CHEAP EATS Anna Yamo has been trying to catch me for it seems like a year now. When she calls it says Restricted Number and that’s how I know it is her, but I am always in New Orleans or Seattle or the bathroom.
“Restricted Number,” it said.
I was sitting on my couch. San Francisco!
“Hello?” I said. This time.
“Danielle!” she said, with her characteristically loaded laugh, which tells me I’m a hard person to catch hold of. And in her characteristic accent, which is, of course, Thai: “When we have lunch?”
“Where you want to eat?” she said, then (also characteristically) she told me where: at this crepe place on Valencia, across from City College. News to me.
“It’s a date,” I said, thinking that — who knows — maybe there’d be a check for $3,300 in my mailbox, and I’d be going back to work. Stranger things have happened, although admittedly they usually involve badgers.
Anna and I hadn’t seen each other in over a year and there were so many things I wanted to talk to her about: her son’s restaurant and did she think we could shoot a short movie there … would she teach me how to make duck noodle soup … and why doesn’t she move to Youngstown, Ohio, the town of my birth and the last US city of any size to not have a Thai restaurant in it.
Let the record also show: I love crepes, and these ones were very very very
The rain. That’s all I have to say about sports this week. Jesus H. Christ is in a mother fucking raft, as my mother always proclaimed He would be. And even He is standing in line for Tartine. Or floating. I know what you’re thinking: He doesn’t need the raft, for He can walk on water, but even our Lord and savior likes a good sit-down now and again (see the Book of Mark, 16:19. Also, the Book of Eames, 12:34).
Neverminding the weather, I’m sick of the line at Tartine. I never go in because I refuse to stand in it. I stood in it once. (Once!)
And not for the stupid goddamn morning rolls (which have too much orange zest in them), but for a sandwich. This was back when I ate things like sandwiches, so you know; it was awhile ago.
Anyway, Chicken Farmer had introduced me to the Tartine pastrami sandwich without making me stand in that god-awful line and I wanted to repay the favor by going and getting them the next time. So I “queued up” (as they would say on Downton Abbey) and 30 minutes later, it was finally my turn to exchange money for goods. But the peopleperson behind the counter cut me off, mid-order, to inform me that they don’t take sandwich orders until 11:30.
It was 11:17.
It was a Five Easy Pieces moment if ever I’ve had one, and I’m all for making a scene, but the 30 minutes of anticipation and herd-member-like treatment backfired and the rage shut down my brain. We got takeout from Pakwan instead.
So when I say “I’m sick of the line at Tartine” (like I just did, up there somewhere), what I mean is, “I’m sick of looking at the line at Tartine.”
We have big windows. And a lovely window seat. Overlooking the line at Tartine.
On Christmas day, after we blew the candles out on the pot roast and dished up the traditional Brussels sprouts, our rag-tag group of holiday orphans were entertained for hours by the comings and nose-pressings and then forlorn goings of a steady stream of Tartinian acolytes. Behold: even Thine Holier Than Thou Bakery is closed on this day.
But the day after, it was busy-ness, as usual. Can you see us in the windows, looking down judgmentically at you from our ellipticating albatross?
Well, enough about what’s-their-faces. We got a Christmas tree! And it nearly caused us to divorce before we could even marry. But that’s neither eats nor sports, so…
R.A. Dickey is now a Toronto Blue Jay.
CHEAP EATS CONTINUED
Wait a minute! I like Tartine, and — being a people peopleperson, love looking at the line. Though I agree their morning buns are overrated.