Thursday, January 27, 2011


Here it is… my food blog. Try to contain your excitement please. It’s embarrassing.
 The idea for this blog came out of boredom, really. My two teenagers spend every other weekend with their father, and when they’re away things get slow around here. The dishes are done, the laundry is clean and I get tired of talking to whatever assorted animal has decided to make itself home in my home. I hate cooking for just myself. It’s boring. So, from now on… every Friday or Saturday that Thing One and Thing Two venture off to Casa de Papa, I’m taking myself out. Fer realz. And then I’m going to tell you all about it. The wines, the appetizers, the main course, dessert, the service. I’ll tell you where and when I went. I’ll tell you if it was horrible, just average, or if you need to find someone and go get you some. Dinner. Get some dinner. Stay on target, k? Most times I will be alone… but I’ll be just fine. I’m going to start in downtown Fredericksburg, VA but if I don’t get bored with this whole venture, I might skirt out into the surrounding area a bit. I might even throw some recipes at you… I’m kind of unpredictable like that. Seriously, sit back down. I’m not done yet.
I should tell you a little about myself.
No, I’m not a formally trained chef or someone who’s been highly educated in cultivating new varieties of plant life, or placing only heirloom and organically grown produce and free range, grass fed meats into my mouth. I’m not a food critic and no one is paying me to do this. I just like to eat.
Sadly, I have excellent taste. I hate mediocrity. I can’t stand chain restaurants and always getting exactly what I expect. The same “steak that’s almost cooked right, but not quite, just like last time… and the server is too busy to complain about it, just like last time… so just suck it up, pay the bill and let them flip the table quick so the cook can over-grill the next guy’s steak too” kind of meal. Makes me crazy. Really. This is where my excellent taste bites me in the butt. If and when I go out to eat, my expectations are high, particularly if I’m spending a fair amount of my hard earned money. I expect good, friendly service. I expect the food to look appetizing. I expect to find at least two wines on the wine list that don’t taste like dirty socks. And I expect that when I put that first forkful of the chef’s creation into my mouth, that my eyes close and it’s a “yesssss… that’s what I’m talking about” moment. Sounds a little perverted now that I’ve typed it. I don’t simply eat. I enjoy. I have a relationship with my food. I don’t eat for sustenance. I eat because I really, truly love really good food. I don’t want average. I expect excellence. Don’t disappoint me.
I’m pretty sure somewhere along the way, I missed my calling. I should be a chef. I love to cook for other people. I’m pretty frickin good at it. (Do you hear that? It’s me tootin’ my horn) I also love the restaurant industry, and so for the past twenty plus years, I’ve kept one foot in it. I’ve been a server, a bartender, a pastry 'chef' (trained only in grandma and mom’s kitchens). I love watching what comes out of the kitchen, seeing customers having a good time with their friends and family, watching special moments happen, and I love helping other people have that “yessss…” experience. Quiet.  I’m not the only one who does that. I’ve seen it. They close their eyes. They savor. They make a weird moaning noise, which is admittedly a little bizarre, but I’ve done that, too. Maybe I enjoy working in a restaurant because it’s helped me to realize that I am not the only one who actually has had a love affair with dinner. Maybe you have. Maybe you’re just afraid to admit it. Maybe we need to go to dinner together.
How’s seven o’clock? I’ll make the reservations.

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