I love cities. I’ve lived in cities most of my life. I love being able to walk around the corner for a coffee or a gallon of milk. I love the interesting architecture. I love the variety of people, restaurants, bars and cultural venues. Cities are great. But I’m still a child of the suburbs. This becomes painfully apparent when the subject of food comes up between me and my friends. The combination of living abroad and yearning for the American food that I loved, and living in the Northern Virginia in a time when it was doggedly focused on turning every tree and creek into a strip mall, has engendered in me an affection for chain restaurants. I dragged my family out to Olive Garden for every birthday party; I chugged Starbucks like it was my job (and actually, I enthusiastically put on that green apron and mixed those drinks for two years); and the ultimate night out was to Red Lobster, to partake in the never-ending baskets of their amazing Cheddar Bay Biscuits, warm from the oven.
Unfortunately, I went to school in Boston, and all of my friends are from Massachusetts now. No one understands when I argue that Red Lobster’s seafood, though it’s found even in land-locked cities, is still delicious (and who even has room for the crab legs after all the biscuits, youknowwhati’msaying?) They are lobster snobs. Not that they’ve ever tried the place, because god forbid they step foot in a chain seafood joint when they can just skip off to shore next to their house and dig clams fresh from the sand.
The good news is, I’ve found myself a nice a girl who happens to hail from Arlington, a suburb in Virginia not far from my own. Even though her town is just across the river from DC, and has its fair share of independently owned restaurants, she, like me, feels the pull of Red Lobster. This means that when I start babbling excitedly about a Red Lobster prix fixe deal I saw on TV, she is prepared, nay, eager, to give up a Saturday night, drive to Inglewood, and wait 40 minutes for a table. She, like that last biscuit that you can’t quite stomach but you wrap up in a napkin and throw in your bag for later, is a keeper.
ANYWAY. All that fanfare is for this crudely rendered, notebook sketch of our date. Ta-da.