dimanche 17 février 2008

"Viande et Potatoes!": Keisha's Birthday

Great dinner last night! It was Keisha's birthday and her French-Italian boyfriend Adriano planned a huge dinner up the street from my place at La Brouette (the wheelbarrow). I met and bisoued 14 of Adriano's friends who were super nice and friendly. His guy friends were hilarious. They'd come up to me and Lucia and say, "Four bisous!" like it was a demand and we bisoused 4 times, twice on each cheek.

We started with an aperitif. I got a kir pèche (white wine and peach liquor, I think) and Lucia got the cocktail maison which was really good. I think it had Malibu rum in it.

Mostly everyone ordered 3 Viandes, which is the specialty there. Three different types of meat (chicken, rumsteak, and lamb) to cook for yourself on a hot stone. The meat came with fries, salad, and a baked potato. The meat and fries were all you can eat. I've never seen so much food in my entire time here! Not even two minutes had passed after Adriano's guys friends got their plates of food, and they were already asking for more fries. I looked to Greg at my right, and his fries were gone. He'd call out to Stef (who was the loudest, funniest guy there) down the table, "Stef, demandez potatoes!" (Ask for fries!) And Stef would call out, "Ho, Chef! Viande et Potatoes!" Hilarious. It reminded me of my brother and my guy friends whenever we're at a buffet place always pigging out.

Lucia and I got the fixed menu. She started with escargots and then had steak au poivre. I was feeling a bit daring and got a pâté with salmon. It's like a sliced loaf of pastry with salmon in the middle. That was alright. Then I got salmon that was baked in foil, rice, green beans, and a baked potato. SO GOOD!

During dinner, a guy playing guitar came in and serenaded us, but the guys were quietly making fun of him. He asked the birthday girl where she was from and Keisha said The United States, and the singer replied, "Personne n'est parfaite." (Nobody's perfect.) Then a magician came in and did some tricks.
Adriano and Stef kept ordering more wine and viande and potatoes, and everyone was content eating and laughing. Stef, all the way down at the other table, would ask if we were okay, and Adriano kept pushing me and Lucia to eat some meat. The guys would fight over whose piece of meat that was already cooked and then just split it in half. Someone would ask for salt and whoever had it would use it first before passing it down. When the waiter brought out more plates of meat and potatoes at the same time, all the guys would go, "WWWWHHHOOOAAAA!" There's something about French guys going "wwwhhoooaaa!" in unison that gets me every time. I love it. To the left are Stef (in pink shirt) and another guy fighting over a plate of raw meat.

Afterwards, when everyone was stuffed, Keisha opened her presents. Then they turned out the lights and brought out the cake. We sang in French and English, it was hilarious. The guys did "whoa" again.

A really great time. Stef, who spoke good English and had studied in Oakland, bought Lucia, Keisha, Laura (another Micefa girl) and I roses when this guy selling roses came into the restaurant. When he left early, he said, "C'est pas le dernier", meaning, "This isn't the last (time)" and he bisoued us. Outside, we all bisoued again and made a loud ruckus, and the guys started shouting that bass line to the White Stripes song, the anthem of the young French everywhere. A lovely night.