Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Livin' High

People outside my neighborhood in inner southwest Fort Worth may not understand this, but I was eating high on the hog today. I had breakfast at the Old Neighborhood Grill at the monthly get-together of the Book Ladies and lunch at Carshon's with an author who's become a friend.
The Book Ladies is a group of women who are interested in books, most of whom but not all had careers dealing with books. We have retired librarians, a couple of authors, a lot of readers. Some days there are three women; some days twelve or more. We have always said the group is open to men, but few have been brave enough. One husband sometimes comes and buries himself in a newspaper.
The Grill serves the most sumptuous breakfasts ever, from steak and eggs to breakfast tortillas, wonderful hash browns (if you remember to ask for them crisp). and terrific biscuits. I try to be modest--one egg over easy and one piece of wheat toast, with one pat of butter. Every once in a while I splurge on hash browns, but then I'm so full I kick myself.
The Grill is also home to my signing parties. Next one will be there on Saturday, February 1, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. because that's when owner Peter Schroeder says his readers come in. It's worked well for me before. That weekend most of my children and grandchildren will be in town, and I know they'll wander in for breakfast. To catch the non-breakfast folk, I'll have another signing Feb. 3, Monday, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Folks can choose to have a glass of wine and socialize or stay for supper--it's always good.
For lunch, I met author Chloe Webb (Legacy of the Sacred Harp) at Carshon's, the only real Jewish deli in Fort Worth as far as I know. Chloe and I love the egg salad sandwiches, but I had just fixed myself one the other day, so I decided to have half a tongue sandwich (my love of tongue is probably another story in itself). My favorite waitress wrinkled her nose and shook her head--in other words, don't order the tongue tooday. So I had a bowl of potato soup which is always wonderful. At Carshon's soup, pies, chicken and tuna salad, are always made in the restaurant. The chocolate chiffon pies (Wed. and one other day) draw large crowds. I've been eating there for more than forty years, so it's home to me and they know me.
I think my point is you can eat at all the upscale restaurants in Fort Worth or even Dallas and NYC, but you honestly can't beat a neighborhood café with good food. I love to have the waitress at Carshons' say, "You want a pickle with your soup?" because she knows I love their pickles, or the person at the cash register at the Grill look at me in the evening and say, "Meatloaf and green beans?" Yep, that's what I want. There's something wonderful about familiarity.
I heard from friends that the Grill was out of meatloaf tonight. Travesty! So glad I had a conflict with our regular Tuesday night dinner.

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