A few years ago, Grillfire gave me cotton candy. Grillfire is a George Martin restaurant. I don’t know much about George Martin, but I do know that he’s got good ideas because cotton candy makes people happy. George Martin has several restaurants with different names, and I decided that the one with the steak was perfect for Eddie’s birthday. I made reservations through Open Table and then on the night of, we headed over to Rockville Centre.
On the drive, I handed my phone over to Eddie and was like, Hey, um, look up George Martin The Original because I don’t know the address. I knew it was in RVC and then realized that knowing the town wasn’t really knowing where exactly it was. We swerved around in the rain for a bit until finally realizing we’d passed it. Score for us–we found parking right on the block.
Out of the car, into the rain, we came right up to the place and I was like, Omigod, this was Grillfire. It had now become a different George Martin restaurant. There was no sign of cotton candy. I didn’t know if it would appear. Maybe George Martin used to have good ideas.
I gave the hostess my name and she didn’t have our reservation. I had changed the time so maybe it got lost somehow. She went to seat us and then mentioned she could call over to the other restaurant to make sure we didn’t get a no-show if our reservation was for there.
Say what? What other restaurant?
Oh, okay, so there’s another restaurant called George Martin The Original that’s two blocks down on the same street in the same town. We were in George Martin Club Steak, which serves steak and other meats but is not the steakhouse George Martin The Original.
Hey, George Martin. Bad idea, sir. Very bad idea.
I’m guessing this happens all the time because the hostess quickly gave us directions on how to walk to the other restaurant as if she gives them all the time. Out into the rain we went, puddles seeping into my suede boots, Eddie clutching me, practically carrying me across the highway and down the streets.
We made it! We walked in! I gave the hostess my name.
She didn’t have a reservation. She asked, Are you sure you’re not supposed to be down the street at…?
I didn’t let her finish. Dripping wet, I was like, Nope, they just told us to come here.
She looked again for me because she didn’t want me to lose my points. Apparently, open table gives you points. I didn’t know I had points, and then I wondered where my points were from the last time I’d used it. I like free stuff. I want these points.
She indulged me by looking at the original time for the reservation and couldn’t find it. Then I thought a moment. Hey, can you try Rau instead? And there it was. Ah, the drawbacks of having two names.
The rainy walk didn’t damper our spirits, especially since we felt like we were in some sort of 20s gangster speakeasy. I don’t know if that’s what they’re going for, but it should be. We ordered quickly, and Eddie suggested I get wine because it’s a special occasion. I ordered one of the two wines of the day and it was a red wine, which I don’t drink, but I drank it because it was also eleven dollars. The wines I drink at home usually are eleven dollars a bottle, so I was being all fancy. And drunk. After two sips, I was reeling.
His steak was good. My shrimp was delicious. Like so very delicious. We also ate bread. Mmm, bread. And the bread had three spreads. Mmm, spreads. Breads and spreads equate to heaven. Yep, we fancy.
We ordered dessert because it was his birthday even though he didn’t like the desserts on the menu and he’d planned to go to my parents’ house so they could give him brownies. His birthday, his rules. I got a flourless chocolate something or other, and because I’d written on the reservation that it was my husband’s birthday, they’d put a candle in it.
George Martin, you’ve redeemed yourself, sir.
The server also put down a plate of lemon squares and was like, This is also for your birthday. Enjoy!
George Martin, I Heart You.
Even though he wasn’t eating it, Eddie pulled the cake towards him to blow out the candle. And he did. And he sat there, unaware of the world around him. And I was like, Umm, you wanna take a look at what you just did? And he was like, What? And I was like, Do you not notice all the powdered sugar now all over the table and all over your suit?
Because he thinks one candle necessitates gale-force winds, he’d blown out the candle and also blown the sugar all over the place. The two of us wiped down the table and his jacket through practical tears, and I finished off my wine and ate half the cake and a square.
Back to the car in the rain and then off to my parents’ house for his dessert. And for some Fun With Saints. Because I had a wine-buzz going, and because a peregrine is a falcon, I figured St. Peregrine could fly. See?
Fast forward a week: to finish up the birthday celebration, I take Eddie bowling with a few of his friends. He has a request: Bake me a yellow cake with chocolate icing.
I’ve baked cakes before with him. I’ve never baked a cake on my own. Sure, I was using a box, but still, it’s not unintimidating. I followed the instructions except since I didn’t have vegetable oil, I used grapeseed oil. As I was mixing it, I was pretty sure the consistency wasn’t exactly what it should be.
After 23 minutes, the minimum bake time, I opened the oven. The top was baked over, but the cake was jiggling like Jell-O. I kept saying over and again, This is so wrooong. I put it in for five more minutes. Clean toothpick. Took it out. Let it cool. Prayed over it. Let it cool more. Iced it. Covered it. Prayed some more.
Later on, we ate it. And it was good. It wasn’t cotton candy, but it was really good.