown, and had a fried cod fish sandwich from Robert Wholey & Company. Both were equally satisfying. I decided to spend the night in State College, PA, which is the home of Penn State University. The town has some pretty good Asian cuisine/buffets, so I tried Chen's, and a place called Ni Hao for lunch the next day. Both were tasty, with Chens getting the nod for their sauces, and Ni Haos for their extensive selection, including dim sum, hibachi, and sushi.
When I first walked into the Cougars Den on campus at Misericordia, the place was packed with students playing bingo. I got exited, thinking at least some of them would stick around for the show. I was wrong. As soon as the last letter was called, the place cleared-out line a hurricane. If there's any group that was hooked-on bingo, I would've guessed it to be Wednesdays Senior group, not students. A small group materialized prior to the start, and they were a good audience regardless. I had a show scheduled for Saturday in Moundsville, WV that got cancelled at the last minute, so fortunately I was able to find a replacement gig at the Bamboo Lounge in Milwaukee...which turned out to be a lot of fun.