The typo in the dining section ad of my neighborhood paper gave me a chuckle —
“Valentine’s Day Dinner Special— Roast Lion of Park”.
I couldn’t resist calling and asking if it was the mane
course and after a laugh at the expense of the paper, I reserved a table for my wife and myself. I’d eaten there before, the food was good and they were close by.
We arrived on time and they showed us to a table near the bar. We placed our drink order and I noticed a mug with some crayons in it. I tasted the green one and then the blue one but they lacked a certain je ne c’est pas qua
The waitress arrived and I ordered from the Brunch Menu— three eggs any style. One poached, one scrambled and one sunny-side up. She didn’t get the yolk and informed me that brunch was over. Well, how about these finger sandwiches? Can I get eight and two thumbs? She just threw up her hands and muttered something about a free knuckle sandwich.
I inquired about the specials. Got any Salmon Dave? I’m a sole man, myself. Perhaps you’ve a seafood platter consisting of the more exotic delicacies I like— sponge, starfish, seahorse or jellyfish.
“The catch of the day is crappy” she deadpanned. I’ll be the judge of that - thank you. Sheesh. Everybody’s a critic!
Now this item here— a "half-baked chicken
". I asked the waitress what the other half of the chicken was - fried? Or is it simply undercooked?
She explained that, unlike my jokes, the chicken was fully baked and the portion equaled a half of an entire chicken.
I’ve long suspected that Pita bread stands for P
ss bread. And don’t get me started on buffalo wings! No wonder I haven't seen any flying buffalo lately! It’s the same with angel hair pasta. I think they’ve got it backwards. Shouldn't it be angel wings and buffalo hair?
These “sun-dried tomatoes”— are they various and sundried
tomatoes? And this salad— what exactly is mesclun or did they misspell mescaline? May I have an order of sautéed magic mushrooms to go with that? What are “currier endives”?
Is the ratatouille made with real rats?* And just what did you do with the baby’s front
After dinner, I excused myself and adjourned to the restroom to wash up and brush my teeth. This place had a sign reading "Employees Must Wash Hands"
. Well, I must have stood there, hands dripping, for twenty minutes until finally an employee came along. He told me that next time, it's okay to go ahead and wash them myself.
I returned to the table and my wife noted I had spilled toothpaste on my lapel.
"That’s my family crest", I replied with a wink. It was at this point, alas, I discovered the free-range chicken
isn't really free at all— its fair market value is four hours of busing tables and washing dishes.
Oh well— bon appetite!
*The movie using this idea came out long after I had this article was published in The Riverdale Press. —Bill Thom