I guess it goes without saying that food is really important to me. I can't imagine being friends or dating people who don't enjoy food. In college, I once knew a girl who said she liked food that didn't taste like anything and so foods such as iceberg lettuce and cottage cheese fit the bill for her. I'd often see her in the college dining hall having a hearty dinner of iceberg and cottage cheese. Perhaps it goes without saying that we never become friends. And I shudder a bit at the idea of iceberg and cottage cheese as a filling and tasty dinner.
Food is a big priority for me, actually it might be my number 1 priority. Alright sure I own a couple of clothing shops now but when I'm working at the shops during the day, I do spend a good portion of my day looking at chowhound or visiting various food blogs I enjoy. I think a good amount about what I want to eat for lunch, for dinner. And you know it's crazy busy in the shop or I've a whee bit stressed if I haven't even bothered to stop and thinking about feeding myself.
Food is joy. I tried to train myself into thinking that all food was about was fuel for one's body but I can't shake years of upbringing. Birthday cakes and holiday cookies. These things speak to me of love but also of fond memories of my family and friends gathered around enjoying something so universal and connecting. Food is love in my world. Food is everything.
So a few days ago, E asked if I had any plans for dinner after work. I said no and she asked if I wanted to get together for a meal. Sure, I said, but where? She seemed to have a hankering for steak. Cool, we could go to KO Prime. I made a reservation. While I was happy to go to dinner, especially to a place where I knew the chef, I was a little hesitant when I called to make the reservation and asked if Ken or Jamie would be working, only to be told that it wasn't clear if either of them would be that evening. Um, that's an odd answer. I was made even more hesitant when I saw the prices and read the reviews on chowhound. Hmm, seemed like an average experience at best and since E and I had already had a very average to bad experience at #9, I wasn't interested in recreating that. E really had a craving for steak and so she offered to cook instead. Awesome, I was in!
Since all I have near me for provisions is my ghetto Shaws, we agreed to meet at the Butcher Shop in the South End. I didn't know one could just buy steak from them. I arrived a bit early and went to the back of the restaurant to gave longingly at all the meat options in the glass cases. It was around 8ish on a Wednesday evening so the restaurant was filled with diners. A lovely man in a button down shirt and a tie covered by a full length apron asked if I needed any help. I told him I was waiting for a friend and we were making dinner. He asked how many and I said I really didn't know. E likes to invite her peeps to many things she does and making dinner was so exception but I didn't know who had agreed, last minute, to come for dinner. He pointed out some nice cuts and informed me that if I wanted anything on the bone that I might want to let them know b/c they were closing up shop soon. Being a shop owner myself, I understood. I told him to go ahead and shut down. My friend and I would make due with whatever was offered off the bone. He was a very pleasant guy and clearly liked his job very much. He took the time to tell me some information about the meat selections. He was very knowledgeable. So I had to ask him about bacon...you'll see why when I post an entry I'm need to wait until tomorrow to share.
Sure, he had bacon. Some he had just cured himself and made that day. I had to have some. I asked for a half a lb and the center cut beef steak that was calling my name. E still hadn't arrived and I figured if worse came to worse and she didn't want it for dinner, I'd make it and eat it all by myself at some point. My bill set me back $51.00. That's a lot for me to spend on meat, but the meat looked so wonderful and fresh, well it seemed like it might be worth the price.
E finally arrived and we went to Foodies to get other stuff so she could make a salad and french fries (!!). On our way home, we talked about homemade french fries. I had never had them before. My mom made us burgers and fries at home but the fries were the crinkling cut from Or Ida. We had burgers and fries maybe once a week as kids. It was a fairly simple and crowd pleasing meal for a small family such as mine. And later Mom discovered their frozen tater tots and well, all bets were off! The tater tots rocked! So we had those with our burgers instead.
E also loved tater tots so as she cooked, I went over to the ghetto Shaws and got us some to deep fry.
Dinner was all prepared by E. She had also stopped off at Frommagio for cheese, wine and bread. The salad, the tater tots (and amazing home made french fries that I had for dinner the next night) and the steak. Holy cow, that steak was amazing. At my request, she cooked it rare. The steak was tender and almost buttery in texture. It was such a rich meal that both of us ate ourself silly and felt a little sick after it. We watched a bit of TV but we were both shot for the rest of the night. Definitely, can't imagine eating that much protein and fat on a regular basis. But if the occasion calls for steak, consider splurging and getting it from the Butcher Shop.
The steak we couldn't finish made for a lovely lunch time steak salad for the next two days for me!
Thanks for a lovely meal E. I love you and I love your food too!