In times of emotional turmoil, it's best to just give in and eat whatever is needed to work through it all. There are probably better ways of dealing with it than that, but few as enjoyable. I'd like to think that there are some physiological reason for stress cravings and if not, there ought to be.
On this rainy night, that meant meeting a friend for dinner at Six Burner, but a friend with whom I don't discuss what I'm really thinking about. A friend who is good company but unable to listen without judging and offering immediate and unasked-for solutions. A stereotypical guy, in other words. But he can be good company and amusing and that's important, too.
There were several new things on the menu that I hadn't tried, so I had to work to narrow it down. After much deliberation, my first course was the truffled cheese fondue with house-made pretzel batons. The fondue was incredibly rich and earthy, even given the relatively small serving; the warm pretzels were soft and lightly salted.
My second course was the veal sweetbreads with Parmesan, arugula and almond pesto and beautiful little local cherry tomatoes. The breading on the three good-sized sweetbreads was crispy and flavorful and the pesto and tomatoes the perfect complement. My friend, who had never tried sweetbreads, gave in to my cajoling and tasted a bite. Several tastes later, he admitted he was now a fan and finished off my last bite.
Over at his side of the bar, he'd gotten the charcuterie plate and happily used the rest of my fondue and the contents of the bread basket to eat his way through a plate of house-made meat; I think there may have also been some olive oil on the bread under the meat and cheese. He justified his manly meal by saying he'd had a big salad for lunch. He was, it should be noted, though, the one who suggested dessert, which I'd planned to forgo due to a lack of room. I caved; we shared the red velvet cupcake.
Before my friend had arrived, I'd run into my two favorite people from Gallery 5 and enjoyed a lively discussion of cake-making, blogs and upcoming music shows. It's great to hear when other people are as excited as I am about the variety of bands gracing rva with their presence; unfortunately, it's been rather slow the past couple of months, but that's about over.
By the time my friend and I had finished our rich and fatty meal, we'd talked about everything from the Grammys to bluegrass to Valentine's Day plans...and nary a mention of what was running around in my mind the entire time, just as I had hoped for. Sometimes the best solution is just to give it a rest and eat, drink and be merry.