Thursday, February 08, 2007


Restaurant. One word. One syllable:


It's a new-ish pressed-sandwich shop on 8th and 15th and I took it for a quickie digestive spin today. It only cost me 30 minutes and $10.50 to be both ephemerally charmed AND enduringly creeped out. Way to multi-task my emotions, Swich!

My first impression of the place was that is was sleek, modern, and clean, all things I'm partial to when it comes to food purveyors. The menu is pretty varied and definitely appealing, but after I ordered my Hippie Chick "Deconstructed" salad with a side of coffee my optimism gave way to a vague feeling of anxiety. It started with the seating. Swich has just one long communal table, which can be awkward if you're a single diner and the only available seat is the one in the middle, facing in towards the back mirror, your back to the restaurant. I got dealt a lucky hand and was able to face the restaurant, but I had a stranger facing me for half my meal.

But besides that, what really creeped me the most were the two flat screen TV's next to each other, each airing two different "programs". The first was fine; it depicted a floating CD case whose function was to let customers know the current song selection, selections that included Alphaville's "Big In Japan" (why that and not "Forever Young" I'm still trying to figure out) and T Rex's "Cosmic Dancer". Now, I'll be honest: it is not easy to eat a salad with T Rex as the background music, at least not for me. I mean, we're all agreed that T Rex is music to make out to or shoot up some horsey to, or shoot up horsey and then make out to, but T Rex is not music to eat salad to in a sparkling clean communally-tabled panini place, right? A little unnerving.

But even more unnerving was what was on the other flatscreen: something called "Swich TV". It was UNBELIEVABLY WEIRD. It was...uh, like, some fucking future shit that, thinking of it now, still has my brows all a-knit. Basically, Swich TV is a series of different unstyled and definitely unkempt "actors" PLAYING CHARADES against a white scrim. PLAYING CHARADES VERY POORLY. And, what's worse, we, the audience, ARE GIVEN THE CLUE FIRST and are then made to WATCH THE BAD ACTOR ACT IT OUT EVEN THOUGH WE ALREADY KNOW WHAT THE ANSWER IS. So, this one girl, in a really terrible outfit that violated me with how wrong and ill-fitting it was, this girl, she had a terrible dye-job and a terribly-serious robot-face, she was acting out the clue DIRTY HARRY for about 10 minutes. And she went through all the trappings that a game of charades entails, including MIMING 2 WORDS...FIRST WORD...TWO SYLLABLES...EVEN THOUGH WE ALREADY KNOW WHAT THE ANSWER IS!

I could not tear my rods and cones away from it.

It was killing me, but I just could not stop watching. Then there was some other non-descript white guy not playing charades but MAKING FACES MEANT TO DESCRIBE WHY HUGS ARE IMPORTANT. I know this because THAT'S WHAT THE SUBTITLES SAID. During the course of my salad (which was fresh, delicious, and, ultimately, irrelevant), I broke into anxious sweats about three times. All because of what was playing on the TV. Plus, the people across from me were speaking some sort of unrecognizable foreign language (I am usually good at deciphering, but, honestly, whatever they were speaking was so foreign I became suspicious that they were just making it up to fuck with me). Not Swich's fault, but...not NOT Swich's fault either, maybe.

So, my tally for Swich is this:
Tasty food!
But: so weird!
And: Free lessons on how to play charades!
Totals: WTF?!

Monday, February 05, 2007


A year ago a dinner date cancelled on me and I complained about it in this blog. I was all High Hopes back then, High Hopes over dinner dates, over my career, over every minor expectation and deep down wish. It was hard to live that way; I was bound to be disappointed.

It's a year later and I'm still high hopes because I'm still me, but these hopes: they're lower-cased versions of last year's desires. My expectations are measured because I'm trying to protect myself from feeling disappointed. It's like, so hard to do! But it seems to be working? Yes, it does.

Here is an example how so:

Last week I was asked out on a real dinner date. Which normally would make me LOOK OUT! High Hopes! REE-OOOOH! REEEEEE-OOOOOOOH! EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY!

