Currently browsing posts by Jeff Burkhart.
My Barfly column has beat out all the other columns in California for the top slot in the California Newspaper Publishers Association (CNPA) contest!
Albert Einstein, developer of the theory of relativity, once remarked that “When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.”
Thank goodness for layman’s terms. And in the most lay way possible, relativity is what occurred to me the other day when I read the Yelp review:
He arrived from the dining room like bull from Pamplona, wide-eyed and frantic, his breath coming out in hot audible gasps. For a second I thought it might be a life-or-death emergency.
“Are you the one making my martini?” he asked.
I looked around to see if there were any other bartenders. Seeing that there weren’t, I answered him.
“I’ll have a margarita,” said the woman after sitting down and taking great care to cross her legs. Not for modesty’s sake, but for the opposite. She reminded me of Faye Dunaway in the movie “Barfly,” except for two things — she wasn’t Faye Dunaway and she wasn’t acting.
“On the rocks? With salt?”
“No,” she said slowly and deliberately. “On ice, with some salt.”
“What are you doing out here?” a regular customer asked as I walked past him in the lobby. “Don’t you have, like 60 or 70 people in there to wait on?” he said gesturing at the full bar behind me.
“Know what you guys should do?” asked the man sitting alone at the bar. I looked around the room at the mob of holiday revelers and wondered what part of what we were doing made it look like we needed help.
Once upon a time there was a restaurant. It was in a beautiful building in a beautiful town. Ironically, the restaurant had neither lodging nor was it located on the body of water for which it was named, but no matter because this restaurant was way ahead of its time. Hip, cool and classic, the press said: they positively gushed.
The chef was deemed a superstar and the ownership was lauded throughout the land. In fact, you could not pick up a food or travel magazine without reading about it. Every food show on TV featured the chef and all the bookstores carried his cookbook. All was well.
Or so it seemed.
Will Rogers famously once said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” However, I suspect Mr. Rogers never worked in the service industry.
When you first meet someone you don’t know enough about the person to dislike him or her. Once you get to know the person, however …
She sat down at the bar just like 10,000 customers before her. After looking around for a few moments, she spoke.
“Do you think I could get something to drink?” she said heavy with implication.
“Sure,” I said, finishing up with what I was doing. “What would you like?”
“I don’t know what I want yet.”
They could have easily been a modern-day Romeo and Juliet. Two star-crossed lovers from opposite sides of the tracks; him replete in stocking cap, high tops and a black T-shirt, her in a business casual dress and blouse, daringly high heels, silk scarf and a long coat.
I’ve seen more mismatched couples, but when you stand where I stand, you tend to see a lot of things.