Tuesday, December 20, 2005


We went to a new restaurant on Saturday. Gloria has some sort of NRPS (New Restaurant Positioning System) that automatically notifies her within one week of a grand opening. I'll call the restaurant "Fini."

Here's a generally solid guideline about restaurants: the more expensive the food, the smaller the tables. If you're paying thirty dollars for an entre, the table is the size of a playing card. This restaurant wasn't that expensive, but it wasn't Whataburger, that's for sure. I felt like I was being punished at Thanksgiving dinner by being assigned to the children's table.

Not that anything like that has ever happened to me.

The menu was, well, not helpful. "Do you see any appetizers you might like?" Gloria asked hopefully.

"I think I might go for the braised lamb's forehead wrapped in grape leaves," I said. That wasn't on the menu, but based on the other dishes, it could have been.

We settled on the fried oysters, which arrived, well, inconspicuously.

"He put a plate down," I said. "Do you see anything?"

"Not yet," Gloria said.

"What are those thumb tacks doing on the plate?" I asked. "Wait--they have batter." And thus the fried oysters were discovered in all their diminutive glory.

Time to eating completion: forty-seven seconds. I think that set us back eight dollars or so.

We ordered paella for dinner. "Paella" is Spanish for "something that doesn't suck in expensive restaurants." It's a bunch of different types of meat/chicken/shellfish lobbed in a frying pan with rice, saffron, and olive oil. Paella is also usually served in the frying pan.

When the paella arrived, I was hungry. Very hungry, actually. Yet the paella was still very not-good. "Do we get to keep this pan?" I asked Gloria.

"Unlikely," she said.

"Because if we get to keep the pan, which I like very much, then I think it was a fair price," I said. "If he takes the pan, though, we've been ripped off."

He did. And we so were.

We looked at the dessert menu. I saw the word "goat cheese." I don't even know where to go with that.

As we were walking back to the car, I said "As a restaurant, as opposed to an environment, I have to say it was weak in the 'food' category."

Chic-Fil-A, however, where we stopped fifteen minutes later, was positively delightful.

We also went to Target to look at bikes for Eli 4.4. Gloria went to the restroom, so I went directly to the bike area and started looking around. She came by a few minutes later and said "Does anything look good?"

"Look at this," I said, pointing to a bicycle box. "They say 'Easy Five-Step Assembly'. Do you know what that means?"

"Easy five-step assembly?" she guessed.

"Rot in hell," I said. "That's what it means. Rot in hell."

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