The coffee splashed into my mug as he deftly poured, then set the half-filled pot back on the burner. I took a sip of the bitter brew while the arid heat wafted over my face. We both settled into our seats as I pulled out my recorder, switching it on. “So, Cerberus, people are dying to know, did you always have a bent for Home-style cooking?” I queried.
Replying with a mischievous smile, “I was never much interested in cooking as a young cub, my two brothers and I ate a lot of raw fish, honestly”, he chuckled, “It’s a different story now, we focus on provide good hearty soul food that gives the travelers something to burn off.”
“So, when did your tastes start to become less fish and more fritters?”
“There actually was a defined point when I knew I wanted to perfect my cooking skills. Before Heracles and I wrestled and he took me up to the surface, I was living as a bachelor. Chicks would come by, but they treated me like a dog, so there wasn’t much point in cooking big dishes. When I went up to the surface and saw the feasts everyone had made for Heracles, I knew I had to get on that grub train, and ride it right back down to hell!”
“Wow! It sounds like that trip was defiantly a highlighting moment in your life, huh?
His heads smiled a bit while they sipped from their mugs, swallowed and gave a sarcastic laugh.
“Haha, yea, you could say THAT. Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic that I got the recipes for some of the most flaming hot chitterlings, and my favorite jalapeno mac and cheese, but it’s never a great thing to wake up to a human chocking you out with a lion skin. I sleep with a head or two on guard now, for sure!”
My eyes grew big listening to his story, I couldn’t help but shake my head. “Holy smokes, Cerberus, it sounds like you had some tough travels that brought you to this point in your life. How does it feel now that your restaurant is rated five stars on most magazines and restaurant reviews?”
“well, Claire, it has been a tough road, but now that I’m established right in the community I started in, it feels pretty damned good! It’s like my scaly hands have been cursed, I’m on fire and I can’t stop! Of course, I can’t forget the people who helped me come up; my kitchen staff is great and Hades has always been my number one supporter. He even set me up with this prime real-estate right by the gates of hell. Most people come by here at some point in their lives, and there aren’t many other quality joints close by. “
“That’s incredible, it sounds like Hades is the king down here! How many staff do you have on hand back there?”
“Absolutely! We have a few wait staff and hostesses, but Matt, my sous-chief has been with me since day one! He’s crazy committed man, when he jumped off that bridge in France to come down here and work with me, people called him in Seine! We’re about to have our dinner rush, I better get busy before all hell breaks loose.”
Standing up, his scaly paw reaches for my hand, giving me a tight squeeze. His staff had packed me a doggy bag that I clutched tightly as I took the escalator back to the surface.