Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tales of Romance at Cucina

It's embarrassing how little I know of getting around in Church Hill.

Sure, I can get to the Roosevelt or Alamo, but that's about it.

So when a friend suggested lunch at a new place on the Hill, his neighborhood now since a recent move, I had to call (gasp!) him to get the specifics of getting there.

And, yes, I know it's barely two and a half miles from home.

But with exacting directions, I was able to find his new digs and we sat on his front porch while he drank his life-giving coffee wearing a hat that said, "Bartenders are gods."

Once properly caffeinated, the god and I made our way to Street Deli.

The charming little spot got high points right away for its cool, stone floor and tables laden with goodies like homemade coconut and chocolate cake.

As an enormous catering order was being loaded into a van, we ordered our lunch.

I couldn't resist the albacore tuna stuffed Hanover tomato (although it arrived minus the billed pesto cheese tortellini) and my friend got a turkey pesto panini.

While our food was being concocted, we went outside to the little patio area next door.

Technically, it doesn't belong to the owners, but their next-door neighbor (and landlord) cleared a space for al fresco dining.

The little enclosed area was winsome, with clay pots, an old tire-less scooter acting as outdoor sculpture and all kinds of blooming plants scattered around.

As we sat there eating our food, dog walkers from the nearby pet sitting service strolled by and people trickled in and out of the deli.

Over triple chocolate cake, Friend and I traded stories of the pleasures and pitfalls of dating at our age, citing how both good and bad traits are more firmly entrenched in a person.

I shared how I had once been informed that I was in a romance (unbeknownst to me) and he threw his head back laughing at me.

No big deal, because we've been friends long enough that he has a right to laugh at me when I'm that dense.

I'm just glad that he's found someone to appreciate his great qualities: perseverance, humor and a willingness to be open to whatever comes along.

His hat got it wrong.

It's smart, thoughtful men of a certain age who are gods.

But then who's going to put that on a hat?

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