I woke up and had one of those perfect Bed Stuy mornings. It was muggy with light rain outside, and my drafty ass window is definitely leaking cold air. I rise from my bed with a burning conviction to take myself to brunch. I talk big shit about supporting local, people-of-color-owned businesses in my neighborhood, so I know exactly where I’m going. Some days, spending money to soothe my gentrifier guilt works, but today wasn’t going to be one of those days.
I’m too nice to the waiter because I keep imagining my beloved roommate Allison as the waiter’s proxy. I let multiple mistakes slide because I’m a regular at this restaurant, which is owned by a Japanese couple, who run the restaurant while their adorable baby is strapped onto their bodies via Baby Bjorn. I’m too nice to the shitty waiter because I love a peripheral baby in this restaurant… Dude, what is wrong with me?
Either way, I’m drunk from that very distinct endorphin rush that’s a byproduct of creating the exact work you’ve always dreamt of making — a Sex and the City fan fic, coming to an instagram page near you in Q2 2019 — in a cozy, familiar space, with 1930’s jazz swelling in the background. A creative transplant’s paradise.
I’m bursting with so much writing joy that I decide to order myself a fondant chocolat. I always deserve a molten chocolate cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but why not combine that sensory pleasure with the intellectual pleasure of having an entire Sunday afternoon to write down my deepest Carrie Bradshaw-related thoughts?
Yes, terrible waiter. Please bring on the fondant chocolat.
When the cake arrived, that shit was cold and goopy, and there was no ice cream in sight. I almost dwelled on the terrible experience of the service, but the berries on the plate looked sOoOoOoooOOooo good. Sometimes a blueberry is so fucking juicy, acidic, sweet, and straight-up mouth wateringly delicious that it snaps you into back a good mood.
I then learned that eating strawberries in uniform slices in the same way you would eat Pringles is ~~~the only~~~ way to ever eat strawberries ever again. I pictured the bursts of green-tipped white strawberry flesh smooshing tangy juice all over my tongue while the little seeds dodged themselves between my teeth.
I wanted to send the goddamn cake back, but I couldn’t wait to taste the chocolate. Every corner of my mouth sang with mild chocolatey goodness as I brought that goddamn Anthropologie spoon to my mouth. There’s a level of restraint in the use of sugar that coats a complex crust of chocolate around your tongue that melts in cascading layers of bitterness, tanginess, and sweetness. The chefs might not have operated their microwave to bring me a molten cake, but still, they really did that shit!!! I thought of the kitchen staff as fondly as Anne Burell thinks of her cohort in The Worst Cooks in America for bringing me that non-molten molten cake. My cheeks are sore from smiling.
The shitty waiter waited until I was about halfway through the alleged fondant chocolat to bring the vanilla ice cream. And even THAT was truly bangin’! The little black specks of vanilla bean emitted this Casper the Friendly Ghost figure that rose up from the scoop, cupped my face, and whispered, “You’ll never go back to extract ever again, boo.”
I treated this dining experience as a data collection of sorts to see how much sensory pleasure I can still enjoy while being blatantly disrespected. The results of the are in, and boy are they surprising: my taste buds orgasmed regardless of the timeliness and correctness of the dessert’s execution.
Sometimes your desire to support a locally-owned business and your attachment to its nice Japanese owners make you deliriously loyal. Sometimes you’re just so content with the simple pleasure of being indoors in the rain, eating fresh berries and chocolate, in a hotbed of creative fulfillment that you quite literally can’t complain.