If I'm going to Phil's for lunch, I may as well go with a UR guy.
Granted, his memories of being a UR student are a bit dim at this point, but devotion to Phil's is still in his blood.
When we arrived in the mid-day sunshine, the place was bursting at the seams with moms in tennis skirts holding toddlers' hands, businessmen types and older couples.
My friend and I grab the only available seats: the two stools at the end of the bar.
Unfortunately, that means we are facing the three big screens, but we turn to face each other and ignore them.
Glancing at the tried and true menu, I decide to go the '60s "ladies who lunch" route, ordering the chicken salad plate with cottage cheese.
My friend reminds me that, in spite of my lunch choice, I could never pass for such a woman.
He barely looks at the menu and decides to order something not on it. UR types do that sort of thing.
"I'll have the Junior Club," he says, knowing instinctively that they still have it.
He justifies it by saying that it has less bread. Even so, by the time he finishes, he observes, "I feel great right now, but I'm going to regret that later."
Looking around at the old photographs on the wall, he points to the one of "Dry Dock," the luncheonette he remembers from his days at UR.
Let's just say that it didn't look like a very diverse kind of place. In fact, it looked like the kind of place they should have had a sit-in during the civil rights era.
Then the food comes and it's pure Phil's.
My chicken salad is flavorful and not over mayonaised. His club has real turkey rather than deli turkey and we both adore the thick-sliced sweet pickles.
He sucks back his limeade, reminding me that it's bad for him. Every last drop apparently is bad for him.
By the time we finish eating, the crowd has thinned noticeably so we linger to chat.
And while he amused me on any number of subjects, I laughed the hardest when he said, "That's not being adventurous, that's being wise."
In fact, I laughed so hard that my face turned color, according to him.
A close second: "Okay, stop there. If I need more, I'll rent a movie."
University of Richmond guys: not usually my type, but they make hilarious friends.
No matter how hard a time they give you.
And while I'm not sure I could have fit in at Dry Dock, they're the best possible company at Phil's.