Friday, March 6, 2009

This Doggy Bag’s For You

by Millicent K. Brody

Hey, you have to be nice these days. There are a lot more folks who absolutely cannot do the running and chasing they were accustomed to doing at this time last year. It’s not that they don’t want to be out there shopping, dining, and spending, they simply can’t. And the reason is also simple: They can’t afford to.

Recently, we had the occasion to dine with dear friends, who had already given us the heads-up that they were not going to their usual haunts.

“Not a problem,” I replied. “We can go wherever you’d like. Just let us know how you’d like us to dress.”

“Absolutely casual,” my friend said. “We’re going to our favorite pizza place. You’ll love it.”

“Hey, I can always eat a slice of great pizza,” I replied. To which they said, “This is the best!”

Once buckled into the car, my friend’s husband offered an alternative. “Listen guys,” when we go to this particular restaurant, we usually share a large pizza and one entree.”

Catching on, I said. “Oh, I could never eat half of a large pizza and an entree. No, we’ll just get a pizza, and in fact....we’ll order the medium size.”

Expecting the restaurant to be mobbed, we were surprised to find a plethora of empty tables, and immediate excellent service.

“What’ll it be?” asked the friendly waitress.

“We’ll share a Caesar salad, and have a medium-size pizza, half with pepperoni, and the other half with extra cheese,” said my husband. And I’ll have a glass of white wine. Do you have Pinot Grigio?

“Of course,” said our server, and she mentioned one of the finer brands. To which my husband replied: “The house wine will be fine.”

With that, the waitress offered another alternative. “Oh, Caesar salads come with an entree, would you like to change your order?”

Being a lover of good chicken parmigiana, I placed my order. My husband opted for the chicken francaise. Our friends selected chicken parmigiana with eggplant.
Within minutes, we each received Caesar salads that consumed the entire plate.

Again, not being hefty eaters, we could only finish a couple of bites, when my friend turned to the server and said, “Listen, I really can’t finish my salad. May have a small box? I’ll take the rest home." Then, looking over at my husband, she added, “If you’re not going to finish your salad, I’ll take yours as well....and then to me, “Should I ask her to wrap yours too?”

“Of course,” I said. “Whatever you’d like.”

Not only did they wrap the salads, they wrapped a good portion of my dinner as well as my husband’s dinner, and of course whatever remained on their plates.
In these times, you do what you have to do. The good news is they had dinner for a couple of extra nights, and they did not have to visit a supermarket. The other good news? The full glass of white wine cost a mere $3.99.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Loved, loved "This doggy bag's for you". I admire and respect the friends, they are doing what they have to do -