Sunday, February 10, 2008

i want ribs (i'm all-over-the-place today).

So I think every blog from now until Saturday, and maybe thereafter, is, in some way or another, gonna be about my birthday or turning 30 or milestones, or "becoming a real woman," and coming-into-my-own or turning points and all the million kitchy things people say to you when you turn 30. ay ay ay!

The other day (can't remember which one), my boyfriend read my blog and noticed I mentioned getting a massage and facial for my birthday and he goes, "yeah you need a spa day. Which one?" To which I said, "I dunno…cuz I've never done any of that in DC. When I lived in NY, I had this little spot I used to go to called WaterLilly and the massages were only $45 for an hour." Every spa in DC seems so pricey. Even my eyebrow wax is twice as expensive now, and I'm only half as pleased with my arch. He and I go back in forth by email about my birthday and I tell him, "small, and cheap" is the name of the game…"don't go all-out please. Really." I'm a simple (yet emotionally-high-maintenance) girly girl.

"The smallest, cheapest things mean the most to me. you alone, are enough. you and some bbq ribs." Which launches me into this silly little faux request that he bail this old black dude, who happens to make some of the best ribs I've ever tasted, out of jail. I'll be quick and dirty with it...

There's this crappy soul-less restaurant in Adams Morgan called Grand Central (believe me, it's not worth a hyperlink). Not my kind of restaurant, not my kind of crowd, but now the food shocked the heck outta me one day last summer. Me and the bf decided we wanted dinner, and we wanted to sit outside and enjoy August, and since those were the only requirements, we decided to give the crappy place a go. We had Yuenglings (yum) and the "special" plate of ribs, baked beans, and mac n cheese (double-yum). After my first taste of the ribs, I caught myself saying, "Somebody back there is black," referring to the kitchen. The ribs were cooked to perfection--moist, meat falling off the bone, slightly smokey, tangy-sweet sauce...yum (I'm a Virginia I figure I have just enough Southern-cred to judge when a rib is cooked to perfection or not).

Sidenote: The bf disputes my assumption that only black people can make good ribs. His favorite rib joint is this Korean spot called Mandu. And, yes, the ribs at Mandu are good…but those are Korean ribs, and the one's I prefer are southern-style soul-food ribs. But he won't give in…for him it's all about Mandu's ribs. (I'm still not sure a Cali/Jersey boy can assess ribs to my liking anyway.)

Anyhoo...back to my story. One summer Saturday, we were polishing off one of those "special" plates at My Rib Joint, and we notice a 50-something shriveled black dude wearing a dirty apron walking around, stopping at each table. Then he comes outside to smoke a cig, and seeing the rib bones (I suppose) stops at our table. "How's the food?" he asks (I hate when people ask me about my food when I'm chewing, and licking my fingers and clearly enjoying it) and we say "delicious," of course, and at that moment, I figured this was the rib god! We made small talk with him--but then let him enjoyed his cig.

Is this quick and dirty? Hmmm…I'll speed it up. One day, we came in to get our "special" and the godly-but-shriveled chef was gone. We couldn't get our ribs, and really, we couldn't get anything. Our entire meal was so dreadful that the waitress comped everything. When we asked, "What happened to the chef? she goes, "Well, he's gone. I mean, he won't be back for a looooong time." And the bf goes, "Like jail gone?" (how'd he know?) And she nods. She looks, I'm-about-to-lose-my-job depressed. So there…another shriveled black man in the pen, and all I could think about was how all I wanted in this world was my "special" plate, and that I hope he at least landed a job in the prison kitchen. sad.

My joke to the bf was "bail him out for a night to come to my house and cook." But it was a joke. seriously. a joke.

1 comment:

rashad said...

I've treated my lady and my mother to spa days, and I can vouch for them being VERY expensive..but well worth it i hear