Monday, June 13, 2011

What Are the Odds?

Yesterday I wrote about the house next door and two of its owners -- one 25 years ago and the other now. I marveled at seeing them both on the same day. It gets weirder...

Angie and Miss Ella rendezvous-ed with us at the Hermosa Beach Art Walk. We took our time, strolling, pausing to more closely look, talking with the artists. At noon, we decided we had time for a quick appetizer in lieu of "real lunch" so we decided to try a place that has just opened in the last month or two. They were doing a good business, but we were shown to an long booth. It's kind of an awkward space -- half indoor dining room and bar and half covered-patio outdoors. I wonder how they close up at night... but, none of my business.

We settled in, menus in hands. A server appeared and we ordered drinks (a beer, iced tea and apple juice.) We had quite a wait for them. We ordered -- Richie their specialty hamburger, Angie the chicken flatbread sandwich and me the prosciutto-wrapped grilled shrimp with aioli and a Caesar salad.

We had an even longer wait for our food despite the fact that servers were milling around, but none had plates of food in their hands. My Caesar arrived first and we all had a taste. I'm on a quest for the best in the South Bay. Angie said it certainly tastes freshly-prepared; Richie said his first taste was salt and I thought the pepper was a much needed accessory.

Another interminable wait and then here came my shrimp and his hamburger. Nothing for poor Angie. She beckoned a server over and asked, smilingly, if perhaps her order might have been lost? (It should be noted that Angie has a British accent and a Brit can get away with saying things an American would be shot for --Brits get away with murder!)

"Oh, no" the server exclaimed, "It should be here soon... let me go check on it" and then returned to say the kitchen was having some slight problems. I said, knowingly, "You're in the weeds, aren't you" and she said, "Hon, the world's biggest weed whacker couldn't fix that kitchen today!" and ran off.

By the time Angie's food arrived, she had to leave so she got it boxed and the server apologetically said, "There's no charge for this, of course. I'm so sorry..."

I'm not sure if Angie has made up her mind even today on the burning question: Is it better to get free (if cold) food or pay for hot and ready to eat?

Cut to dinner with Eileen (former neighbor) and her sister-in-law Nancy at the Cheesecake Factory Dinner proceed fairly smoothly, the conversation sparkled, we all had memories to remind the others about and there was much laughter.

Comes now dessert and Eileen, whose closest Cheesecake Factory at home is 200 miles away, tells our server, "I flew all the way out here from Detroit for a piece of your low carb cheesecake! And I may want one for tomorrow in a take-out box!" (smug grin) Woman likes her low carb cheesecak; she even checked the glass display case in the front of the resto to make sure they had it when we first entered the place. They did and it was a full pie!

The cheesecake is brought, Eileen admires it and then starts eating the thin end. She's rolling her eyes in bliss and eating steadily (think of a jack hammer) and then she comes to the middle which is frozen.

Just then, the server pops up to ask winsomely, "Is everything all right?" Eileen says "Well, now that you ask, this is frozen!" and jams her fork into it to demonstrate.

"Oh, my! Let me get you a slice to take home; it'll thaw out by then. And, of course, there's no charge for it."

Two residents of the same house, 25 years apart, both get free food?! What are the odds?

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