West Pod Assemble

Of all the many bogus and silly organizations and groups I have made up and been a part of, West Pod was one of them. (You thought I was going to say “my favorite” or “the best” but I’m not stupid enough to go there).

Like all great supergroups, West Pod broke up due to rampaging egos and irreconcilable differences. But mostly because EBecks moved to New York City.

EBecks and his lovely wife Luisa came back to town for a few days and he contacted me with plans to hook up with as many of his St. Louis pals as possible on Saturday night. I immediately contacted Cales because (a) opportunities for a West Pod reunion don’t come along that often, and (b) I needed there to be someone else at the get together that I would know besides the hosts. I also dragged Stevie along because I can’t seem to do anything anymore without her.

The plan was to meet at 8:30 p.m. at Frazer’s Restaurant and Lounge in Soulard. 8:30? I’m getting ready for bed at 9. Crazy New Yorkers, think the world runs on their schedule.

Frazer’s? Never heard of it. I check their website. The food is a bit too fru-fru and expensive for my tastes. No problem, we’re not meeting until 8:30, plenty of time to eat beforehand. We’ll just have some drinks and an appetizer or two. I check the appetizer menu: French Triple Brie Plate, Oysters Frazer, Mushroom Strudel, Chorizo Stuffed Dates, Zucchini Rolls…

Dear God, what is this place? No onion rings? No fried cheese? No toasted ravioli? Well, at least there’s a cheese tray. You can’t screw up cheese and crackers, right?

At 7 p.m. I eat some leftover chili and by 7:45 we’re on the road. We pick up Stevie and head downtown. For some reason I’m driving even though I’m the only one (besides The Son, who can’t drive) who doesn’t know where we’re going and who hates driving downtown. After being told to change lanes a half-dozen times, we make it to Frazer’s.

I pull into the parking lot but it turns out it’s not for Frazer’s. We have to park on the street. Parallel park, most likely. Reason #236 of things I hate about St. Louis. Why do you hate parking lots, St. Louis? This is why people fled the city. It wasn’t the lousy schools or the high crime rate — it’s the fact that you can’t park your car anywhere.

We eventually find a decent spot and make our way inside. EBecks is holding court in the lounge area. They have nice chairs and there’s room for everyone and we had a good time chatting and catching up. Stevie enjoyed her choice of wine and I enjoyed my cheese and crackers.


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