Monday, November 26, 2007

I'm Speechless (But That Will Not Stop Me From Rambling On and On)

Today was the day.

You know, the one I've been waiting for these past few months. Brad and I literally begged our way into the "mock up" or dress rehearsal of the Grand Lux Cafe.

In case I've never mentioned it, I love this place and want my remains spread on the patio under the heat lamps next to the Asian Nachos when I pass.

So there we stood getting the low down from a manager about the impending experience. We were given pre-selected menus so the staff could practice certain dishes. This manager described the cocktails, appetizers, main courses, dessert, and after-dinner drinks and I looked like a giddy school girl literally giggling at the outrageous food possibilities.

Brad and the other unassuming patrons stood there STONE FACED while I snickered and grinned from ear to ear.

"What's so funny?" he said. One of his mottos for being in over your head is, "Act like you've been there before."

Nope, couldn't do it. And as you know, quiet dignity has never been a hallmark of mine.

After we were seated, I was so composed that I promptly dropped my fork. Then out came the appetizers.

Crabcakes...oh my gosh, the crabcakes. Alone they were fantastic, but the creole mustard sauce took me to another place to which I am dying to return.

Brad got the Double Stuffed Potato Spring Rolls and they were crunchy, fluffy, creamy, and a little zingy all at once. They are essentially mashed potatoes encased in a crispy wonton roll topped with melted cheddar cheese and smoked bacon. I think he chewed them with his eyes closed and made groaning noises, but I can't be sure since I was having my own moment with the crabcakes.

I only ate a few bites because I was pacing myself. Just like the National Hot Dog Eating Champ Kobyashi paces himself.

At this point, we realized the Asian Nachos were not on our pre-selected menu. Before panic set in, we hailed over a manager and fell all over ourselves asking/begging/volunteering our first born for just a TASTE of The Beloved Nachos. Surely they needed to perfect those as well.

Well, our server was great and a plate of Heaven on Earth soon rested on our table. Now this is the point in the meal where I had to restrain every earthly impulse to reach over and start smearing them all over my face with hopes of getting the savory chicken and peanut sauce in my mouth.

But y'all, I sat there and ate them like a normal person.

I am pretty postive that if they served this peanut sauce in martini glasses, I would be down for the count and drooling at the bar before I even reached the table. But overtaken by composure, I savored each bite, thought about all of the flavors that God created and perfectly combined on that very Asian Nacho and swallowed it down regretting only that it was over.

On to the main course where they brought me a Bento Box which is FOUR SQUARE PLATES OF FOOD PEOPLE. Plate one: A Jamaican Jerk chicken with pineapple so finely chopped I thought it was gold. Plate two: steamed broccoli (needless to room in the inn). Plate three: some salad which was delicious but I have no idea what was in it other than apples and they were the finest apples I've tasted. Plate four: Cream of chicken and mushroom soup. Before you start thinking "Campbell's" and insult this creamy concoction, let me just say that it was by far the most perfectly seasoned and deliciously smooth and hearty soup I have ever eaten and will have to go to my pantry at once and throw out all imposters while vowing to never eat soup from another establishment again.

(Except Panera's Fiesta Con Queso which needs its own blog).


The Max Burger is the Grand Lux's signature burger for good reason: IT IS REALLY GOOD.

I can't decide which aspect of the Max was best: the grilled onions and roasted short ribs(!) or the chipotle mustard sauce of which I had several spoonfuls without any accompanying burger. I have never loved another mustard like this before.

At this point I might be boring you to tears with these blow-by-blow descriptions of my very amazing lunch or my entirely lackluster food critic capabilities.

But do not stop reading because I have to talk about dessert. Also, my readership will drop from ten to nine and I don't know if my sponsors will like that.

First up the carrot cake. I don't know about you, but I sure love a good carrot cake. Mostly what I love about a good carrot cake is the cream cheese frosting. And mostly what I love about the cream cheese frosting is LOTS of it.

But this, THIS cream cheese frosting was otherworldly. Folks, it was citrus cream cheese frosting. Not super citrusy like a bad Glade Plug-In, but that perfect hint of citrus that makes you think "What was that taste sensation?! I must know but tell me after I'm done swallowing the biggest forkful ever."

Perfect, just perfect.

The other dessert we graciously sampled was Strawberry Shortcake. Make that a WARM SUGAR SHORTCAKE filled with strawberries and ice cream so good I bet it was Blue Bell. (For you north of the Mason-Dixon, I am so sorry.)

When I took my bite, I could FEEL WITH MY VERY TEETH the gentle crunch of warm sugar.

And this shortcake.

(Sighs wistfully and small tears well up in eyes.)

This shortcake was from the Glorious Angel of Butter and Perfectly Made Cakes. And I have eaten and loved quite a few shortcakes in my days. But as Brad put it, "This is way better than anything you've ever made."

Quite a good summary of our entire experience.

I am revelling in the moment and making Brad discuss the minor details and delicious points much like I did our wedding day.

And did I mention this culinary goodness was AT NO CHARGE? Tastes all the better...


sue.g said...

The Grand Lux is missing the boat by not having you make a commercial for them. I love the way you love food,,,,that is how I KNOW we are related. This kind of excitement cannot be faked.

No chicken & waffles, huh?

Mandie said...

OK...I am so green with envy right now...FREE!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!! I can't wait to try it out!

Joel said...

I wish I had this amount of excitement about anything. How do you food lovers stay so skinny?