I'm dreading going to work this morning because the air conditioning has been out and it is forecast to get up to 95 degrees today. But it turns out that workmen are installing new air conditioning units when I arrive. They work great! My whole attitude is altered, and the day becomes much more pleasant, despite various other sorts of mishaps. I also consume a couple of cups of coffee (1 decaf, 1 regular), as well as odds and ends of leftover drinks (a little banana milkshake, a little pineapple-mango-kale juice), and eat a sandwich as I make my way home on foot after 3:30: grilled cheddar cheese with bulgogi and tomato on sourdough bread. I should have had something lighter, as I know we are going out for a nice anniversary dinner tonight. Mistake.
At home, I have a cup of decaf coffee and decompress, change, go over to the Co-op for provisions, and then ultimately fall asleep next to my husband.
Shopping (Co-op): toilet cleaner, limeade, organic whole milk, lactose-free 2% milk, half & half, 2 containers raspberries, organic raw cashews, organic dried mulberries. $33.
We wake back up a little after seven, and dress for dinner, even though I am still not all that hungry. Dumbass. Anyhow. It is after eight by the time we get seated, so that helps a little. We are at Republic, which I still think of as a "new" restaurant, even though by now it has probably been there for a couple of years. It is pricey, and from the outside I thought it would be rather trendy and intimidating, so this is our first visit, even though it is actually across the street from my own restaurant and I vaguely know several of the employees as my customers. (Can't Republic make breakfast sandwiches for its own staff? Apparently not.) Inside, I discover that it is not remotely intimidating. Young people going out on a Saturday night mix with elderly folks wearing preppy golf clothes and middle-aged Takoma Park hippies in ugly cotton tunics and Tevas. The dining room already looks somewhat chaotic and worn. The service... well, our service is excellent. But it is also bizarrely personalized. Our server turns out to be a guy who used to work at my restaurant as a dishwasher. He treats my husband and I like royalty. Maybe he treats everyone like that, I don't know. But then the bartender comes over and personally greets us, chit-chats a bit. At the end, we find our dessert and coffees have been comped, no reason except that we are being welcomed as fellow local restaurant staff, I guess. I never would have expected to get the VIP treatment here, just because I sell these people a few breakfast sandwiches (double bacon, avocado, egg and cheese, always). So I come away with the impression that Republic takes its role as a community member much more seriously than I realized. Points for that.
For dessert, I ordered an americano and we shared a piece of carrot-parsnip cake with dulce de leche ice cream. The cake was good-- I couldn't really tell it from plain old carrot cake-- but the ice cream was to-die-for. Next time I might just order that. And I don't eat ice cream very often. The decaf americano was also very, very good. My husband had plain decaf coffee and he said that he couldn't even tell it was decaf, which is very high praise coming from him. All in all we had a nice time-- though it was too noisy to talk much-- and spent quite a bit of money, by coincidence almost exactly the amount I earned during the day.
Did I mention that they were so, so nice to us?