In fact I despise that word. Be a food enthusiast. Have a passion for food. Make food a hobby. But please God don't be a food snob.
I love a wonderfully prepared steak tartar, a really good red wine or a cheesecake you would eat off the floor like Rachel and Chandler (are they still relevant? I know she is right? That gurl got looks).
But I also know that only McDonald's can make a Big Mac that will make my jaw unhinge, toes curl and eyes roll back in my head all at once. I know Little Debbie is the only woman to ever make me orgasm (mentally of course - I am not giving up my gold star status). And I know that when push comes to shove even the fanciest of fancy pants of a wine drinker doesn't give two shits about where that wine came from after the 5th glass. You know if Mr. Carson were around today he'd be squeezing some Franzia into a decanter and letting that sweetness breathe before Lady Mary finds another cousin to bang.
Don't be a food snob. But promise me you will take risks. Promise me that you will put down the Scharffen Berger chocolate and Linda Lovelace that Swiss Cake Roll. Promise me that you will take the advice of someone else and try a new restaurant. Promise me that you will put the damn seat down on the toilet. Oh wait this isn't about past relationships is it?
A few months back Lawyer suggested we meet for breakfast at some tiny joint that sits between her hood and mine. She said Cuban food. I had no idea what that would entail but I said "YES!". And the following Saturday we stood in the three car parking lot on the corner of 38th S and Grand in Minneapolis waiting for our patio table to open up at Victor's 1959 Cafe.
Squeezing into a two top next to some young hipsters who I kid you not spent about 10 minutes taking selfies before actually talking to each other, Lawyer and I settled in.
I started my meal with a cafe con leche (screw Starbucks this liquid shit is worth its weight in gold). Followed by a risky order of Cuban Hash. Thinking I was going to get some version of the Perkin's Tremendous Twelve I instead received a wonder mix of seasoned ground beef in a creole sauce with green onions, potatoes, olives, capers, 2 eggs and the best friggin' toast I have ever had! I mean the whole damn plate was amazing but the toast had me at "hello Benjamin - I am here to make your dreams come true". If toast could talk it would totally say that. Needless to say I woofed that down. And maybe took Lawyer's last piece of Cuban Toast to mop up my plate. I resorted to being five and wanted to please the waitstaff with my clean plate club status.
Weeks have now gone by. I have slowed my roll on my 10-speed as I commuted around town just to longingly look in the eyes of Victor 1959 Cafe. It teased me with every ride by. The bread calling out my name. Remember Deal-A-Meal with Richard Simmons? And those damn Carb Cards. I'd need a dozen just to get through the day. Anyway, time has passed and in order for me to get a good look at a restaurant I need to go a couple more times.
Yesterday was my couple more times. I again found myself loitering in the three car parking lot (park on the street suburbanites...test your parallel parking skills). This time joining me would be Betsy Wetsy and our new friend Allentown (think Billy Joel...there you have it. Now enjoy that song in your head the rest of the day). They have never been to Cuba. So I thought this would be close enough.
However this time we had eating challenges. Betsy Wetsy is vegetarian and Allentown is gluten free. Thrown in my dislike of shell fish and you have the worst table to deal with ever.
Our experience was made even more special by the fourth guest (and server of the year, Jen). At first I was put off by her request of my ID. You see the gray in my beard should be a sufficient age indicator. But I play games...mind games. Jen would get her just desserts.
Once the highly suggested Guanabana Mimosa's were delivered and half gone we Jeopardy'd Jen and found three meals to settle with. Starting with the mango pancake to share (sorry Allentown) we took down our second mimosa's. After some very enjoyable Regis and Kelly like banter with Jen The Waitress (P.S. there was a group discussion between our table and the waitstaff about what they preferred to be called - one of them actually said servant...no joke) she convinced me that I should venture away from the Cuban Hash and go for no whammies on the Basque Scrambler. Scrambled eggs covered in a creole stew with chorizo, ham, onions, garlic and bell peppers.
AND A BIG OL' SIDE OF CUBAN TOAST!
Betsy Wetsy went classic with the Spanish Omelet and Allentown went all Havana Night's on us and got the Cuban Hash just to rub it in.
Thin ice Allentown. Thin ice.
So while we gorged on probably the best breakfast I have had in Minneapolis in a very long time we also discussed the dirty things we would do with the gentlemen who was dressed like a Belarus Gymnast and whose ass was probably being put to use in the kitchen as the nut cracker. Wait that conversation might have been in my head.
I do know we covered sex, dirty bits, rabies shots (there's like 12 in the series), the need for multiple beverages at all restaurants (hey M'randa!), our dependency on HBO and Netflix and most importantly the use of "purse" instead of "handbag". Stop saying "purse" ladies. It's like moist panties. Nobody likes to hear it.
Moist. Panties. I told you.
After a little dance and some more banter from our new best friend Jen (I hope she finds me on Facebook) we decided to let her turn the table. The parking lot was filling up with the lunchtime crowd and it was getting hotter than the gates of Hell outside. We all needed to retreat back to our abodes to catch whatever Saturday afternoon movie/nap caught our attention.
Overall review - give the place a try. Highly recommend it. And if you make it too popular and they open up a Victor's 1959 Cafe in a mall I will hunt you down. A neighborhood gem this is.