Thursday, February 19, 2009

What to do

When you're boss is out of the country, and your boyfriend is on February vacation from school, you should leave your office mid morning and hop on the M15 bus downtown to meet said boyfriend for brunch at Shopsin's.

While you're sitting on the bus, look over the print off of the menu you've stashed in your purse. There are over 600 things on it, and you need to be prepared, because you've heard they can get a little surly if you take too long to decide. Narrow it down to 2 choices. Or 10. Whatever you can manage. Anything under 600 is a good number to shoot for, and believe me, this is hard to do.

When you're waiting for a tight spot at the counter, take it all in. The shelves overhead filled with hot sauce and powdered sugar and cans of beans. The owners sitting in the center of the little dining room, swearing and chatting with customers. People eating from skillets filled with sausages, runny, gorgeous eggs, and vegetables. Plates full of french toast. Sandwiches piled high with a mound of french fries on the side.

Sneak up to the counter when two seats open up, and politely ask if you can sit down. Don't be embarrassed when the owner says, "Shit, no. You just have to stand behind the seats. Okay?" Try to smile and go with it and be a funny, sassy New Yorker, even if you're not. Sit down and make your final decision.

When your chocolate coconut pancakes come, followed by your boyfriends mac and cheese pancakes, don't look too excited. Take it in stride, even though these might be the best pancakes you've ever eaten. Don't gush. Whisper cooly to your boyfriend that these pancakes are pretty good.

Clean your plate. It's okay to feel a bit of pride when the waiter says, "You two did a beautiful job," when he sweeps away the empty dishes. Sneak back to work and try to stay alert, though you feel a food coma coming on.

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