Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Merci for the Eye Catchers

The postcard from the National Museum of Modern Art had arrived last week, which meant my friend was back from Paris.

That also meant a welcome back lunch so he could present me with the foreign tights he'd secured for me (as well as Bourdain's Medium Raw because he wants someone to discuss it with), always part of his souvenir-gathering when he's abroad.

He works on Monument Avenue, so he invited me to stop by his office to collect my gifts and we'd walk from there. The tights, called "Leo," are labeled in five languages as "an extravagant eye catcher" and "a walk on the wild side," and will undoubtedly be lots of fun to wear in a place far removed from Parisian streets (I think I'm up for the job).

This beautiful weather made for a glorious walk the short distance to the Cellar Door; the leaves were deep on the sidewalk but the temperature was 77. That's my kind of autumn.

We started with the spicy zucchini fritters after my friend asked if I was interested (I told him I've never in my life turned down a fritter. Fact.). They were not what I expected, but that wasn't a bad thing. Slices of zucchini had been coated in a crunchy crust and fried up crisp and hot. Eaten immediately at their peak, they were sliced fried goodness.

My friend had to get the quarter Peruvian chicken since I'd recommended it so highly to him, but I did a slight variation by getting the Mansion, a salad of lettuces, cukes, tomatoes, red onions and olives with that same chicken on top of it. The Peruvian ranch dressing, made with the same spices used on the rotisserie chicken, was a big hit with him and great on the salad, too.

I heard all about his trip: the transit strike that prevented his trip to Versailles, the offal he ate at a no-star bistro, his all-day walks (he knows what I like) and lots of wine anecdotes. His stories about the beer-swilling costumed student demonstrators sounded (and, according to him, looked) like something out of Mad Max.

We lingered, talking to the owner about their plans for a brick oven for their rotisserie ("The problem is the ten-story chimney." Indeed, that would be a problem.), the appeal of using their jalapeno sauce on practically everything ("I may be addicted. I'm considering putting it in my coffee," he admitted) and Thursday's Halloween throwdown there.

Walking back down Monument Avenue, friend asked when I expected I'd be wearing the wild Leo tights. Who knows, they might be perfect for the Night of the Living Dead Bands show when I go to see Led Zepplica.

It won't be Paris, but somehow I don't think they'll seem quite so outrageous in that crowd.

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