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Thursday, April 2, 2009

nola, part 3b

So, if anyone casually reads this they must think that I've been in New Orleans for a month! I wish! I gotta remember to play the lottery more often....

Ahyhoo, we are on Saturday. Wedding day. We just ate ribs. We had to go to CVS or Walgreens for like the third or fourth time for necessities because they t shirt shops charge 2 - 3 times more for things like water and razors. The FP had to get dressed and leave to be a dutiful groomsman.

Here's the pimped out Food Pimp!

So basically, I had just enough time to get ready and then Dieter was going to pick me up. Around 4 I got a call or text from CMG (Cuban Musical Genius) saying that he got cut from work and he was going to make it to the wedding. I was happy about that, but I was busy stressing over the fact that I had to wear one of my old old dresses that I had packed and none of them looked right. Also, the weather was way colder than I had anticipated, and I really didn't have a heavy jacket or anything. Oh, and I had been cutting my hair for the past like year or so and it looked like shit, so I had to figure a way to make it look not so DIY. So I said that it was cool that CMG was going, and he was like, aren't you more excited than that? He can be such a cocky fucker sometimes, but I guess he has a right to be.

Getting back to me. I got ready. Dieter called me and said he'd be down in 10 minutes. So I went down to the lobby. Then I forgot something so I turned around and had to go back up to the room. This was a ritual pretty much every time I tried to leave the room. I always forgot something and only remembered after coming off the elevator or walking out the front door of the hotel. Never before. I think that Nola gives me Alzheimer's.

Anyhoo, I stood on the corner waiting for Dieter. Some people passing by gave me the once over like - is she a hooker or not. You know that look, right? C'mon, I'm sure you've dressed up to go out on the town with the girlfriends for whatever occasion and you've gotten that look? Or maybe you were hard up for tuition money in college and had to make some extra cash fast. I'm not judging.

So anyway, we were going to go to the Bridge Lounge, but then Dieter changed his mind because he needed a bite to eat before the we had to sit through the ceremony. So we went to the Delachaise instead. Ah, the Delachaise. My former place of employment. Classic example of southern decay. It's like a setting for a modern day William Faulkner or Eudora Welty story. So I know I've given the backstory on the Delachaise before, but I will give it again for those of you who don't know it.

The Delachaise. Opened in 2003 by "four blind mice". There couldn't have been a more aptly named business. So my buddy, Red Car was one of the partners. He's the one who got me the gig. He and I had very likeminded ideas of our ideal bar. The other 2 restaurant guys had their ideas. They wanted a pretentious place for cheap. The fourth was the lawyer. He was very nice. We'll call him Luc.

So anyway. It started slowly with food. I started with like a cheese plate. Then a charcuterie plate. Then I had four, five dishes, then more and more. I got to do whatever food I wanted as long as there were a few wine bar staples and most of it being stuff Red Car could do when I was off. But I could do almost anything because I was doing all the prep and pick up for it, so I didn't have to tell anyone how to do it. I just had to tell the front of the house what it was and how much. I changed the menu quite often. Generally speaking I had between 10 - 15 menu items, including a few desserts.

So Red Car was the first to jump ship about a month after the Delachaise opened. He couldn't take it. The one grumpy gus of the group would walk in and not say hi to anyone until he had his first drink. Then later in the night he would be so sloppy drunk that he would be too outspoken and inappropriate.

So Red Car left me with these guys who didn't really like or trust me. But at least I had some allies in the bartenders. I fed them, after all. So Luc seemed to be on my side. He would bring the kiddies in and I'd make omelettes for them. I hated omelettes, but they were cute kids eating dinner at a bar - how could I resist that!

So, the men's bathroom was never really cleaned when they first got the place. Mold, mildew, it was disgusting. One day the FP asked me if he could clean it (this from the FP!). But I told him I wasn't sure how they would react.

Things fell into disrepair, bills got mismanaged. We had to change purveyors. The banquettes were used and had rips, so they duct taped them. So much for their pretentious bar. The air conditioner or roof started leaking on the dead middle of the bar. They tried to fix it themselves.

