I am home in the Delta

I woke up Saturday morning when I got a text informing me that my aunt was in the hospital for diagnostic surgery after a sudden pain. Not the best way to shake a hangover.

My original plans involved breakfast and wifi, a place I could slowly become one with some greasy comfort food while working on my new project. After the call, the plan became finding some comfort food and waiting until she was out of recovery and well enough for visitors. Wifi was optional at this point; thank whatever for iPhone.

My usual coffee shop didn’t have a lot of options for breakfast, and was crowded. I decided to go a little further than normal, take a chance, and see what I could find.

I impulsively got off the #19 bus when I saw a sidewalk A-sign announcing brunch somewhere along SE Woodstock. Over the door was the word “Delta”. Walked in the door, not knowing what to expect, and heard the dulcet angry-happy sound of the Dropkick Murphys brand of Celtic punk. As I took in the painted plywood and thrift-store mismatched interior of the place, from around the corner came a skinny girl in all black, with jet-black hair and tattoo sleeves and way too much eyeliner. Holy hotness. “Just sit wherever,” she said. She followed me to a booth and set down a two-sided menu.

The positives reached a crescendo when I realized that when they said “delta” they meant the Mississippi Delta, which means one thing and one thing only to me: New Orleans, Louisiana, home of spicy Cajun food, beignets, and lots of fried batter and sauces.

I think I was literally vibrating in my seat in anticipation. I scanned the menu: yes, biscuits and gravy; oh my, chicken-fried steak; damn, oyster po-boys.

Another woman, it turned out, was my waitress. Less Goth-y and more friendly, less ink but still dark-haired. She brought me coffee, and my first sip of the chicory flavor brought back many pleasant memories of soothing a hangover with coffee just like this.

My waitress, Tonya, came back much too soon for me to have picked out one thing from the abundance to consume. “I’m going to need more time. I might just have to order one of everything.” Apparently the huge smile on my face and in my voice was contagious because she laughed.

“Or you could just come back again later,” she suggested.

I conceded the point.

I eventually decided on the berry-covered French toast, with a side of pepper bacon, dipped in a spicy habanero sauce.

And the food disappeared almost too quickly.

There’s no way I’m not going back.

During my visit, I texted and emailed three different friends to invite them to dine or breakfast with me there in the future. And I received word that my aunt had made it through the surgery and was recovering nicely.

Now that my new favorite breakfast place had improved my mood immensely, I would be a better visitor to her and the family when I showed up.

And oh your invisible sky man – I am so going back to The Delta.