On a Sunday evening in New York I enjoyed a lovely dinner at the Union Square Café with my friend Jessica. I was happy with my pappardelle until two thirds of the way through my meal, at the next table, a waitperson placed in front of a trim young woman with exotic wavy black hair, a two-inch thick veal chop.
The woman sliced into her dinner
[media-credit name=”T” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]to reveal pink meat that, even at a distance, I could tell was tender, tell it had just the right amount of wiggle to be oh so juicy. Ever since, this image has been emblazoned on my brain. As bad luck would have it, the chop was not a regular menu item, but a Sunday special. As good luck would have it, I would be in New York until the following Sunday night.
I rarely order veal, because one of my daughters has trained me not to eat the flesh of baby animals. But for four days, I thought about that veal chop. Finally I decided that if I didn’t have it, I would be doomed to a lifetime of chasing chops. Every time I would see “veal chop” on a menu, I would feel compelled to order it and likely be in for a letdown, because I doubt there are any veal chops quite like this one.
I phoned the restaurant on Thursday to ask what time they begin serving dinner on Sunday and whether I could get a veal chop to go. The hostess replied warmly but firmly “I’m sorry, we don’t do takeout.”
As I write this, it is that Sunday. I am in Union Square, which I will leave in an hour to order my veal at the Union Square Café. I plan to take a few bites and then ask for a doggie bag. All week I have been wondering whether it would be possible—when I take that first bite—to be disappointed, in a classic case of judging a book by it’s cover (or a chop but it’s inside).
In the next hour, I need to decide whether to ask them to hold the salt. Whenever I remember I ask for no added salt but once at a really decent restaurant I ordered a completely unseasoned steak and it was really bad.
I’ll be back when I have more to report . . .
So, here’s what happened. I was in New York taking care of my daughter Eliza’s dog. Her flight was due in at 4:45 and she would have to go through immigration and customs and then get a taxi back into the city. I figured I had until, at the very least, 6:15 to get my chop, return my ex’s bike that I’d borrowed for the week, and get to her apartment to greet her and spend an hour eating my chop before heading to Penn Station to catch my 8 p.m. train back to D.C.
Well, her flight landed early, and I never got my chop. Time passed. I returned to New York, this time until Monday. I could get my chop!
But the previous week I was in Connecticut and had had the most amazing lobster roll. So now in New York, what I was really craving was a lobster roll, just like the one in Connecticut.
What are you craving these days?
See some of my Life Goes Strong posts: