I have to begin this entry late at night with the confession that I am drunk. Three sheets to the wind, down under, tippled, sloshed, and inebriated. This is not something I indulged in often, although my youth is rife with imbibery.
My ex-husband, and now best friend, David Lintner, took me out for a belated birthday dinner tonight. We went to the Outback where I started with one of my favorite things, a vodka martini, straight up with two olives. This was my first martini in over a year and I enjoyed it more than I can say. It was superb. I was feeling giggly and relaxed after drinking it to the last drop. In my youth, I always opted for drinks that included food, and I was never one for sugary, sweet drinks, so there was the Martini.
I must interject here and say that David and I were also playing a scrabble game on my I-Pod during the appetizer. I soon discovered that alcohol interferes with my usual excellent, nay, superior skills with that game. OMG, after a Martini and half a glass of wine, I sound like a character from the Renaissance Faire. WTF?
Oh, yes. I also looked on the Internet for whatever happened to Paul Hogan. Not a pretty sight. Why Paul Hogan? The Outback gives you huge knives to play with your food. I was buttering a dainty bit of bread with a knife that looked like it belonged on a Rhino ranch and it reminded me of Crocodile Dundee, who was played by Paul Hogan. How could I resist. As I said, not a pretty sight. Probably better off not knowing.
Anyway, since I am sharing this with my food blog, I will describe the rest of the meal. We started with coconut shrimp appetizer. Excellent. Plump shrimp encrusted with coconut. Fresh flavor and not at all greasy. The dipping sauce was a sort of marmalade. Good, but Red Lobster still holds the prize for best coconut shrimp on the planet because of its Pina Colada sauce.
I ordered the 10 ounce ribeye with mushrooms and blue cheese sprinkles on top. Thanking the powers that I came to my senses and stopped being a vegetarian, I blessed the beast who gave his life so that I could enjoy this meal. I went traditional and had baked potato with the works (on the side) and mixed vegetables.
A word about vegetarianism. I still have a pang of old guilt hanging on about eating part of a creature that probably lived and died in the most horrific of ways. So, blessing the food is a way of easing my conscience. When I was a vegetarian, an activist vegetarian, I noticed that none of the causes I was ranting about affected meat-eaters, ranchers, or the meat industry in the least. Plus, well, never mind. I’ll blog about vegetarianism later. Suffice it to say that I am mostly at peace with my eating habits now.
David ordered the 14 oz ribeye with horseradish sauce, broccoli, and a Caesar salad. BTW. Did you know that the Caesar salad was invented in Tijuana, California? No anchovies in the original. But, I digress.
Food was incredible! Except for the vegetables that were cooked within an inch of disintegration, and unnaturally green for that state of doneness. It’s possible they add baking soda to the water they cook the veggies in. It softens them too much and keeps them bright and green.
Steak was cooked just right, potato likewise, although notably ordinary. They didn’t put the stuff on the side like I asked, but at that point, I didn’t give a flying fig. Mushrooms were perfect, although not as perfect as what I make at home. I slice them, brown them in butter, and add red wine and garlic to the sauce. I had a glass of red Zinfandel that was drinkable, if not exceptional. I am a raging wine snob after all and have wine delivered to me from Reustle Prayer Rock in Oregon. This wine was inoffensive but I wouldn’t buy it.
I won the Scrabble game in spite of my head spinning. Then, sounding decidedly tippled , but in a happy way, I ordered desert—the three sampler plate of cheesecake, something chocolate, one with ice cream, and a carrot cake. I have to say that all three were excellent. Often deserts in restaurants are awful, mostly sweet with no depth of flavor. These were all very good.
So what’s with the title that includes Tail O’ the Pup? On the way to the Outback, we passed a hot dog stand and briefly discussed doing a series on our Fractured Foodies Having Fun Blog about hot dogs. It was then that I remembered all the great hot dogs I’ve had—Pinks, topping the list, then a little stand on Santa Monica Beach, and of course, Tail O’ the Pup in L.A. “I’m going to blog about the pup,” I slurred to David half way through dinner. And so it is.
Once upon a time, in my wicked youth of twenty something, I partied hardy in Santa Monica and Los Angeles. I would often attend after hours, all night parties with musicians, actors, mystics, and various oddballs. It was usually formal attire, long dresses, feathers, jewelry, lots of make-up, heavy false eyelashes, and poofy hair held together like cement with gallons of hair spray.
Sometimes, on my way home in the wee hours of the morning (read early afternoon), I would stop at the Tail O’ the Pup, in my finery and very dark sunglasses, and have a hot dog and Coke for breakfast. What a sight I must have been. If I were a great artist, I would paint my memory of sitting on the counter stool, long shimmery dress dragging onto the ground and my feet securely painful in too high heels.
My hair was probably popping out of it’s piled high prison, and I’m sure I had a false eyelash or two hanging on by sheer willpower. And there I was, munching on a super chili dog with extra onions and a tall Coca Cola only a few hours before I had either a class at the local college or a job to go to.
Tail o’ the Pup is only one of my most fond memories of life in an era of freedom that is unlikely to be seen again in the “civilized” world. I wouldn’t trade my wicked past for anything. I had more fun than anyone. AIDs wasn’t a concern, morality was a personal matter, and drugs flowed freely. By freely, I mean that no one cared whether you imbibed or didn’t. I mostly didn’t, except for a little pot now and then to be sociable. I was a free spirit but not stupid. I liked to dance, laugh, and generally have a good time.
The really interesting thing too, is that I wasn’t really promiscuous, by today’s standards anyway. I knew how to say “no,” and often did. I never thought I wasn’t complete without a man and I knew my power. If I wanted a partner, there were plenty of takers. When I was in a relationship, I was generally faithful but I knew when to move on, and did so, often.
As I may have said before, men, in my life have been like New York Taxi Cabs. If I missed one, another came along in just a little while. Since, I’m no beauty, I’ve never really figured that out, except that I was never afraid of men, nor did I idolize them. I think men are just like everyone else. If you treat them with respect, they respond in a positive way. But then, maybe I’m just full of s!@#. I don’t really know. I like men and, until I “grew up,” I didn’t know what it was to be committed to one individual for long.
The Tail ‘O the Pup is one of my favorite iconic memories of an era of emotional and sexual freedom that will probably never come again. Thank the powers that I’m old enough to have experienced it—Groovy.
Thanks for listening. I’d love to hear from you and your life. I’m off to bed now with three aspirin and a glass of water (the best hangover preventative ever!)
For an interesting look at Tail o’ the Pup, go to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tail_o%27_the_Pup