Eventually, between bites and sips, I glanced around to see various busboys, wait staff, and other assorted males looking our way and smiling suggestively. Obviously, the word had gotten out about the hot-to-trot duo with the nachos, and we were apparently the big yucks for the night. Well, laugh away, boys! Laugh! You in your khaki trousers and aprons over-laden with ketchup bottles. You with the Strokes haircut and Mt. Diablo sophistication. (Actually, that guy was kinda cute.)

The nachos sunk in our stomachs and the Muzak loop of '80s hits had returned back to "Don't You Forget About Me." Our time was up. We had been looking to get steeped in a California smallish suburbia experience and we'd had our fill. Besides, I was really looking for more of a "hodgepodge" of interactions with people. But, I suppose, just because the walls of a place bespeak a charming mishmash doesn't mean the clientele necessarily will.

I gave the Strokes water boy a wink and blew a kiss before we left, though. After all, we would probably be back, because even though I hate Applebee's, I always seem to return.

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