There were a few challenges. The surging crowd around Wildfire, an upscale steakhouse in our little corner of the world, looked like a scene pulled from a World War II movie – everyone a bit frantic and worried as they approached the border and possible freedom. Apparently the restaurant was overbooked and understaffed.
A few random numbers capture the problem. Wendy and I, wanting to run a few errands, left home around 5 p.m. We had a 6:30 reservation and had no problem making it to Wildfire on time. We finally got seated along with the rest of our party at 7:15, but it was another 45 minutes before the first bit of food – a platter of cornbread – was served. We limped out of the restaurant three hours after entering and made it back home just in time to watch the 10 o’clock news. For those keeping track, that would be five hours from start to finish; a reasonable amount of time for open heart surgery or running an ultra-marathon.
All the news, fortunately, wasn’t bad. After a short caucus, those with voting rights unanimously agreed to go with something called the “Club Supper Menu”, a family-style feast that was served in waves – appetizers, salads, entrees, sides and desserts. The food, once it landed on our table, was warm, plentiful and tasty.
Highlights included spinach and artichoke fondue and fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil pizza; salad bowls of the Greek and chopped persuasion; cedar planked salmon and prime rib; redskin mashed potatoes and balsamic roasted veggies; triple layer chocolate cake and, the piece de resistance, key lime pie! Can you say yummy?
It’s been months since I’ve allowed myself the tasty and sensual pleasure of carbs, but it was all for a good cause. Mother’s Day only comes around once a year and, heck, luxuriating in a three-hour meal with family and friends was worth fighting our way across the border. Next year, however, I’m looking for a little bistro in neutral territory; perhaps Rick's Café Américain!
PIECE DE RESISTANCE: Wildfire’s Key Lime Pie (photo above) was a bit of heavenly cream, with a nice citrusy kick, atop a thick graham cracker crust.