Our new friend and business mentor Barrett and his lovely girlfriend Lillian invited us for Shabbat dinner in their cool downtown loft. Josie had never been to a Jewish festivity and was excited. She has recently been using the phrase “Jew Curious” to describe herself. I also invited my Jewish friend and former dorm neighbor, Nora, to join us. We arrived at around 9:30 and didn’t know what to expect. Nora and I both have Jewish mothers but grew up with a relaxed reform sense of the religion. I know the first half of the most basic prayers and she remembered a lot but wasn’t too familiar with it. We said several times to each other, “Oh, I forgot about this part”. Josie never parted ways with a piece of challah, assembled kosher Morrocan flavored beef kabobs, washed her hands and remained silent (although many people attempted to make her laugh) until Barrett ate his piece of challah first, and was a regular Jewess. Barrett’s brother, Caleb, whom we randomly met at Association weeks ago was late because of the importance of his beer pong so we didn’t start prayers until midnight. As one of the guests commented, “The angels have already been to Hawaii and now they have to come all the way back to visit with us.” The late start was well worth it. The kiddush cup runneth over. The fish course of the baked salmon and lox was delicious. The kabobs were flavorful. Josie was shocked that the artichokes were globe rather than Jerusalam ones, which made me laugh greatly. We seemed to be the only ones eating them and joked how we each had an artichoke to ourselves. It was a great night of kosher wine, funny stories, and a lot of laughter. Also it was nice that Barrett’s brother was the uncouth one of the night, the Uncouth Gourmands need a break (it is the Sabbath, after all) from always being the plebeians in a group.
The next day Josie recommended we hit up Taix to see her co-workers’, from The Kitchen for Exploring Foods, band play. Josie told me that the lead singer of Rachel in the Weeds is her love doctor as she constantly gives Josie advice, like wait two hours before texting back. It was nice to meet this Relationship Sensai, because with Josie and I it is the blind leading the blind. The place was an interesting mix of people. One of the bartenders was as sweet and complimentary as can be and the other one was a bit confused. When Josie ordered a drink directly off the menu this older gentleman had absolutely no idea what to do with it. He asked that Josie write down all of the ingredients. Josie instead showed him the menu and he responded, “I can’t make that, I have no mint”. She wrote, “You can leave out the mint”. This made the gentleman more confused so Josie got a water instead and returned to her seat. Nearly 10 minutes later the bartender came by with her drink-mint and all. She thanked him and we made awkward turtle gestures to one another. She then wrote me a note which said, “He must have Alzheimer’s”. That was the only reasonable explanation. After listening to the band’s set we headed to Mickey D’s for some french fries and then to a house party in Glassel Park.
It was as close to a day of rest as the UGs have had in a long time. Of course, we still ended up getting home at 3AM.
Side note: I had the most pho-nomenal beef pho for lunch that day at Golden Deli and no surprise Jonathon Gold was completely right about their spring rolls. He said, “Golden Deli has the best cha gio, fried Vietnamese spring rolls, in the observable universe.” I couldn’t agree more. They are super greasy and delicious. I ate some while driving and was an idiot and didn’t wrap it in lettuce first. I got grease all over my hands and clothes. My car has a touch screen which I didn’t want to grease up so I proceeded to wipe the grease on my legs (I was wearing a skirt) for a nice glow. Uncouth indeed.