In “Interesting Times” like these, one longs for a quiet moment away from the daily din currently fouling conversations and the airwaves.

Well, this week my dining partner took matters into her own hands by turning the TV off.

“Let’s go get something to eat,” my partner said, “I need a break from all this blather.”

To my question of where to, she replied “Buc Deli. I’m in the mood for a chicken filet and some rings.”

Buc Deli Drive-Thru has been a Johnson City landmark as long as I can remember. Many is the time that I, initially as an ETSU student and then later while on the job, had pulled up to the bright yellow and royal blue building on West Market Street, joining other patrons at the drive-thru window to order a breakfast biscuit, a sandwich for lunch, or one of their special plates for supper. Buc Deli’s friendly and capable staff keeps the parking lot clean, and the drive-thru menu board easy to read, free from the “town-black” thrown up by the traffic on West Market Street. As we joined the line to the drive-thru window, my tummy was focusing its attention on the menu.

Buc Deli hot dog, classic-style

When dining chez Buc Deli Drive-Thru, I always order one of their hot dogs as a starter. With my dining partner joining me, we shared our version of a classic Buc Deli hot dog ($1.79). “Classic” means there’s yellow mustard, diced white onions, no-beans beefy chili, and coleslaw topping an all-beef frankfurter nestled in its hot-doggy bun. My dining partner enjoyed her half of this Buc Deli classic very much as the appetizer for her entrée. My portion was gone in four savory bites.

Chicken filet sandwich and fried onion rings

My dining partner had her taste buds all set for a Buc Deli Chicken Filet Sandwich ($3.99) done her way, with lettuce, a slice of tomato and just a smidge of mayonnaise. As her side order, my partner chose some of Buc Deli’s delicious onion rings ($2.29) Her chicken filet was properly cooked-through, thick, juicy and delicious. The onions were sizable, battered to the proper degree and deep-fried to match the perfection of the rest of her meal.

Hamburger steak dinner with peppers and onions

I wanted something more substantial for my supper, and ordered one of Buc Deli’s specials, their hamburger steak plate, served with grilled peppers & onions, sided with an order of French fries, some coleslaw and a thick slice of Texas Toast ($8.75). My dining partner suggested I get some brown gravy poured over my hamburger steak, peppers & onions, which was a very good idea indeed. My hamburger steak was sixteen ounces of 100% all-beef, ground and grilled just right, smothered in a mixture of sliced green bell peppers and slices of eye-watering Texas White onions enrobed in some of Buc Deli’s tasty brown gravy. The commissary-sourced French fries were crinkle-cut and correctly deep-fried to bring out a golden tinge. Even the ubiquitous thick slice of Texas Toast was properly buttered and toasted, the better to soak up every scrumptious drop of my hamburger steak dinner from Buc Deli Drive-Thru.

Dessert: Homemade cookies

Of course, after the main course comes dessert, and here Buc Deli Drive-Thru outdid themselves with a daily special of two homemade cookies, either chocolate chip or peanut butter for just a dollar, I wanted chocolate chip and my dining partner favored peanut butter, so we split the order by getting one of each. Whoever bakes the cookies at Buc Deli, they need to be kept on staff full-time and have their daily output featured in large letters on the building’s menu as well as their online site. My chocolate chip cookie was chock-full of chocolate chips and crunchy, as all good chocolate chip cookies should be. My dining partner’s peanut butter cookie was good, but I’m sticking with chocolate chip, thank you.

The bottom line

Buc Deli Drive-Thru provides a calm harbor of quiet away from these storm-tossed “Interesting Times,” where anyone can drive up, order something delicious and drive away, assured that the meal on the car seat beside them is a good value and of the highest quality.

Take it from my dining partner and I, everybody needs to turn off the TV, kick Foghorn Leghorn off the couch, and head on over to Buc Deli Drive-Thru for a bite to eat.

You’ll be glad for the quiet time.

Oh, and don’t forget to order the homemade cookies.