As I made my way in, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
Of course, I’d heard of the Snake Bite. But only by name. Prior to this, I had no clue what kind of food they served, no idea what the price range was, no inkling whether the food was even good. Before entering the restaurant, I glanced at the specials menu just outside the door. “Fish Tacos” was the only item I remember reading, which really didn’t tell me much. So, with pretty much no knowledge about what I was about to encounter, I stepped in.
My first impression of the Snake Bite was cute and quirky.
About 15 tables were scattered around the restaurant—some small enough to seat one without feeling like you’re taking up extra room, others big enough for six without feeling overcrowded. Colorful paintings and drawings of people, animals and everything in between, hung on the far, exposed-brick wall, divided down the middle by a fireplace. Above the fireplace hung a solitary place setting, complete with plates, silverware, salt and pepper shakers and even a flower in a vase.
A waiter maneuvered his way through the maze of tables, taking orders and dropping off plates. Amid his actions, he asked me how many. I told him just one and he told me to sit anywhere I wanted.
I chose a small table by the window.
After a quick trip to the restroom, which I learned the Snake Bite shared with the hair salon next door, I sat down to examine the menu. With burgers and sandwiches off the grill, pasta items and an assortment of appetizers and side orders, it took awhile for me to decide. I settled for one of the chicken sandwiches, waffle fries with homemade fry sauce and water—a filling choice I did not regret.
After I ordered, I had no choice but to people watch as I waited for my meal to arrive. If I knew I would be eating lunch downtown by myself instead of at my apartment, I would’ve brought a book to read.
Resigned to my fate for the afternoon, I stared out the window at Park Avenue and A Street.
Several young couples walked by including one with the guy in bright red skinny jeans. As they walked by I couldn’t stop staring at his pants. They were my favorite color and I had to admit I was a bit jealous of him. Not because I wanted the pants—I’ve never really been a fan of skinny jeans—but because he could pull them off.
A few minutes later, another couple walked by and all I could say was, “What the hell?” The taller person was dressed in white rabbit costume and carrying a large pocket watch. The other person, a girl, was dressed as a mad hatter. As they passed me outside the window, I turned my head to see if they would disappear down some rabbit hole in the middle of downtown. They didn’t—at least not while they were in my line of vision.
When my food arrived, I ate in silence as I observed my fellow restaurant goers. Families, couples, girlfriends, all sitting and enjoying their meals and their company. It made me wish that I had somebody to share my lunch with, but I honestly didn’t mind eating by myself.
I had flashbacks of when I was traveling through Paris and London on my own and would eat at restaurants by myself. Lunch at the Snake Bite made me feel a bit like a tourist, distracting me from the fact that I actually live in the area.
After the waiter dropped off my check, I paid it and stood up to leave. As I approached the exit, he thanked me for coming in. I thanked him for the meal and with a small push of the door, was on my way.