By Neena Strichart
I’m hoping that this weekend will be as nice and relaxing as were last Saturday and Sunday. I had a chance to sleep in both days and was even able to sneak in a nap or two. Saturday evening, a very good friend of mine and her husband took me and Steve out to dinner to celebrate my upcoming birthday (which was this past Tuesday). [Ed note: From here on out, I will refer to my friend as BB and her husband as SB since BB doesn’t like it when I talk about her in my columns]. With the Bs being neighbors of ours, it was easy to just walk up to their house to meet up with them instead of them driving two doors down to pick us up. As usual, we gals got in the back seat and the fellas rode up front. The drive was a relatively short one, as the restaurant they chose was in Seal Beach, an establishment called Patty’s Place.
The anticipation of the evening had been built to quite a crescendo because Becky– I mean BB– had been telling me for weeks what a great place it was. She explained that it was one of her favorite dining spots for special occasions and how much she and Stan– er, uh, I mean SB– enjoyed going there. What a fabulous meal. Steve had rare ahi, I ordered steak, as did Becky, and Stan had– oh I don’t remember, but it was something with a twice-baked potato. My Caesar salad was great, as was my entrée, and my dessert was, as they say, “to die for.” I was so totally focused on my meal that for once I let everyone else do most of the talking. I don’t think my fork cooled down once between bites (except when I used the chilled salad fork).
One of the best parts of the evening was having the opportunity to meet the owner of Patty’s Place– yes, her name is Patty. She is such an elegant lady with real passion for her “Place.” I so appreciated her response when I told her I needed a gluten-free menu. Without skipping a beat, dear, sweet Patty let me know what would work and what wouldn’t for my special diet…and she just beamed when telling me that the crème brûlée I wanted for dessert was indeed gluten-free. Although Steve loves crème brûlée, he instead jumped at the chance to try the bread pudding– served in portions as big as my head. (He did the best he could but still took half home for breakfast the next morning.)
Becky, Stan, Steve and I knew dinner was over when we had gobbled down all we could– and what we couldn’t we had boxed and bagged for a quick getaway. It wasn’t really much of a quick getaway as we had all overeaten and pretty much waddled to the car. Once again, Becky and I took the back seat, and Steve and Stan were up front. I was stuffed and found it so uncomfortable when turning around to grasp the seat belt that I blurted out “Oh, bite me” as I struggled to buckle up. Becky, although also stuffed, but ever the lady, replied, “I can’t move– you’ll have to bite yourself.” What a pal.