Wednesday, June 8, 2016

I Get A Strange Magic

I love to go out to eat but don't do it nearly enough.  Mostly due to scheduling.  I like the idea of it but am not always in the right mood.  I like to cook so if I can cook, I usually do.   I used to be broke for years, so much that I became extremely frugal.  To a fault.   I've finally turned a corner financially where I have enough money in my own wallet to take a friend to lunch here and there instead of being funded.
It's always been a dream to have a foodie bestie that appreciates food as much as I do.  Someone that understands how exciting it is to have this kind of culinary variety at your fingertips.  I usually have two things on my mind.  What am I going to eat and then what will I eat later.
My good bud is not that kind of easy.  She's a finicky cat. She's high maintenance. The stars have to line up and the moon has to be in the right house for us to settle on an appropriate meeting spot.  Actually, I discovered now the key is just to make the plan and she will go along with it.  Tell her, don't ask her. She might gripe at first but usually everything works out.  She eats like a bird but worries there will not be enough food.  Isn't that kinda cute?  Her demands are big plates, not too fancy and not too loud but she's also a vegetarian that doesn't necessarily ever crave international cuisine.  Like a cat, she must be tricked into doing anything she doesn't want to and even then, it might not happen.  Food-wise, I really just need to pick a place that has good french fries.  My corner German Biergarten, Black Forest Brooklyn.  I love it AND they have vegan sausage and good french fries.  And it's all homemade. But that's not all.  For brunch you have space and height, air and the noise level is just right. They play good music but you can tune it out if you're in good conversation.  You can't say that for every brunch spot. Some want to clobber you over the head with their dumb ironic choices.  And they have hot soft pretzels to start.
I had the the 5, (count them!) small grilled pork sausages over the roasted garlic mashed potatoes with the best apple and wine brined sauerkraut you've eaten hands down, with a house salad.  Yeah.  That mustard. Sometimes I sort of blackout and form a bubble around me and my newly served dish for a few moments. Just look at that.  A bit of food foreplay.  Admiring the goods.  Complimenting it. Damn, you're a fine plate of food.  Shit.  I am gonna tear that up.  My stomach is appeased and then the voices start slowly coming back into range, my surroundings back in focus.
But then immediately I have to look at anyone else's plate to make sure I have no regrets.  H's plate was put together well with the ketchup hung on the side and plenty of her treasured french fries.  I knew she'd finish a quarter of them but also understood the need for them to be bountiful enough for her not to worry she would leave hungry.  That's a real fear.  A huge jar of ice tea and of course a big Coke for H.  She is also not happy until she has her coke.  A regular lunch with Rain Man in some ways.  But the trade off is the best conversation.
After the formalities and food is served, we just yap for hours.  She tells me all kinds of stories and I try not to interrupt because she's funny as hell and it leaves more time to scarf but I also can't wait to share all my dumb anecdotes. We exchange musical influences and our mutual contempt for assorted things.  So many great things happen in a food connection with a good friend.

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