About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Check Your Arteries at the Door

It’s time for a post about recent adventures in dining.

Thursday night, Brother Sushi and I ate at Texas de Brazil, an upscale restaurant in downtown Fort Worth. [Secondborn’s brother-in-law worked there for awhile when he was in college. Secondborn has eaten there once, with her beloved, and was appalled at how expensive it was. She and I remember the bad old days when we couldn’t afford a family trip to McDonald’s.] It is in a lovely old building and occupies two floors, with gorgeous red walls [and enormous red paintings hung upon them], and a grand staircase to the second floor. Miz Scarlett would have been right at home on those stairs.

You start at the salad bar. Small, tender artichoke hearts, lightly pickled. Haricots verts with capers. Tabouli. Bite-size pieces of grilled salmon. Small globes of sweet pepper, maybe an inch across and just hot enough. Hearts of palm, which I had never tasted, and I like! Bland salad greens for the unadventurous, something more like spring mix for people like me. [Are you impressed that I have learned the difference between frisée and radicchio? I am, but mostly just amazed.] Different cheeses. I had some herbed chêvre on toast rounds: yummy! Don’t fall over but I skipped the potato salad. I took tiny portions of almost everything. I tried manchego, which would be Parmesan, except that Parmesan has to come from Parma, Italy [as opposed to Parma, Idaho, which is near where I grew up], just like real champagne has to come from France. I had a small triangle of cheese that had been lightly grilled.

At your table there are laminated paper dots about the size of a coaster. Red on one side and green on the other. You keep the red side up while you are enjoying your salad course. When you are ready for meat, you turn the green side up, and people start showing up at your table with these amazing skewers of meat. You have two forks, a steak knife with a rounded tip, and a little pair of tongs. Some of the meat comes as a morsel; other is cut off the skewer, and you grab it with your tongs and put it on your plate. At your table are two bowls. One has mashed potatoes seasoned with horseradish; the other has fried bananas. Both are palate cleansers. This Idaho girl was in heaven!

A word about those skewers. These are not like those bamboo jobbies that you soak when you are grilling in your backyard, or the skinny metal ones. These are small swords, with a blade about half an inch wide. And maybe 18” long. The servers walk around with the skewer resting on [or inserted into] a metal plate that’s maybe 4” in diameter, to corral any juices. We are talking serious My Name Is Inigo Montoya You Killed My Father Prepare To Die skewers here!

I had chicken wrapped in bacon [must have been a thigh, because I had to wrangle a bone and was unable to get the last little bits of meat; you can tell how often I eat fried chicken or how long it’s been since I cooked one], perfectly done all the way through and perfectly moist and tender. A small chunk of sirloin. Flank steak. I passed on the lamb; too much lamburger when the children’s father was getting his MBA. One or two other bits of beef; I missed the filet mignon morsels, because I was busy as they passed by, and by the time I had eaten what I’d taken, there was no more room at the inn. All the beef was medium rare, which is how I prefer it.

I now understand why this restaurant is so expensive. Meat is not cheap, and all those servers weaving in and out between the kitchen and the tables! I had never eaten at a place where the servers possibly outnumbered the guests.

Oh, and they play bossa nova in the background, and the loo is upstairs, but there is an elevator. Very posh!

I want to go back, for the filet mignon, the potato salad, and the desserts. But as ever, the best part of the evening was the company, followed by the bearhug when he took me back home.

So, that was Thursday night. I had another adventure last night. As we pulled into the station after an hour’s worth of catching up on each other’s week, Trainman grinned and asked, “Do you want to go eat at Massey’s? You’d have to lead the way.”

Oh yeah.

As I drove over there, I called Secondborn, Brother Sushi, and Middlest, to let them know what was up. And to get the giddiness out of my system. When we got there, Trainman said that I had a brake light out and that if I wanted, he could fix that for me next weekend. And that one of my hubcaps was wobbly and maybe I had a problem with alignment. We inspected that wheel, and the hubcap is just coming loose on one side. I’ll have one of my sons-in-law whack it back into place after dinner tonight.

We had a really great meal. Small Caesar salads, chicken fried steaks with mashed potatoes, no desserts, lots more talking, and separate checks. Not a date, just two friends having dinner and becoming better friends. [I am only the teeniest bit wistful about that but so thankful that I know when a man isn’t interested romantically, and even more thankful that I no longer feel the need to take it personally when he isn’t.] We didn’t hug or shake hands as we parted. I will probably feel comfortable hugging him someday, but we are still building trust. I suspect that this is going to be one of those long friendships that bring so much joy.

I’m eating out again tonight. Willow is here for the weekend [have I mentioned that already?], so we are gathering en famille at LittleBit’s restaurant tonight for dinner. I wonder if she will be able to join us, and if so in what capacity. It would be hilarious if she were our server! Will I have to [get to?] tip my daughter?

In knitting news, I am a smidgen over one-third done with Secondborn’s scarf. And I realized as I got ready for bed last night that I will need to come up with another project to work on while we are waiting for dinner tonight. Since I know where my skinniest needles are, I might work a couple of swatches for the Eleanora socks, which have been sitting in time-out for several months. It would be fun to work on something red for a change! Not to mention something where I could show you photos of the work-in-progress.


Jenni said...

Isn't it a great feelingto have guy friends and know (some of) what they're thinking. I am glad you enjoyed your dinner.
D and I ate there about a year ago when one of the sales guys for CISCO took us to dinner there. It was crazy delicious and luckily I wore a matte jersey dress so there was room for expansion!

AlisonH said...

How wonderful! You get to become real friends rather than trainmates!