Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Best Meal I Ever Slept Through

Who sleeps through a meal? This guy apparently. I'll explain...

A few years ago I sold and commissioned a machine in Sebastopol, California. Sebastopol is quaint little hippie (mostly) town  about an hour north of San Francisco up HWY 101. When I landed in San Francisco, I was told that I qualified for a car rental upgrade of my choice. Jackpot! The weather was beautiful and I scored a nice little convertible coupe! I think it was a Mitsubishi, but it didn't matter -- this was a great little car for going over the Golden Gate bridge and surrounding area in.

Before I left Milwaukee, I told my nephew -- who had just moved back from San Francisco to Milwaukee only a month earlier -- that I was going to be spending at least one night in San Francisco on my upcoming trip. He was excited, because after graduating from the California Culinary Institute in San Francisco, he got a job working at one of San Francisco's best restaurants: Quince [website]. Unfortunately, while he was working there, I never had the opportunity to visit, but he left on good terms and was anxious for me to eat there and experience what it was all about. His former coworkers would be sure to take good care of me!

After 3 days in Sebastopol, I departed mid-morning and headed back towards the Bay. The day was gorgeous and I could not afford to waste the opportunity to drive this sweet little convertible along the ocean [HWY 1] and through the Point Reyes National Seashore Park. Man let me tell you, this is a glorious ride! So much beauty. You must put this one on your to-do list, okay? After a ton of fresh air and about 2 pounds of cherries (they were in season and I bought a HUGE bag at a farmer's market -- spitting out pits all along HWY 1 and on the Golden Gate Bridge; I love me some cherries!), I pulled into my Priceline-negotiated city center hotel. The time was about 3 p.m.; my nephew had confirmed -- I had dinner reservations at Quince at 9:30.

Now, since this work trip was a blue-collar affair, I hadn't packed clothes worthy of a fine dining experience. So I headed out in search of clothes. I found a JoS. A. Bank downtown and told the sales associate that I was in need of some nice dinner clothes -- shirt, pants, socks, and shoes too! We picked out a complete, fancy dinner worthy ensemble and I headed for a walk around Chinatown and the North Bay area.

If you've ever walked the streets of San Francisco, you know it can be a pretty good workout with many steep hills and a near-infinite number of interesting streets to stroll along. So I zig-zagged my way around for a while stopping every so often for a beer. After a few hours of exploring, I found this nice little Chinese place that had good soup and inexpensive wine. Dinner was still 3 or more hours away and I needed a little snack to tie me over. After soup and a few glasses of cheap wine I went to my room and prepared my clothes (removed tags and stickies, ironed) for dinner.

With the iron still hot and a nice breeze passing through the windows of my old hotel room, I laid back on the bed and BAM!! -- I was out cold!! I never knew what hit me! I was still fully clothed and my shoes were still on. The next thing I know, I hear a car horn from the street down below and my eyes slowly open. The room is dark, but dimly lit by the LED clock on the nightstand. The time? 2:30 a.m. Furgenflasterbaggit! I missed my reservation at Quince by 5 hours!! Fully awakened, I felt terrible -- not just for my loss, but to miss the experience that my nephew so wanted me to have. What an idiot! I grabbed my BlackBerry and texted him: "I'm so sorry. I missed my reservation. Fell soundly asleep. Me = idiot."

All that fresh air driving along the coast in the convertible (I also got up very early that morning), the hiking through the city, the beers, the wine, the time of the reservation -- it was all too much. I just couldn't keep my heavy eyelids open long enough. And that's really too bad, because stumbling around on the Internet, I came across the video below describing Quince's risotto as "perfect."

What a schmuck I (am!) can be, but at least I got some nice, new clothes out of the deal.

No comments:

Post a Comment