Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Today is the ten-day anniversary of the type of meal you had to wait 24 hours to tell whether you really liked it or not. It was an off-kilter supper on an off-kilter night….

We’re supposed to meet our buddy Dr. Fones for dinner, but it doesn’t happen due to crossed signals and a fruitless search for him. So, Greta and I explore a new restaurant. This is par for our course, checking out new places we know little about. Tonight’s experiment is an overly bright feeding hole on the 8th floor of a mall near People’s Square. We find ourselves seated next to the window on a dreary night and place our order with the waitress. However, the food comes out in haphazard fashion. The first dish to find its way to our table is Greta’s garden salad. Ok, simple enough. I’m getting hungrier watching her eat it.

Luckily, the second food installment to join our company is my “pasta dashed with spinach chicken.” Upon first glance of the meal, visions of Luigi and Wang fist-fighting appear in my head. I’ve met several French and German people since moving here, even a Spaniard or two. But I haven’t met any Italians and I think I know why now. There would be serious diplomatic disputes between the two countries if the Italians saw my plate. The spinach is nowhere to be found while the pasta is mixed with ground chicken and tossed in a funky cream sauce.

It’s a shade below edible but I devour the platter in about eight minutes. Thirdly, we get overly green but delectable garlic bread, which turns out to be the best dish on the table. Coming in fourth is our drinks. This is not a typo nor is it unusual in the restaurants here. The arrival of beverages at odd times, anywhere from opening the menu to dessert, is typical.

Fifth is Greta’s backed pasta and seafood. Yes -- Backed. Don’t ask me. It’s probably supposed to say “baked” on the menu. Probably.

Last but not least is the item we intended as an appetizer. And as a result, I can no longer say I’ve never had onion rings for dessert!


Anonymous said...

Chris....funny you mention Italian. I'm having spaghetti and meatballs tonight; well I'm actually having cheese raviolis and NOT spaghetti, but that sounds better. AND, it's cooked in a crock pot! And your dinner sounded Verrrrrrry interesting!

love, mom xo

Anonymous said...

Chris hope your trip to Beijing goes well. Very cold day over her in Philly and windy.