Monday, April 24, 2006

Where are We Going to Eat?

Breakfast club actually begins about 2 hours before we arrive at the restaurant. Being a slave to the schedule of a teacher, I get up early. Judy, being insane, is up long before I open my eyes, and Jimmy, who has to sleep next to her, is usually up, too, because Judy is a lot of things, but she is not quiet in the morning. So, around 7:30, after sitting around my apartment getting hungry, I make the call.

On those Saturdays when Judy doesn't have to do rounds at the hospital before breakfast club, Jimmy tells me to get in my car and come on over. This means, roughly translated, "Judy and I have not yet taken our shower, read the paper, or had a cup of coffee, but when we do, we'll be ready to go." Before he hangs up the phone, he asks the inevitable question: "Where are we going to eat?" We will hear this question many more times before we arrive at the restaurant.

I holler upstairs for Sarah who lives in the upstairs of our duplex, but she doesn't like to carpool, so sometimes we drive separately over to Jimmy and Judy's. On a good day, we see one of Beau or Rachael's cars parked out front when we arrive. Most days, however, the first stage of breakfast club involves waiting and thinking about that question.

Back in the day, we'd all cram into Jimmy's station wagon, with Judy volunteering to squeeze in the back end. She would tell us that she was quite comfortable, and she liked it back there. However, this tradition has recently ended (possibly because the back of a station wagon is not really that comfortable...), and we now take two cars. Before we leave the comforts of Jimmy's kitchen for our cars, we ask the question again: "Where are we going to eat?" With the new two-car arrangement we have to answer this question before we leave the house.

It's a difficult question. We have six people. Six very picky people. We can't just eat anywhere. Some of us like a lighter breakfast. Some like the traditional twoeggsovereasyhashbrownsandwholewheattoast. We don't like small tables. We hate to wait for a table.

We do have some old standbys (which I hope will be reviewed in more depth later in these pages).
  • There's the Modern, with its booth reserved for parties of 5 or more. We like that booth, but you can't count on the Modern's potatoes.
  • We had a brief love-afair with the Bandbox, but it's so small with so few tables, and it can be overwhelmingly greasy.
  • The food at the Bryant-Lake Bowl is good, but who designed those itty-bitty tables, anyway?
  • Everybody else in the party likes Trotters, but I don't like their counter service, and, besides, there is too little grease at Trotters. It's a bit too granola for breakfast.
  • We've just started going to Barbette, but I'm afraid the food might be a bit too fru-fru for Beau.
  • Judy liked Bakery on Grand. Thank goodness it closed down indefinitely for remodeling, because Beau was running out of vetoes.
  • Sometimes we book it over to St. Paul for that one place with all the photos of the Eiffel tower, but it never seems worth the drive.
So "Where are we going to eat?" question is the first order of business of every meeting. Once it's decided, we can begin the real business of critiquing of the potatoes...

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