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Apr 3, 2013

I love to discover good places to eat. I know what it is to cook a lot, and clean up afterwards. So, if I stumble across(1) a place that can do all of that for me, and do it well, then I am happy. Sissy's diner(2) is just that kind of place. It is an American style diner, with decor from the '60's, and large, fresh portions. I discovered it a week ago after I left my car at the mechanic's(3); he was changing the tires, so I was without(4) a car for about an hour. I walked along the main street in Wenatchee and window shopped, until I became hungry. As I looked along the street, I could only see furniture, clothes, and appliance shops. But then, I noticed, right on the corner, a colorful building with 'Sissy's diner' written at an angle. When I walked in, the first thing I noticed was that it smelled really good, like fresh bread. At a glance(5), I could see that it was clean, and the people who were eating there were happily talking and eating at the same time.These were all good signs. I ordered a beef and vegetable sandwich, sat down, and checked my emails. A few minutes went by, and a friendly waitress put a plate in front of me. "Gosh!" I said. The plate was full. The sandwich was huge. "That's a good choice," said the waitress smiling. "There is no way that I can eat all of this," I said to myself. But I did. I ate every crumb, every last bit of it(6). After the first bite, I realised that the bread was fresh from the oven and light. The meat was lean(7), and the vegetables were perfectly cooked. And when I finished, I felt satisfied but not bloated(8).Oh Sissy! I should have discovered you years ago!

1. 'To stumble onto/across' means 'to discover', 'to come upon', 'to find by chance'.

a. I stumbled across some good silver in a yard sale, and I bought it for just a few pennies.

b. The detective stumbled across some new information.

2. 'Diner' is a word from American culture for a simple, often 50's or 60's style cafe. It is often long in shape, has a bar that you can eat at, and serves simple, American style food.

3. 'The mechanic's' is short for 'the mechanic's shop/workshop'. The apostrophe followed by an 's' shows that something belongs to the mechanic, but we don't have to say what. Why? Because from the context we know that we're talking about: the mechanic's workshop.

a. Pick up the cake from the baker's, and I will get the meat from the butcher's.

b. I love the vegetables from the grocer's; they're always fresh.

4. 'To be without ....' is another way of saying 'to not have something'. Instead of saying 'I didn't have my car for an hour', you can say 'I was without my car for an hour.'

a. My husband went hunting yesterday, so I am without a husband for a week.

b. I dropped my cell phone in the toilet, so I am without a phone until I get a new one!

5. 'At a glance' means 'with a quick look'.

a. At a glance the policeman could see that the man had a gun in his pocket.

b. At a glance she didn't like the shop.

6. 'Every last bit' means 'every final piece'. We often use this phrase when talking about food, but it can be used in other contexts.

a. You need to eat every last bit of that meat, or you won't get any dessert.

b. I picked up every last bit of the rubbish that the wind had blown on the lawn.

7. 'Lean' means 'with no fat'. It can be used with food or animals and people.

a. They are opposites. He is fat, and she is lean.

b. I can't eat fatty meat; it has to be lean.

8. 'To bloat' is to 'blow up' or 'inflate'. We describe feeling too full as 'bloated'.

a. I ate too much cake and felt bloated afterwards.

b. Stop eating before you get too bloated.

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