Joe and I spent our New Year's Eve in Galena, Illinois. It was my birthday and Christmas present to him. He's a fan of small town charm. I'm a fan of him. Generally, it was nice! Sadly, our New Year's celebration were an utter failure. Of course, because it's me, and God forbid I let something go awkwardless for a day.
We started the night at the Galena Brewing Company. It seemed perfect: microbrews and a Beatles cover band called the Wheatles? WHERE DO I SIGN.
We told the waitress we'd wait a bit before ordering, and she took off to serve people on her harried, busy night of 20 people. At 10:10 we finally asked to order. She told us the kitchen had closed 10 minutes ago. At first, I was convinced it was our fault for not asking, or paying attention, or waiting so long to eat. But the more I consider it, the more I wish I had stood up, flipped the table over and breathed fire into that waitress' eyes. POSSIBLY an overreaction, but still. I wanted that fricken flatbread. It had caramelized onions, y'all.
So we left, out onto the streets of a tiny town after 10pm, looking for dinner. Shyeah. Likely. Besides the Sushi place (raw fish at 10pm in northwestern Illinois? Hand me some chopsticks, would ya?), we found one restaurant. It's name? Fried Green Tomatoes. "Oh," you may say, "that sounds like a fun late night diner."
Fried Green Tomatoes was the fancy Italian restaurant in town. Because the name has such a classy ring to it, I suppose. I had already passed it by, assuming it was a overpriced, mediocre Italian food. Oh, was I wrong.
It was overpriced, TERRIBLE Italian food. First of all, people, you do not give me a soft loaf of bread covered in butter, hand me a dull butter knife to cut it, and then wish me godspeed. Oh, but I appreciate that you poured the flavorless olive oil for me. That was most instructive, as I have never poured oil before.
After that, I was served undercooked potatoes and Joe got overcooked pasta. But he was determined that we have a good time and appreciate that someone was open and willing to serve us food. I tried to cover my scowl with a smile, which sadly came across as an "I told you so" smile with just a TOUCH of the crazies. Finally, and because we both wanted to end on a high note, we ordered the creme brulee. "You can't mess up creme brulee!" we both agreed. Yeah...I wasn't aware that you could separate yolk from cream after you'd mixed them, but I now know it is quite possible.
So we paid our bill and went back to The Wheatles just in time for them to realize the TV wasn't counting down for the central time zone and it was 12:01. So "Paul" played Auld Lang Syne as "Ringo" counted down arbitrarily from 10. We fished out our party poppers for the occasion (neither of them popped) and we kissed heartily, ringing in the New Year.
So what I'm trying to say is: Happy 2011 everyone!
May your year be more successful than our night.