About Time and An Evening at the Met

Shiloh_Kissing_AJSaturday was a doozie. A mixed bag, if you will. On one hand, it marked a highly anticipated celebration for Pa Hensel’s Halloween Birthday. On the other, it was the day that the Hensel family’s beloved pup Shiloh passed away. AJ’s going to miss this girl’s kisses. Being shy like him, she would often nonchalantly climb up and steal a smooch (just like her big bro). 

Needless to say, the original lunch-out plans needed revision. So we opted for heart-healing (and artery clogging) Chinese Food, continued with a little more family time, and took in a movie. Together with sister Paige, we went to the Showcase Cinema de Lux Legacy Place to see the new British rom-com About Time.

We needed uplifting. In that sense, the movie delivered. All the adorable exchanges between Domhnall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams made up for a few glaring plot holes. The ultimate idea that being present enhances our quality of life added clarity to our most recent loss. And we can attest, every one of us at some point got misty eyed during the movie. Especially during that utterly charming and sappy wedding scene. Ugh, gorgeous.

It was with a new presence of mind that we later took a moonlit stroll around Legacy Place. Our choice of dining opportunities was hindered by the throng of people out and about on what could be one of the year’s last clear fall evenings, but we settled on The Met Bar & Grill. This is one of six locations of the chain and unfortunately served up a less than impressive performance.

METB&G_02-full_ourtable

This is a photo of our booth. Thank you, metbarandgrill.com.

There are a couple of things we observed about this location.

First, the space isn’t well conceived and was very loud with a capacity crowd. Deafening, even. Our waitress seemed far too timid for the noisy space. As a result, we found ourselves answering questions that we imagined she asked based on her body language and the few words that we could read off of her ventriloquist lips.

Second, the booth we were seated in made conversation very difficult. There’s something in AJ’s nature that really wants the 2×2 at a rectangle table or 1x1x1x1 around a square table. The other thing that was weird about this booth is that the bench to table-edge position was uncomfortable.

While the setting was initially jarring, we were hellbent on enjoying ourselves. So we observed, invented stories about the other restaurant patrons, and tried to choose from the impressive sandwich menu.

This is what we ordered: (Note: You can see from the photos below that the kitchen works hard to provide a delicious complexity that is a signature of this chain. It was our server and the layout that downgraded the experience for us.)

  • GUACAMOLE (Fork Smashed Avocado / Pico de Gallo / Made to Order Corn Chips $13)
  • DALLAS – THE COWBOY (Blue Cheese / Onion Rings / Bacon / Bar-B-Que Sauce $13)
  • PARIS (Brie / Fried Egg / Caramelized Onion / Truffle Mayo $13)
  • THE RUBENESQUE “RACHEL” (1/2 pound Corned Beef / Swiss / Cole Slaw / Russian Dressing / Marble Rye $16)

Spencer pointed out that his fries were on the room temperature side, but his sunny side burger added a Parisian Flair to his meal that had him thinking “Oui! Let’s go to the Natick location, when we’re at the mall!”

This was the culinary display at our table:

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2013-11-02 21.36.45 2013-11-02 21.20.15

We agreed that it may not have been our most spectacular dining experience, but it capped a tumultuous day we won’t soon forget. What mattered this weekend wasn’t where we were or what we were doing, it was that we could be together for it.

This fall has been rife with change. We’re all growing up. Our lives are getting closer to being what we want them to be (especially for Spencer and his sis). So now, more than ever, we appreciate the little time we spend together at the dinner table, in a movie theater, or just under the same roof.

Hard as it is sometimes, It pays to be reminded.

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