Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Octoberfeast for sure.

Octoberfeast, a new word-feel free to make it your own. SM, SH, Scousin, Scousin's wife and Sme went to a German restaurant for lunch today. It is in Buffalo, and called Scharf's-( for menu, location and coupons). Small building, in a neighborhood that originally was mostly German settlers. German music pipped in, German flags on each table, and German decorations to enjoy. We were one of the first lunch customers, then it quickly filled with those who ordered quickly-surely they were the "regulars", and a few other interlopers like us, chatting, comparing "what are you going to have?" choices, dawdling I am sure the very efficient waitress was thinking. We just so enjoy each other's company that we all fell into way too many conversations and had to quickly decide what to order so we wouldn't lose our waitress' attention (the word "server" like so many announce themselves to be at chain restaurants when they greet you is definitely not the term for this lady-she was an "expediter"-take order, deliver it, see you later. She was also covering the entire lunch room herself-not an easy job, and doing a fine job thank you very much).

Do you know about real German food? Very Earthy-which of course means gravy, and great flavors. Four of us had Rouladen-which is similar to the Italian method of cooking beef rolled up with great STUFF inside-called braciole. Rouladen has seasoning and a dill pickle inside while baking-no kidding-it has the nicest, tender flavor, great gravy served with it and hand-made noodles-but of course we also ordered a dish of spatzle-what are they you say? Little oval nuggets of heaven-they make a noodle type of dough, then grated over boiling water to be cut right into the water to cook. Then they are lightly sauteed I guess, because they have a little crusty flavor to them. You can buy spatzle in the freezer section and for those who have never tasted the real thing-this will do nicely.
But wait, I skipped the lettuce salad-just regular lettuce in a little bowl-but then, they put on their own house dressing-which they sell, it has a sharp taste-can't tell you what flavor is the cause of that-but a small bowl turns out to be just the right size-even for someone like myself who loooves her salads.

So listen, Shusband ordered what this restaurant, which has been around for 40 years (do not go by the outdated label above) calls their WORLD FAMOUS POTATO PANCAKES. HE DID NOT OFFER ME A TASTE. No, I am not stuck in CAPS, I just wanted make a point. I of course would never ask for a taste-he was so sick this summer and lost weight from a frame that was already way too thin. But if he had offered, I would have maybe taken the most smallest, tiniest-ever-piece to make him happy (always trying to please him of course).
Scousin and Scousin's wife ordered the most beautiful glasses of beer I had ever seen. Tall, I think the style is Pilsner-it looked like this:

The color of the beer was golden, the bubbles were rising to the top, slight foam, it was just too beautiful to imagine drinking and spoiling the image. I don't drink, but it just looked so beautiful. I am pathetic, I know you need to find beauty everywhere, but a glass of beer? Time to tone it down maybe?

But, I digress, Scousin and SCousin's wife were celebrating their 50th anniversary this week-can you imagine what an accomplishment this is? 50 years with the same person, accepting all their gifts and faults, and having them do the same for you? What a blessing it is to make the right spouse choice the first time. Me, I needed to try twice, but I hit the jackpot with this smart, sweet and loving husband, jeeze, I am about to cry, and all this because of a story about lunch!
When all had finished with their meal-I was the only one taking some home-hard to do, but I wanted it that way-and SH can have it for leftovers tomorrow, so anyway, we had to order dessert-our waitress said she ONLY had coconut cream pie-ONLY? Has anyone ever met a cream pie they didn't like? We ordered three pieces to share, let's see: three pieces, 5 people, someone will need to eat the whole thing without sharing-yep, anyone who knows SH knows it had to be him. My guy loves his desserts, and now that his appetite is back, they are all on notice-their end is eminent.
I ordered a take-out of goulash for SS, no cooking for me tonight, and we were all set to go, but wait, one more quick story. Scousin's wife is such a fun, smart person to be around, I told her earlier this week when she had me laughing like I had not in months that she was such a bonus relative-and I love being with her. Scousin and SH could have been brothers-they look alike and when put together they hunker down into their bro love cocoon-a major event could be going on, but they are talking so intently to each other that it would go unnoticed. SM looked lovely-hair done yesterday-dressed up, loving to get out. then SCousin's wife and I noticed a man who looked so totally European, we debated whether he was Polish, German or Russian. He had a face that just reminded you of the way world leaders from Slavic Europe look-sharp, thin features, different style haircut. We had a whole story worked up about him and the people he was with. One man we could see was "packing heat", could he be a body guard? What was the real reason he was in this small restaurant? Secret meeting? We were really having fun. Scousin speaks a few languages, so we were trying to convince him to walk by the table and start saying the Russian alphabet or say something in German-he would not cooperate with our insanity. My only fault with our European theory was that when he left the table-he had khaki pants on. What the heck? Do they even sell khaki pants in Europe? But of course Scousin's wife had an explanation-he spilled something on his regular pants, so had to get these instead!
A few minutes later, I was standing in another part of the restaurant, and Mr. Europe was standing next to me and said something in ........perfect English, with a local accent. Oh no! I started laughing, and had to tell him our bizarre tale. He got a kick out of it and at my request, he said hello to Scousin's wife by name as he walked back to his table. She giggled like a schoolgirl, and so did I. Life comes at you in the cutest ways sometimes. Next time you are looking around this great country, make up a story about one of your fellow travelers, it could lead to a giggle.
Thanks for sharing lunch with me today!

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