Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The very last Pot au feu 

After many unpleasant surprises, this time the bank balance cheered me up. The Bank Mediator had done his job and my own bank had reimbursed the unfair commissions. A nice amount had dropped into my account. This kind of thing doesn’t happen every day. We decided to celebrate this and go to a restaurant. We haven’t been dining out for a long time now and Laura was exited. We headed to a small restaurant not far from home, famous of their pot au feu. We had passed many times by the window and looked at the happy customers inside. We have glanced at the menu dreaming to go there one day. We sat by the window, happy to now be those lucky ones inside. We had just taken a sip of our aperitifs when we heard an angry man’s voice from the kitchen followed by woman’s plaintive voice. We thought an unhappy love affair was taking place in the kitchen. 
   Small Parisian restaurants are often run by a couple; a husband cooking and the wife serving tables. After a while we saw our waitress running down the street. A few minutes later we saw her heading to the kitchen’s back door with salad leaves in her hands. We hoped that the marital problems wouldn’t spoil the cooking.

Some other clients had just sat down, when a man in a black suit, carrying an attaché case entered the restaurant. He was followed by two gorillas. They headed directly to the kitchen, and we heard violent shouting and arguing. When our waitress came out from the kitchen she had fallen mascara all over her cheeks. She said pot au feu was on its way but the oven had just broken and they couldn’t make the day’s entrée which was hot croutons de chèvre. With a smile she proposed salad instead and poured me one more Kir for free. Even Laura got another orange juice. The baguette à l’ancienne was freshly baked and Laura couldn’t help taking a fourth piece of bread. I advised her to leave some place for the salad and main course. When I glanced out the window, my eyes caught the two gorillas. They carried something metallic and heavy to a van parked on the other side of the street. I realized it was an oven. So far so good. Pot a feu is cooked on a stove, so no oven was needed. It would be ready before the bailiff came back, in case he would like to take the oven as well.

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