Also, we got a lot of press early on. Mostly about the food. One paper or magazine stated that I was a partner. The real partners did not like that. So we got packed. Because people wanted to try the new "restaurant". So one night, maybe it was Art for Art's sake, we were slammed. I was weeded. It was a great night of sales. So at the end of night when Grumpy Gus was good and toasted he came in to have a talk. He said people were coming in for the food. The drink sales were lower than the food sales. He said he didn't want the food to overshadow the bar. He said that the focus needed to be the drinks. Really. I guess money is not always money. So that was the peak and the beginning of the descent of my time at the Delachaise. After a year and no prospects of a raise, another cook to help me expand or anything exciting or new, I left. My one "friend" was just waiting to steal in and scoop up my job. His mussels sucked. They were a fusion nightmare, to put it lightly.

Anyhoo, getting back to semi present day. We went to the Delachaise. It was the same, yet more deteriorated. Complete with a lime green makeover on the outside. It was like literally, one of the owners when to the paint store and bought the paint that was on sale because it was ugly.

That middle of the bar was still warped from the water damage.

Anyhoo, there was the menu. I don't remember that much of it. It looked good. I didn't know who was in the kitchen. I did know that the last guy who was the chef there kicked ass. People loved him and his food. But I think in the end he overshadowed the bar and he left. Anyway. There were like 3 guys in the kitchen! I don't know why. There wasn't many people in the bar, let alone eating food. There were a couple of entrees though. I was never allowed to do entrees when I was there.

So Dieter ordered the pate. I really have a vague memory now - but I believe it was rabbit and veal. It was good. Really good. I don't know if it was made in house or not. Anyhoo. It came with pickled onions. It's like they are everywhere, these pickled onions. These were good, and they matched the pate, so it was okay. So we had a drink or two, then we headed up to the church. We sat towards the back. Our buddies ended up scooching in with us - Hipster Redneck and his date, and CMG, who got lost or was a little late or something.

So it was a nice wedding. It was short too. The bride looked nice in her little strapless gown. She's petite, so she looked like the bride on the top of wedding cakes.

So then on to the reception. Dieter wanted to be the first in line at the bar. But he took a wrong turn as we debated which street it was on. So we were like the 15th at the bar. CMG beat us there.

So the reception was at Rosy's. A great place for a wedding. It's got like the room, the atrium and a big patio outside. But it was too cold and windy to spend much time out there. And there were 2 bars. So the food. Just like mediocre wedding food. You know. There was like the cheese spread and fruit and spinach and artichoke dip and some pasta. Just blah. I ate for biological necessity. The cakes looked great though. I don't have pictures. Damn me. I didn't eat any. Don't ask me why. At the time I wanted to drink more. And I think by the time I thought I wanted some cake, there was no more wedding cake. Only groom's cake.

Anyhoo, it was a fun reception. A bunch of Vega people were there. New Vega people. These are the FP's people - but I still knew them all, so it was a fun time.

Then we went to Touche Bar. Then the wedding kind of split up. We went back to Mimi's. Red Car was there. So was one of the former Delachaise bartenders. We were pretty lit up. This one guy got in a brief fisticuffs outside then came in. It was something stupid like he brushed someone walking in and the guy got pissed and punched him or something. It was late. Miss Big Jugs was running around the bar flirting with everyone. Especially CMG. Well, he was egging it on.

CMG ordered some food. You know how you get hungry after a wedding because the buffet isn't satisfying. He got the cheese plate - which is probably the best thing on the menu. And then he got the tomato and avocado bruschetta. Sounds good enough? Right? It was not very delicious. It was two crostini with underseasoned diced tomato on top of unripe slices of avocado.

So then we kept drinking. MBJ and I went upstairs. She ordered 2 grey goose cosmos. She didn't have any money, the little bitch! So I bought the drinks. She was dancing. Then everyone started coming upstairs and she was dancing with CMG. So I knocked back my cosmo. Then I knocked back hers. She had had enough. I was helping her out. Oh, and I paid for the drinks anyway. Even though we were quickly spending money that was way over our limit for the weekend. Every dollar spent at that point was in the red.

Anyhoo, we were all fucked. But apparently we all made it to our respective beds for the night, somehow. That's one of the mysteries of Nola. You wake up and recount how each person got home and hope they're all alive.

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