Posts Tagged ‘gimme draws’

While I was writing about Sixteen Tons I flashed on the old Hipp’s Bubble Room in San Antonio. Gone but not forgotten, now a parking lot. It was so small I think they got about 8 parking spaces. Talk about paving paradise.

Each booth had a table-top juke box and I played Sixteen Tons every time I sat down. Cattle Call was also popular with the clientele, as was anything by Patsy Cline or Aretha Franklin. Miss Kitty, the waitress with the eyebrows like Spock’s, once told me sternly to put my shoes on. I immediately complied and slipped back into my Dr. Scholls. You didn’t mess with Miss Kitty.

Hipps was named for its bubble lights, the original ones from the ’40s. No one else still had them. They also had a decorated Christmas tree up in a corner year-round and a Lionel train that ran along a track above the bar. Their ice cold mugs of gimme draw beer were worth the trip, but their specialty was a huge garlic steak. Miss Kitty would haul out the platter of the still-steaming meat, then prop open the front door to let in some fresh air.

It was a wonderful, funky little restaurant, a safe place for young women to hang out and not get hit on. No funny business tolerated by you-know-who. There were men in business suits alongside cowboys, hippies and guys who’d obviously left their hard hats in their trucks. Women wore outrageously short skirts and shorts or matronly dresses and pant suits. You could carry on a conversation in a normal tone of voice.

I loved their shy polk eggs, corn tortillas topped with mozzarella and cheddar cheeses melted into the shape of a fried egg. There was a jalapeno hidden under the cheddar. I’ve never seen them anywhere else.

I’ve never seen a place like the Bubble Room anywhere else, either. Completely unpretentious, comfortable with its eccentricities and steadily providing outstanding service. Worthy attributes ¬†for any enterprise, don’t you think?


Read Full Post »