The XX Annual (I don’t remember when we started) Executive Committee Holiday Dinner took place Friday night. It almost didn’t.
We began the preparations like we always do, by finding out when Fagan will be in town and what day he can fit us into his busy schedule. He declared Dec. 27 would work, so we held a meeting and announced the date.
MELBD: That’s my brother’s bday. Keep me posted if you guys decide to pick a different day.
Sigh. It’s always someone. Personally I think Mel is avoiding me so she won’t have to give back my copy of “Watchmen” that she borrowed for her philosophy class (I don’t understand it either). Still, only one confirmed no-show is exceptionally good for this group.
As usual Yellow was in charge of picking the venue. That proved to be a mistake. You see, Yellow’s been working for a food magazine for a while now and she’s been tainted by food magazines’ love of the…let’s say “unusual.” It’s like how film critics don’t like movies that normal people like and vice versa.
Her first suggestion: Planter’s House in downtown St. Louis. Primarily a drinking establishment, the menu featured items like Duck Burger, Lamb Loin and Poutine. Her second choice: Element, also downtown. Items on its dinner menu: Pork Belly, Foie Gras, Bone Marrow and Beet Pasta.
MOD: Have you looked at the dinner menu at this place, Yellow? Do we really strike you as the foie gras, beefcheek and goat loin crowd?
MELBD: I’m going to back Sir on this one. Look at Yellow trying to class us up.
TRENT: Ten bucks we end up on Main Street.
By noon Friday we still had not decided where we were going. By noon Friday Yellow had also informed us that she wasn’t feeling well and would not be able to attend. By noon Friday Melfy had checked in to say she couldn’t make dinner but maybe drinks later. By noon Friday I had also concluded that the five committee members who had not responded to anything all this time probably weren’t going to show up either.
By 3 p.m. Friday I figured we might as well pull the plug on the whole thing when Fagan finally stops catching trout long enough to chime in.
FAGAN: What about something simple, like Big A’s on main street at 8? or somewhere else i can get toasted ravioli.
Ah, Big A’s on Main Street in St. Charles. Home of hamburgers, waffle fries, wraps, chicken sandwiches, toasted ravioli and large televisions where you can watch sports.
I arrived at Big A’s a little after 8 and Fagan had already grabbed a table. Trent arrived shortly thereafter. We didn’t wait for anyone else. Trent and I had the buffalo chicken wrap with fries, Fagan had the toasted ravioli and a chicken sandwich. No one had the foie gras. Which is a good thing since foie gras isn’t on the menu at Big A’s.
We had a good meal and got caught up on each other’s lives and Fagan explained the college bowl system to me and then he pulled out a magic trick that he learned in college and had kept hidden from us all these years.
It involved two forks, two toothpicks and a pepper shaker, although I think a salt shaker would do. It amazed everyone in the restaurant. People took pictures.
By 9:30 we had had our fill and said all there was to say and went our separate ways. I’m glad I didn’t cancel the event. It’s not the quantity of friends that matter, but the quality.
And somebody owes Trent 10 bucks.