{ Monday, February 07, 2005 }

Eating Out

The boyfriend hasn't been grocery shopping since I've known him. (I'm sure that he's going to love that I wrote that on the internet) It's a well documented fact that I don't cook much...

Consequently, we find ourselves eating out quite a bit. Near my house has been easy, there's the breakfast place, the Chinese place, the Italian place and the Indian place...

Saturday morning though, we had lofty lofty goals... we wanted to eat breakfast at a place where we could smoke. Instead, we wandered around this city for like half an hour or more looking for a place that appeared to have both pancakes and a patio before returning to the same place that we've been eating weekend breakfasts for the last month.

One weekend, we were headed out for food and Steady said "There's this place I've been wanting to try. I don't know; it might suck." This was a long, long time ago in terms of our relationship (we've not yet been carrying on like this for two whole months)... and so I agreed to go to the place that might suck.

It turned out to be an overpriced sports bar with a snake theme. I'm sure you can guess how much vegetarian food they had to offer me. He offered to leave, but I said that it was fine, and so we sat at a tall table surrounded by a ton of football loving folks who were drinking at noon and ate our not-very-good lunch.

A couple weeks ago, Emma and I were at Steady's apartment when dinner time rolled around. Emma suggested Mexican. Steady concurred. I hopped on the interweb and read us a list of Mexican Restaurants near his apartment.

We picked one, based purely on its name and its location. (We did also visit the website, but it was not worth mentioning really)

Y'all, we went to a Mexican Restaurant that was also a Piano Bar. And Emma and I did not speak up as the hostess sat us approximately on top of the speakers. Then the "band" started. It was just so awesome I cannot tell you. My ass was vibrating and this old man was singing "You're sixteen, you're beautiful, you're mine" and no one was even playing the piano. There were people who appeared to be regulars sitting around it and one of them was wearing what appeared to be a mink vest...

It was just so perfect that I didn't think it could possibly get any better. Steady looked around and said "I think I love this place."

And then they brought out the food. The vegetarian fajitas that Emma and I were sharing... well... it was better than the restaurant Steady took me to where they served me one enormous tortilla shell, in that I didn't have to plan out how I was going to go about assembling the ingredients into a meal and then getting that to my mouth... but okay, there was one little red pepper and two little onions and a bit of green pepper... and then broccoli, cauliflour and carrots.

The very best part was when we noticed the little tiny Mexican flag mounted in a lime wedge in the middle of the plate, just to let us know that this was, in fact, Mexican food that we were eating.

So, we crossed another restaurant off the list after that dining experience. It wasn't bad. It was just a little too strange.

Then this weekend, yesterday, to top it all off and make Steady declare that he gives up on choosing restaurants, we went to another place near his apartment that he had seen thought might be good. He figured it to be Mexican based on the name.

At this point, actually sometime around the last restaurant I mentioned, Steady has mounted an effort to be a vegetarian. The double cheeseburgers keep getting in the way of that goal and he's not yet gone 48 whole hours without meat, but he's trying. This has nothing to do with me, really. His friend made him watch a Peta video starring Alec Baldwin, and now he's trying.

So, we go in and the hostess starts to seat us when he speaks up to request the smoking section... it's outside. I had left his apartment in just my halter top, leaving my light sweater behind. It was warm and sunny outside and I was expecting not to actually be sitting outside for too long.

"It's warm enough to eat outside, right?"
Then we both shrugged.

The patios here all seem to be on the east side of the building... I'm sure that the lack of afternoon light is really, really helpful in the summer. In February, it's not helping things. Especially not in a shirt with basically no back.

We moved from the first table we chose, seeking out one with direct sunlight. I stopped shivering. We perused the menu. There was approximately no vegetarian food. The second or third time the waiter came back (we kept getting distracted from the task of finding food to order because we were giggling, mostly about the scary Bible cartoon movie we'd watched at three in the morning), I just flat asked him what he'd recommend for a vegetarian "actually, two of them."

I love making waiters uncomfortable.

And so, I ordered a pizza, featuring cheese, pine nuts, onions and something green. It had no sauce. I soldiered through and ate 2/3 of it. This entire time, the sun was running away from us and hiding behind the building and I was getting colder.

Then the wind picked up. We both sat and shivered. The ashtray blew all over my food... and that was pretty much lunch.

We spend a lot of time at Steady's apartment because my primary methods of entertaining myself, this computer and my books, travel easily. He, however, is one of those television people (he doesn't watch too much that I would deem total crap, or if he does, he's hiding it from me and I appreciate that). "Your television makes me sad."

Yesterday, he even told people that my house is no fun. (This was immediately after I opened my mouth and said "I don't have cable. I don't even have a remote control.")

I'm hoping a little bit of culinary good fortune will fall on us on Wednesday, when I am meeting his family at their weekly dinner. I'm already creating problems with the no meat eating thing... (he told them, he seemed to think otherwise it would really be a problem, although I thought I could just eat around my personal food preferences) I think it'll be okay. I hope it will be okay...

posted by mary ann 7:39 PM