But I'm a Real Adult now, with Real Expectations, so instead of flipping out I calmly said: no thank you.

Alright, to be honest, High Hopes aren't entirely the reason I said no thank you. I said no thank you because I already had plans.

But then my friend got sick and cancelled! And unlike last year I didn't get disappointed and I didn't blog about it (you're welcome), no, I just made other plans, other plans that had me saying yes thank you to the dinner date which was great because yes thank you is what I wanted to say all along and in the first place. And I'm so glad I said yes thank you (thank you!) because this dinner date was the furthest thing from disappointing. It was the closest thing to So. Much. Fun.

And I know why.

I went expecting burgers.

I got Strip House.

Swoon. Big-time. For me, going out for Steak Dinner is special because it's a little bit FANCY and a little bit DECADENT and a lotta bit INFREQUENT. When my dinner date told me we were gonna have Steak Dinner I was Completely Surprised and Totally Jazzed. Adding to my jazzy-ness was that, for real, Strip House is one of my All-Time Favorite restaurants, Steak Dinner or no Steak Dinner. I love it I love I love it. It is a sexy place with sexy food and I don't care what you say there is nothing wrong with that not even if you're a vegan or a Christian Fundamentalist.

What makes it so sexy and delicious? EVERYTHING! But I'll get into details:

Strip House is sexy because IT MAKES YOU WAIT. Like any any good seduction, Strip House isn't desperate, and it really takes its time. I mean, it takes your time, while you wait for a table. But in a good way. Even if you have a reservation, you're gonna wait. But you wait knowing you're going to be rewarded. SEXY!

We waited for about forty-five minutes, which was just enough time for me to nurse a drink from the bar. I had Maker's Mark and ginger-ale, because before a steak dinner I like to have a bourbon. It's masculine and brassy and it provides a sweet buzz. SEXY! We were lucky to get seating on some low red couches near the bar, so our wait was actually comfortable. DOUBLE SEXY!

When we were finally seated, I got really excited, because Strip House's menu is really good. I decided to get the Strip Steak, medium rare, because it's DELICIOUS THAT WAY and my date got the Filet, medium. Then we discussed appetizers and sides. I knew we had to get the Black Truffle Creamed Spinach, because the one other time I've been to Strip House I had it and it remains one of the most delicious and SEXY! foods I have ever put in my mouth. It is like Mmmmm mmmmmm earthy creamy mouth-fragrantly yummy. Herb-garlic fries were also on order, and they were crisp and perfectly seasoned and just retarded. I mean that in a good way, not like, Oh no, your baby is...Well, you get it. We also got steamed broccoli, which, when you figure in all the fatty fat fat foods we had coming, was a healthy, refreshing choice. As if that weren't enough for two people, we ALSO split an appetizer of tomato and onion salad. Sharing is SEXY! But more than that, the tomatoes were fresh and juicy and how does a restaurant pull that off in FEBRUARY?! By being SEXY!

What can I say about the steaks and the entire meal? SO SO GOOD! I didn't even need steak sauce on my strip, which was cooked perfectly, with a crusty salty char and a deep pink juicy center. SEXY! I tried the filet and it was incredibly tender and not even tasteless as far as filets go. Date encouraged me to get a glass of wine so I did (I know: TOTALLY SEXY!), and even though it was a Merlot (I never order Merlot out of some sort of misguided shame but out of all their wines by the glass it seemed the most appealing) it was really very good.

I got full way too quickly. Which isn't SEXY! but it is ADORABLE. Maybe! I couldn't finish my steak, or my spinach, but I did finish my wine (I am a good date). We both got coffees to "combat" the "effects" of the food (ie: coffee makes you go boom boom). I skipped dessert on account of my jeans no longer fitting my waist (SO HOT!), but the check came with two homemade caramels, and I availed myself of both of them because I like sweets more than my date did and also I am a little greedy. They looked like two turds on a doily, and I said as much out loud. SEXY!

So that is my account of why Strip House is good and also why I am good. At being more of an Adult. I may not entirely be there yet, but I will be soon. And then? Swoon.