Timing is everything and never more so than at a restaurant.
Last night's rendezvous had yielded lunch plans with a husband and a bachelor after I'd raved about the chicken skin tacos at Don't Look Back in Carytown.
The only variable was whether or not they'd be on the specials menu today.
Score! They were.
Taking only my word as recommendation, they both got one along with other regular menu items.
A pro at this, I ordered two of them.
The minute our order hit the kitchen, we heard the call to 86 chicken skin tacos.
Apparently our order used the last of whatever chicken skin was in the house.
Sorry about latecomers' bad luck, but very happy to have made it in time to get what we came for.
Although the kitchen claims that all they use on their skin is salt, pepper and oregano, the perfectly seasoned tacos (traditional style and not any of this gringo abomination) were a huge hit with my friends.
In fact, I got the sense that they were sorry that they'd only ordered one.
I had no such regrets with my double order.
With Scooby Do cartoons playing behind us, we talked about growing shitake mushrooms on a log, balanced ecosystems in Goochland and fish skin that tastes like deep ocean water.
My friend made fun of me for not being able to get up early enough on Saturdays to make it to the South of the James farmers' market.
And compromise my Friday night? Not happening, much as I'd like to experience the market.
We talked about Saturday's bachelor auction, "Single in the City," mainly because one of my friends is being auctioned off.
I gave him major props for his nerve; I'd been asked to be sold and said no, fearful I wouldn't be a hot commodity.
My other friend pointed out that the kind of multi-location date that I'd suggest would not likely be popular with many bidders anyway.
Really? There are people out there who wouldn't want to go somewhere for a drink, somewhere else for dinner, on to an art show and finish up with music?
Apparently not, so better I don't even try.
Once the boys finished their beers and we did a through examination of the excellent tequila menu, we moseyed down the block to Dixie Donuts.
Channel 12 had just left but it was clear from the small number of donuts in the case that lots of people had been in for their first day of business.
They had only three kinds of doughnuts left so we wasted no time in choosing five for the three of us to share.
A chocolate cake doughnut with dark chocolate frosting was covered in toasted coconut and we all got one of those.
We then split two traditional yellow doughnuts with chocolate frosting, just for the sake of research, of course.
The toasted coconut doughnut was a big hit with us all. The dark chocolate kept the sweetness of the toasted coconut in check.
We all agreed that a cake doughnut provides the satisfaction of a piece of cake in a way that no yeast doughnut could ever hope to.
For me, I also like the crusty edges of a cake doughnut.
As we stood there munching and rhapsodizing, a woman came in to buy copious amounts of doughnuts.
When she learned that everything in the case was all they had, she looked crestfallen. She wanted them and more.
"Go ahead and clean us out," the owner told her. "We're ready to close."
So every last doughnut in the case was scooped up into two boxes and for the second time this afternoon, we three breathed a sigh of relief to have ordered before the supply was depleted.
As she went to leave with her loot, a large man approached the shop.
"Uh, oh," my friend said. "Someone's not going to be happy."
When the staff showed him their just-created "Sold Out!" sign, not yet hung, his face fell.
"I've got a little boy in the car who's going to be mighty disappointed," he said sadly.
The woman with the two boxes immediately opened one and insisted he take a doughnut for the boy.
We almost cheered, but were too busy finishing up the last bits of the chocolate-frosted yellow doughnuts to do it without spitting crumbs.
Walking out as they prepared to hang the sign that will inevitably ruin moods all afternoon, we saw other people headed across the parking lot.
"Come back earlier in the day next time so you can try more flavors," they instructed us, mentioning peach cobbler and apricot.
Time and doughnuts wait for no man or woman. Older and wiser now, I won't risk a 2:30 p.m. doughnut run next time.
We'll just call today a learning experience.
Fact is, chicken skin and cake doughnuts are worth getting up a little earlier for.
They certainly guarantee that this someone is going to be happy.