Since Jeannene was later getting home from work and we wanted to go to the gym before dinner, our options became limited. Luckily, Max & Erma's is open until 11, so we weren't just relegated to fast food. Luckily, we also like Max & Erma's. We started with their black bean roll-ups, which are delicious and on the guilt-free end of the spectrum. Apparently, they've started also serving a crispy version, which I'm sure are great, but less healthy. Jeannene chose a beautiful piece of salmon with grilled asparagus and mixed veggies on the side. I am always leery of mixed veggies involving zucchini and squash in chain restaurants, as they are generally quite overcooked, which was the case with hers. So, she left those, but greatly enjoyed the fish and asparagus. I was in the mood for a burger and feeling adventurous, so I ordered the new meatball burger, which is basically a giant meatball on a hamburger bun with a slice of mozzarella and sauce. I loved pizza burgers at Dick & Tom's when I was growing up and hoped it would be somewhat like that, if a bit more unwieldy. Sadly, the sauce was terribly spicy, which didn't ruin it for me, but made it less enjoyable. However, the other half, when heated up for lunch, turned out to be less spicy (or my mouth was just expecting it?). Since I had fries with it, I (reluctantly) opted not to have one of their gooey, warm cookies or the scrumptious banana cream pie for dessert.
When we arrived, all the chairs on the main level were put up and we were reluctant to enter. The bartender told us we still had half an hour so, once she had assured us that she was happy to serve us, we went in. I often feel it's a jerk move to go in at the last minute, but a Max & Erma's meal doesn't usually take much longer than half an hour, anyway. Had the bartender seemed even a bit reluctant, though, we wouldn't have gone in. She was actually really friendly and seemed genuinely pleased to feed us. That won her big points---and a good tip.