Saturday, March 22, 2008

Baron Saturday

Sunshine had to punch back in for some urbane something-or-other during dinner hours last night, so I decided to eat at my favorite no-frills Việt cuisine joint--which also happens to be three blocks away--either called Bún Việt or Deli Saigon, depending which begeckoed sign one happens to believe. It's been months since my last dinner there. Several factors have contributed to my long abstinence, not the least important of which is that Sunshine prefers another Việt cuisine restaurant only two blocks away down the very same street. I only make it to Deli-whatever-Việt when she's working through dinner. Recently,* I bragged about being comfortably predictable there, but yesterday I was subject to the following uncomfortably mysterious exchange, as two waiters smilingly blocked my entrance:
"Hello," they welcomed, as I tried to dodge on around them, "to eat?"
I said yes, but they were still successfully blocking the tables, so I asked: "Are you open?"
"Yes," they said. "Umm..." they added, sort-of embarrassed, eyeing one another for support. "You are reservations," they asked. Or maybe told.
"No, I haven't," I said.
"We have more upstairs," the waiters told me, hopefully.
"Oh," I said. "Um," I added.
"You are only one" they either asserted or asked.
To which I said "yes. I mean, what?"
Then they let me sit wherever I wanted to. Were they worried I was meeting another party? There wasn't another soul in evidence. Was I being warned my table was only temporarily available? But my food was wonderful, and my service unhurried. I was yet again treated with that advanced care offered to the Saigon beginner: a translator for my ordering, a fork for my food, and waiters who stood just around the corner to watch my progress with the chopsticks I'd requested instead. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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