Dish 53: Lobster Bisque, 953 Youngs Ford Rd., Gladwyne, http://www.guardhouseinn.com/
The Guard House Inn is a dim, low ceilinged puzzle of hushed rooms paneled in trees—not in logs, I mean, but trees with the bark still on, like the inside of a Hobbit hole. The deer heads, hunting-themed folk art, and Sharpied-on stained glass add to the welcoming Middle Earth feel. It’s the kind of place that hipsters would have fainted over five years ago.
Which brings me to my next point. Hipsters, there wasn’t a single person in the room who hadn’t seen Casablanca when it came out. It looked like feeding time at the old folks home.
Where am I going with this? Those old folks can’t live in Gladwyne forever! Yes, they’re wealthy, but not Scrooge McDuck “I’m going to take a swim in my safe, be right back” wealthy or Richie Rich “I rollerblade into board meetings and tell old farts who’s boss” wealthy and especially not Walt Disney “Cryogenically freeze me after I finish this latte” wealthy. No, these individuals are fully mortal. Which means. That. By the time hunting lodges are “hip” again, this one will be for sale at a veeeeery favorable cap rate, because the clientele will have… um… moved on.
Aspiring hipster-developers, should you take my tip, please do me one favor in return. Two favors. One, keep me a seat at the bar when young people are allowed in again. Two, take some of the cream out of the lobster bisque. Yes, I’m biased against cream. And yes, I had a traumatizing experience with a lobster when I was a child. But when your heart-attack lobster bisque gives me a craving for Genuardi’s fresher-tasting and lobsterless tomato bisque with its addictive kick of red pepper, we have a problem. The recipe can stay for now, but someday, when the customers ask for their tea above 65 degrees and their meat less than well done, you, aspiring hipster-developer, will know that it is time to reformulate the recipes to appeal to those of us who do not remember JFK as “that little scamp”. Or don’t remember him at all.
I look forward to this day, a decade or so in the future; when I will have ventured into the city, had an exciting and youthful spurt, and decided that I have had enough fun, and it is time to raise children in the burbs. And because my daydream includes yachts, horses, pants with whales on them, a rolling, verdant lawn, and a house set back 100 yards from my sidewalkless street, the burbs means Gladwyne. And I will be happy to be the Main Line mama having a night out at the new Guard House Inn, because all those hipsters who venture out to the burbs to party will make me feel young again.
Tags: burbs, casablance, children, developer, genuardi's, gladwyne, growing up, guard house inn, having fun, hipsters, hobbit, jfk, lobster bisque, log cabin, main line, mama, middle earth, moving on, old farts, old folks home, old people, Philadelphia, recipe, richie rich, scrooge mcduck, sharpie, tomato bisque, traumatizing experiences as a child, walt disney, WASP, young, youth