Diva1, famished, on her way home, stopped in for a quick dinner at the friendly-looking restaurant-diner, La Parisienne on 7th Avenue not far from Central Park.
It did seem like a good idea at first: Diva1 was quickly shown to the one booth not yet occupied, handed the menu, asked if she'd like something to drink (yes, please, a black coffee) while a glass of iced water was placed before her. So attentive. So efficient. And Diva1 does like a place lively with folks eating & schmoozing.
There were plenty of burgers on offer, which were tempting, but Diva1 has been watching her scale march relentlessly upward this past year, so when she spotted a grilled chicken special on the menu, that's what she ordered.
Waiter: The sandwich?
Diva1: Oh. The grilled chicken special. If that's a sandwich, I guess so.
Waiter: Raises eyebrows, gives withering look to Diva, scratches on his pad. Will that be all?
Diva1: Hm. It comes with french fries?
Waiter: French fries.
Diva1: That's all then.
Reader, it was a sandwich, of the open variety, a hunk of grilled chicken lying unadorned atop a toasted burger bun. French fries, a slice of tomato and a lettuce leaf shared the plate.
Waiter: Would you like some cole slaw or pickles?
Diva1: Pickles would be great, thanks!
And so arrived a small plate bearing two nondescript limp pickle wedges.
The first disappointment was the french fries: pale, mealy, no crispy goodness whatsoever. Still, the Diva was hungry, and they were not, after all, inedible. She did not eat the sandwich as a sandwich, opting instead to eat the chicken by itself and treat the bun as a side of bread. The chicken wasn't horrible, but was on the dry side, and not quite flavorless, but almost. The tomato slice was large and juiceless, the lettuce leaf crisp and delicious. In fact, that lettuce leaf and the toasted bun were the best things about this meal.
After all that, Diva1 was going to forego any thought of dessert, but on the other hand she thought ... well, she's unsure just what she was thinking ... she ordered apple pie. Which arrived cold. And, like the tomato, juiceless.
La Parisienne. Diva1 has never been to Paris, but she imagines that no Parisian would want to be associated with such a meal. Sighing deeply, she left a now empty restaurant (no, it was not closing time), belly full but heart heavy: it had seemed so promising. Alas.