The corned beef and cabbage was utterly delectable.
The meat melted in my mouth with a salty tang. The cabbage was crisp and delicately seasoned. The mashed potatoes had enough garlic to give them a little zip, but not so much as to scare away any vampires.
If only I would have gotten more than a few bites in.
I should have known.
I should have known the moment I got the email from Jay, “Hey, a few of us are meeting for happy hour at the new place… want to join us for dinner with the kids after that?” … because it was a place we’d never been to before.
I should have known when we walked into the dimly lit restaurant, whose clientele was mainly businessmen and 30-something happy hour-goers… sans kids.
I should have known the minute they brought out the high chair that had not one crumb or speck of goo on it… obviously from lack of use. Or the kids menu and crayons that had never before been used.
I should have known when I glanced at the kids menu and was blown away that someone could, in good conscience, charge $7 for a dish of mac and cheese. Or, rather, $3 for plate of macaroni and $4 for the accompanying garnish of parsley and radish roses. (Radish roses, really? On a kids meal? Who thinks up this stuff?)
I should have known when I glanced at the adult menu, and the list of brews was longer than the list of entrees. Normally, I would have giggled with glee at this sight. And yes, I did partake eagerly from the list. But I should have known that it’s usually not a good indicator of a kid-friendly establishment.
I should have known that, 45 minutes after we had ordered, our food would not be there. And that my supply of pirate booty, goldfish, and raisins would have dwindled to nothing.
The kids were restless. They picked listlessly at their food once it came. Intimidated by the radish roses, I suppose. Chip writhed irritably in his high chair, and was only content while sitting on my lap. At least for a few minutes, while I managed to shovel in a few bites of my own meal.
And when Whineapalooza 2010 started in earnest, I knew it was way past time to make our departure. I packed up the diaper bag, left Bobo to ride home with Jay, and bolted for the door with Chip. Who, by the way, screamed the whole way home.
The best part of the evening? After we left, Jay had the waitress box up my meal for me. And, as he was loading up Bobo in her carseat, placed it on top of the car. One guess what happened next.
I may laugh about that tomorrow. But, right now, I’m just missing my corned beef and cabbage.
We will be back. We have to go back. Because it was one of the best meals (er, few bites) I’ve had in ages. My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it.
Except next time? We’ll go without the kids.
Because I know better now.