Friday, January 28, 2011

carl returns (lyn)

Carl is back in town for the weekend.  His son, daughter-in-law and grandkids are joining him tonight for a three-day stay in New York.  We meet for lunch at a famed breakfast place, Norma’s in the Parker Meridien.

I figure since we are meeting for lunch, at a place known for its breakfasts, dressing casually will be fine.  I wear black pants (the same ones I wore the first time we met though I’m sure he won’t notice the redundancy), a casual All Saints 3-button T with a black All Saints edgy sweater.  I get to the restaurant a couple of minutes late and he’s already there, dressed handsomely in a suit and tie.  Apparently he had a board meeting prior to my arrival. 

It’s nice to see him.  Comfortable.  Friendly.  No pressure.  He’s easy to be with.  I like him;  I just wished he lived closer.  But for someone who lives in Idaho, he does make it here regularly.

I had checked the menu before arriving and had already decided what to order…either the blueberry pancakes or brioche french toast…I figured I’d ask the waiter.  But because it’s restaurant week, there is a $25 option of three courses (and about 3 choices for each course).  The disappearing and unfriendly waiter assures us that each course is small, and if added together, “would probably be the size of one regular-sized serving.”  As it turns out, this is totally fabricated information. 

I choose eggs benedict for my first course.  When it finally arrives, it is a serving that would have satisfied me as an entire meal.  Only one egg, but on a sweet buttermilk pancake layered with Canadian bacon and grilled asparagus, with a side of mini-potatoes in red, black, purple and white (I initially mistake them for olives).  I am full after the first course.

Then the second course arrives.  I’d chosen an egg white frittata of shrimp with “oven roasted roma tomato and spinach.”  I only eat two of the shrimp and decide that I don’t like the bland taste of egg white anything.

The dessert course is called Chocolate Decadence French Toast and arrives covered in strawberries, pistachios and a chocolate sauce.  I have more than a few bites of this.

I’m sure Carl has many intriguing stories about his time as a prosecutor on Watergate, as Chief of Staff to Arlen Specter, or as Inspector General for Defense Intelligence.  But what intrigues me today is learning that he doesn’t like chocolate, doesn’t eat salads, heard (from people in the Maryland-area who would know) that Wallis Simpson might have been a man once, and “crams” for his annual exam by changing his diet (less sugar, less junk foods) and ramping up his weight training for the month prior to his exam.

I wonder what I’ll learn when he returns?

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