Monday, October 15, 2007

Things I can't swallow

The week started with a visit from my Chicago friend Dan R. He was in town for business, so we met up for dinner. Here is the view of ground zero from his hotel room. Now pull your mind out of the gutter, I always insist on seeing hotel rooms so I can jump on the oh so soft beds and 600 thread count sheets. Plus he is under a year away from his marriage to the lovely Emily.

We headed over to Stone street down in the financial district. This is a crooked cobblestone pedestrian street tucked away about a block from the NYSE. It is home to a few good restaurants and the bar Ulysses (where about exactly one year ago, I accidentally burnt a chunk of my hair off….see post archives). Not wanting a repeat, we decided to eat in a Swedish restaurant. We were greeted at the door by a Spanish looking woman with a…..side ponytail. Yeah, not kidding! It was not even a fashionable low one, but a freaking off center knob on the top of her head.

Dan and I ordered a bottle of red. I thought she was going to dislocate her shoulder trying to uncork it. Not to sound like a snob, but she totally skipped all the customary tasting motions (you know, small sample in the glass, hand you the cork to sniff, etc) and poured us two full glasses. Errrh. The best was watching her trying to re-cork the bottle because she thought A) that red wine should not be left to breath, and B) that we were going to shove it in our bags and take the remainder of the bottle home with us. Huh? Those who have tried it realize that it is down right impossible to get a cork back in. Dan and I let her attempt it for five minutes before informing her that we planned on finishing the bottle.

Not used to gourmet food, I often ask for recommendations from the wait staff. I asked side-ponytail if she preferred the caramel chicken or Swedish meatballs. She said, “umm, I’m a vegetarian, so I would recommend the eggplant”. Me: “Okay, well I want one of these two, do you find that customers order one more often than the other…(pause while she stares blankly at me)…is there anything your restaurant is known for…(again pause, then I cut her off when she tries to recommend the eggplant again).” I felt like dragging my own kill in just to show her that I am a happy meat eater and do not want a fucking plant!


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