I finally went to Kent with Stephanie today. I've been there a lot of times, mostly for volleyball tournaments, but this time at least I got to see where she spends her time and sends me instant messages from.
For lunch, we ate at a place called "Ray's Place." It's precisely the kind of place that you'd probably never think about going to unless someone brought you there. The food is really good, and despite selling everything that can possibly be deep fried, they have good stuff for vegetarians and slightly alternative foods like turkey burgers. They also have a cutie waitress with a nose ring and tri-colored hair, which of course doesn't hurt.
Places like this can be very familiar and comfortable, even if you've only been there once. I can't quite put my finger on it. I think part of it is just being in a college town again, which I kind of miss.
There are a lot of places like this, you just never know where you'll find them. When I worked in downtown Cleveland, we frequented a place called Moe's. That place was a dump, and they certainly didn't have the cute nose ring tri-color hair waitress, but damn the food was good. Their cook was drunk most of the time, but he made his burgers by hand, cut his own fries, and did a Thanksgiving-style turkey spread that was better than anyone in your family could do.
These places are a part of the community that you work in or live in. Unfortunately, I live in the burbs where we really don't have such places. Actually, we do, but they're frequented by people I'm not comfortable around. The place in Kent was top notch, and I hope to go again.