One of the great things about living in Forest Park is sampling the many different cuisines our restaurants offer. However, as someone who prefers his food plain and tasteless, I have a problem. Many of our restaurants use spices, offer condiments and insist on preparing flavorful dishes. 

So welcome to my restaurant, Beige, I will be your server.

First of all, can I start you out with something to drink besides water? Although I must say we serve the finest tap water around. It comes from Lake Michigan and is voted America’s best-tasting water, year after year. We can even jazz it up with a twist of lemon. We also serve Diet Seven-Up, or if you prefer a hot drink, we offer our famous weak tea.

As for appetizers, we can recommend saltines, breadsticks, or if you’re in the mood, oyster crackers. If you’re looking for something more substantial, we have cheese sticks, and our famous cottage cheese served on a bed of free-range lettuce. Our salads come without raspberry vinaigrette, or for that matter any kind of dressing. Why spoil perfection?

If you’d like to try a little of everything, we’re very big on our Hospital Tray Sampler. It’s good any time of day: a savory fruit cup, fresh from the can, steaming Cream of Wheat, toast (unbuttered of course), a simple and skinless chicken breast and steamed vegetables.

While you’re making up your minds, I’d like to tell you that our chef trained in the finest college cafeterias. He’s a genius with powdered eggs and his mashed potatoes, you would swear they weren’t from a box. His piece de resistance, is his Chicken Surprise, which has been a hit with students from coast to coast. It’s disguised by gravy, so we can’t really tell what’s in it. 

Our specials today are the quarter-pound sirloin. You can have it boiled or microwaved. For seafood lovers, our crunchy fish sticks are a perennial favorite. And since this is Italian night, we’re serving low-carb pasta, in a very delicate red sauce, from the recipes of Chef Boyar D’. 

For lighter fare, we recommend our signature grilled cheese sandwich, Velveeta Vavoom!

While you’re still looking, let me show you our dessert cart. As you can see, we serve a variety of puddings. Our tapioca is out of this world. We also serve three flavors of Jell-O. We feature ice cream every night — vanilla, of course. All of our desserts are served with graham crackers.

Still having trouble? If you’d like to spice things up a bit, we can bring out salt and pepper for your entrée, and Sweet ‘N’ Low for your beverage. If you’re really adventurous, we have packets of yellow mustard in back. Our chef, however, believes that too many flavors destroy the essence of his entrees and … excuse me, where are your going?

Did I mention our tofu casserole?!

 John Rice is a columnist/private detective, who has seen his business and family thrive in Forest Park. He thoroughly enjoys life in the village and still gets a thrill smelling Red Hots, watching softball and strolling through cemeteries.

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