Don Bauder 6:30 p.m., Jan. 20
Santa Fe Depot: Rush job
Silver Streak has Ramirez, fastest chef in the west
On the road again.
Hands are trembling. Heading for that dreaded Coaster ticket machine. There's hair on the platform all around it from people pulling it out in frustration. You need a PhD and 20 minutes to even understand the danged thing.
But I get that done with five minutes to spare before the train takes off.
"Better hurry," says the train lady. "They roll the gates closed across the tracks before we leave."
So now panicking, 'cause I've gotta have a cawfee and something to eat. Take with me on the train.
So back into the Santa Fe depot and the one coffee stall.
The Silver Streak.
"What'll it be?" says the guy, Ramírez.
Situations like this, I'm hot, decisive.
"Medium coffee and something for breakfast..."
I look up at the board. Sausage cheese muffin, $3.25. Also things like ham cheese croissant ($4), muffins ($2). D'aagh...But no contest. Also, no time.
"Sausage cheese muffin."
And before you can say toot toot he has nuked it, brought the coffee and my change.
"Sweeteners over there," he says, pointing to a table. "Train over there."
Amazing how that helps. Panic disappears everything before your very eyes.
But two minutes later I'm upstairs in the last car, letting out a big breath. Coaster starts off whisper-smooth. I take a slurp, and bite into this bun with a disk of meat inside and cheese oozing all over the top of it. Ten minutes later we're sliding by Mission Bay. Blue waters right outside the window! Peace! Restaurant booth with a view!
And all for $5.25 and change.
Long as you're willing to tackle that danged Coaster ticket machine.
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