I mentioned that this would be a “Home Alone” weekend for yours truly, and I held to that by and large.
Friday Night Going Away Happy Hour
No, not for me.
I sometimes wonder why I continue to be a Taco Mac patron because it seems to be a one-sided relationship. They tell me that they don’t want to do the things I ask, and I pay more money for the same things that I can get elsewhere, but I continue to return.
Last Friday a very popular employee had his last Friday with the company, again, not me, so we set up a going away happy hour at Taco Mac. By Thursday it was clear that we were going to have at least twenty people attending.
On Thursday afternoon I hoofed it over to see if I could secure us a corner of the outside patio, away from most of the televisions (I figured many people would be there to watch basketball for some reason). My request was met with a “Well, we don’t do that so you’ll need to show up early and we will see what we can do.” response.
On Friday a trio of us arrived early to warn them of our impending party’s arrival and from the reactions of the people we dealt with you’d think that we had asked them to shut down the establishment entirely for us. I might add at this point that at 4:45pm on a Friday this Taco Mac was virtually a ghost town. “Oh, that’s a big group.” “Well I’m not sure that we can turn the heaters on out there.” “The problem is that each of those tables may have a different server, so I can’t sit you all there.” The bullshit, from at least three different levels of employees, went on and on. Fortunately for Taco Mac one of there better servers arrived for her shift and took control (she knows the boss and me fairly well, and knew that she wouldn’t be getting shafted on tips too, I’m sure). She went out to the patio; she started moving tables together (actually, I hate long tables for large crowds but at that time I wasn’t going to put up any additional hurdles); she started the ball on getting the patio “walls” rolled down to stop the wind and the overhead heaters turned on. She was a pro, and while I only know what I tipped her, I think that she made out well by serving us.
Saturday: Hector Santiago?
As I lay in bed on Saturday reading Twitter I saw that former Top Chef cheftestant was going to do a popup restaurant inside Urban Cannibals on Saturday while they are performing some Spring cleaning. I never made it to Santiago’s restaurant in Poncey-Highland, nor during his stint at the newly-closed Abattoir, but I did accidentally come across one of his popups in Castleberry Hills years ago and liked what I ate then, thus I was excited.
Apparently a lot of other hipsters and wannabe-hipsters were also excited as there was a line fifteen minutes before the popup was to open. When I drove by thirty minutes later there was still a line. I’m no fan of waiting in line for food, especially when it’s around 45°F outside. So I didn’t. Instead I went to Tomatillos where I went inside and sat down immediately and then commenced to fill myself with some chips, salsa, and a brisket burrito. Was my meal Top Chef quality? No, but it was delicious, cheaper, and I didn’t have to wait in line to get it.
One final note about Urban Cannibals — they are expanding. Apparently the owners are going to open a full restaurant near Piedmont Park (by ONE Urban Kitchen) and another bodega where Las Palmeras used to be on 5th Street. I’m happy for the ladies, but as with Holy Taco and Deliah’s Chicken Stand I am a little saddened to share what has helped make East Atlanta a unique destination. What can I say, I’m greedy.
Laying The Foundations Of Change
When I have my mind made up to do something I usually follow through. However, making up my mind can be an incredibly arduous and lengthy task (see also: agonizing over getting plumbing fixed).
On Saturday, after my big lunch, I started the ball rolling on a new project in the house, one that involves moving things (see Jeannie, I can change the way the house looks, just give me eleven years!) some of which may not be moved very easily by a soloist due to their weight and/or size; the furnitures’ weight and/or size, not the soloist’s. We’ll have to see how long this project takes me to finish and how many times I get frustrated with the ITP estate in the process.
Sunday: Kevin Gillespie
What I didn’t mention late Friday afternoon was that I purchased a ticket to former Top Chef cheftestant’s book release party at his restaurant Gunshow in Glenwood Park on Sunday.
The invitation read that there would be food present and drink specials available in addition to having the opportunity to get your book signed by Kevin Gillespie.
Apparently I’m not the only one who wanted in on this action. The party was from 2pm-6pm, and since my book signing block didn’t start until 4pm I saw no reason to get there too early. I arrived a little after 3pm with many people milling about.
As I walked up to the door I just missed out on getting a serving of food from the man walking around with a serving plate. This was to become routine, as servers were sent out with plates of food and were subsequently mobbed as if they were chumming a shark tank. I was pleased to see the drink line was almost non-existent only to find out that I had to buy the drink first, after waiting in a long line, in order to pick up my beer via the shorter line. The “special” price was $5, not exactly “special” in my book. While waiting in the drink-buying line I jumped out to attack a waiter in order to get what was to be my only tasting of the afternoon before jumping back into the drink-buying line.
With one delicious appetizer in my belly and a beer in hand I got into the relatively-short book signing line and waited my turn. It was a good twenty minutes before my book-signing block was to begin but I had been told that if the line was not short that I could enter at any time.
I’m the worst fan ever, or perhaps the best. I never ask to have my photo taken and I really don’t hold much of a conversation with the celebrity involved either. While waiting for Gillespie to sign my book I mentioned that I was there for the Christmas Feast and how much I enjoyed it. He thanked me, signed the book, and like getting soup from the Soup Nazi I dutifully stepped aside.
I hung around alone the restaurant finishing my beer hoping to score another morsel of food all the time watching the happy groups of people around me. When failing twice to get into the fray soon enough to get something off a server’s plate I gave up and went home. I was home by 4:10pm.
Hey Man, Watch This
Tonight I will be attending an Apple Watch “Hackathon” at Big Nerd Ranch‘s headquarters. With fewer than two hours of experience with developing Apple Watch apps under my ever-expanding belt I’m not sure how much contribution I will proved to those hacking the SDK, but I’m willing to find out. Hopefully this will be an opportunity to reintroduce myself to the iOS development world in Atlanta, since I’ve not been able to attend a single iOS Developer Meetup since starting my German courses last September.