As in Cell Phones. As in… cripes I don’t know, bane or boon. Oftimes something can be both. And the cell phone is the perfect example.
Ok, I had a long, hard week. I ended my work day extremely cranky. Met Jamie at our local Mexican restaurant. Had a couple margaritas. Got buzzed and pissed off as they, the restaurant, never fails to rip us off and tonight was no exception.
So I meet Jamie for (theoretically) Happy Hour. I order a margarita, the barkeep asks, “On the rocks or frozen?” “Up”, I say, as that’s my preference. And off she goes to prepare Jamie (as he’s been moved to switch from Cerveza) & my drinks.
We are planning to move to a table and have dinner after we finish drinking.
I finish mine more quickly then Mr. H., as usual, and order another.
As we then finish together, we ask to settle up at the bar before we move to the table. The check arrives. It has not been a happy hour for us. We have been charged full price for our margaritas. Jamie queries and we are informed that the Happy Hour margaritas are only of the “on the rocks” or “frozen” kind; “up” does not qualify for the Happy Hour discount.
Jamie calmly informs the barkeep that we were not informed of this odd distinction. He requests that since we are staying to have dinner, could we let this slip as we were not informed of this non-icy anomaly? No, I’m sorry you were not alerted to this, but no, the check stands.
Really? Really? Yes, really.
Now, this is a place, and we discovered this the hard way – on returning for our second meal and examining the bill more closely, as the first time didn’t make much sense, but what the hell, we had a good time and were buzzed so it didn’t matter that we seemed to be paying too much – that automatically adds 15% to the bill. This is very odd in NYC. This is also detrimental to the waitstaff, at least when dealing with J & myself, as we’ve both been waiters in our pasts and tend to tip very well. But hell, if the tip is added to the check, which we find really irritating, we’re not about to leave any more. Live and learn.
So, tonight, after being again screwed by this restaurant – it would have been so very easy for the barkeep to say, when I ordered my margarita up, “You know, that isn’t a Happy Hour margarita permutation” (of course, she wouldn’t have stated it that way; yes I’m sure about that) – we decided not to have dinner there after all.
Jamie was in the mood for some tasty red meat. That gave us two immediate options: Jake’s Steakhouse, just next to the annoying Mexican restaurant or The Riverdale Garden, a short walk away. We opted for The Riverdale Garden. We like it there. The staff is lovely. The garden is lovely. The food is lovely.
So, in the end, everything worked out well. We had a much better, if more expensive, meal than we were planning on.
What did we have? We split the excellent Red & Yellow beets with camenbert and roasted hazelnuts. Then J. had the delicious, beautifully charred Hanger Steak. I had the incredibly tasty Wild Boar with figs and a yummy cold white bean salad.
For the wine, we had Domaine des Deux Anes (House of the two asses – donkeys, that is), a naturally produced wine from Corbieres, Languedoc Rousillon. It was… ok. A bit too tanney and high in alcohol content, 14.5%, for me. The alcohol pretty well drowned out the pleasure of the fruit. I prefer a lower alcohol content with more depth. Now it sounds like a horrid wine and it wasn’t, it was perfectly passable, just not to my taste. And that, as my late dear friend Bob used to say, is what makes the phone book.
Dessert. Jamie had the pecan pie. A mound of pecans in a delightful tart crust with a side of praline ice cream. I had “Mom’s Chocolate Pudding” with Chocolate Pretzel Bark. My mom, and I love her cooking dearly, never made chocolate pudding like this. Not sweet, just delicious chocolate-y richness, topped by a dollop of whipped cream surrounded by a tasty crumble of, well, pretzel bark; bark being the catch-all for any flat, broken up chocolate with some ingredient mixed in.
Finished it all with a nice cup of French press coffee and then waddled home. Jamie to bed – how he goes immediately to bed after a large meal is beyond me, I need to digest – and I to, well, here.
And there it is, the happy roller coaster that we call life: an annoying day at work followed by a couple tasty margaritas followed by an annoying incident followed by a wonderful meal.
Not a bad ride at all. Of course, now I haven’t spewed about cell phones. Ah well, tomorrow is another day.