Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Dixie!

Dixie, Jean, Sue, and I usually celebrate one another's birthdays by taking the Birthday Girl out to lunch at a restaurant of her choice.

Yesterday was our celebration of Dixie's Birthday.

We all swim on the Walnut Creek Masters swim team and have been friends for more than a decade.

This year, Dixie chose our local Mary's Pizza Shack. None of us had ever been to Mary's until a few months ago when the restaurant donated a portion of on day's proceeds to our swim team. In support of the team, a group of us met for lunch and were delighted with the food.

Mary's has 18 restaurants in Northern California. It was founded in 1959 in Boyes Hot Springs (Sonoma County) by Mary Fazio, who prepared her family's Italian recipes in what was a shack of a building. Although Mary passed away in 1999, the family, now including grandchildren, continues to operate what started as, and so continues as, a family-owned restaurant.

So here we were, back again.

Remembering how good Mary's Salad, with lettuce, marinated bean salad, salami, hard-boiled eggs, mozzarella, beets, and other fresh veggies was, Dixie ordered a small Mary's Salad and a Regular-sized order of Mozzarella Garlic Bread.

The other three of us, chose one of the newer sandwiches on the menu: the Italian BLTA, a BLT with sliced avocado, melted provolone cheese, and Italian dressing on foccacia bread. All Sandwiches and Entrees are served with a choice of soup, a small Mary's Salad, or a small Caesar Salad.

When Dixie's Garlic Bread arrived on a small pizza pan, we all gasped at what a large serving it was.

That did not phase Dixie at all...she started in on it and by the time we were done with our meals, Dixie had eaten all but one slice which she shared with me and Jean. Follow the pictures in this post to see the Garlic Bread disappearing.

As you can see, the servings are very generous and all ingredients are fresh. Most lunch items are priced under $10 and there are lunch specials for as little as $6.25. Dinner prices for entrees are slightly higher, but none over $15.

Of course there are lots of pizza choices too in a variety of sizes (from individual to large), crusts (including gluten-free) and with a large choice of toppings.

When I got to the restaurant, I told the host that we had a birthday in our group. I wasn't sure if they would offer Dixie a dessert or just say "Happy Birthday" or do nothing...but, it never hurts to try and, lo and behold, a Brownie Ice Cream Sundae was brought to Dixie...a full-sized serving, on the house.

Lucky for all of us, she shared and we all enjoyed.

Happy Birthday, Dixie!!!

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