The Wheelhouse, Langbank Telephone 01475 541256
IT had been a dirty day on the job.
A body washed up on the mud banks of the Firth of Clyde was one of my old informants.
The Feds were trying to pump me for information but I was keeping mum.
There was enough heat on me from day to day without being dragged into this unsavoury moment.
I swung into a little eaterie where I could keep my eyes on the Feds' movements, yet at a safe distance.
Dining alone, however, wasn't my thing. So I got on the blower to The Moll.
"Join me at The Wheelhouse, Toots," I whispered. "Aye, aye captain!," she cried. She had all the cab firms on speed dial and would be there toot sweet.
Toots swanned into The Wheelhouse and lit up the Langbank social scene. She joined me at a cosy little corner table and we ordered up a couple of vinos.
Our server was quick and attentive, but we were the slow coaches.
With plenty of staff around, we were certainly made to feel welcome and they couldn't have been more helpful when they saw it was taking the little lady while to make her mind up.
There was so much to look at on the menu we didn't know where to start.
The appetizers seemed like a good place - just a hunch.
We plumped for the seafood platter to share. The description of prawns, salmon and scampi all seemed too much to resist.
For the main event I plumped for my usual steak and chips - I am a man averse to change.
Little hottie Toots decided she wanted a bit of a fiery night. She was ready for a full on flavour hit and went for the Cajun chicken with fries and coleslaw on the side.
Our orders were swiftly taken and our cover of a couple enjoying the heady heights of lurve was working.
A Feds car slowly drove by but without my Fedora I wasn't spotted.
"Are we on a stakeout Tec?" The Moll piped up.
"No, dear we are lying low," I said. She'll get the hang of this gumshoe's job one day.
A mouthwatering platter was heading our way.
Placed in front of us, we couldn't wait to tuck in. Our eyes were taking it all in and the aromas were divine.
This was going to be tricky - the fight would be on for equal bits of fish.
Tasty mini scampi were light and crunchy, while the sweet chilli prawn dish were delicious. The prawn and smoked salmon combo slid down and was a tingling taste sensation.
If this was just the start our new relationship with The Wheelhouse, it was on the right tracks - I was beginning to fall in love.
With our starter whisked away, it was time for the main event.
My ribeye steak arrived and was cooked just the way I like it.
The chunky chips, onion rings and tomatoes were soon polished off and it got a thumbs up from me.
For The Moll the heat was on. She was served up succulent chicken with Cajun spices and looked a bit hot under the collar.
At her age it could have been the menopause, but she piped up the spices had a real kick to them.
There certainly wasn't much left after my little firebomb had her way.
There wasn't much room left for dessert, so we passed on that.
We rounded off the meal with another wine and coffee for Toots - well, one of us would have to drive the Buick back to town.
As much as we would have liked to linger, we couldn't stay all afternoon and while the Feds were on a donut break, it was time to rev back to Tec Towers,