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For the Brooklyn Eatery That is Beckoning Me Back: “Gargiulos”

I haven’t had a meal that has satisfied me in weeks now. I don’t know what the problem is. I am sick of everything I eat and never know what I am in the mood for should I actually try to figure it out. I think I know what I want but when it arrives I am disappointed, over it, or no longer hungry. It wouldn’t be such a problem except I am going to starve to death, eventually. Though I am sure I have a few years of living off my land before I have to truly worry about that.

In keeping with tradition I returned to Garguilo’s in Brooklyn last week. It is an annual dinner I attend where my friends and I celebrate all of our birthdays’ in one great dinner. I had been looking forward to it for some time. I know the restaurant and how many great dishes they serve. At that point my only problem was…you guessed it! What do I order?

As with most restaurants I have a favorite dish that I repeat no matter how enticing the other menu items are. Here my favorite is the fettuccini Alfredo. It is quite a heavy dish so I thought I would opt for something else. I did. I ordered the chicken franchise as I remember thinking it looked so good when my friend ordered it last year. Yes my food memory is idyllic.

For our appetizers we had baked claims and the sun dried tomato, mushroom, mozzarella plate. The cheese appeared burnt from the way it is cooked and was so good I could have had just that for my dinner. The baked claims were good but now that I am looking back at my blog ( from last year the stuffed mushrooms we had then look much better. I didn’t see that this time on the menu, unless it was there and I didn’t notice which is totally possible.

I did order the chicken franchise as my entrée and it was good. But just good, not oh my God how I have been living without eating this dish good. I was perfectly content eating it with my side salad and had enough for leftovers. Everyone seemed to really enjoy what they got as well.

Dessert, now that was the easy part. I had been craving cheesecake for a while so I went with that and of course a cappuccino. I knew the cheesecake would be the Italian kind, sort of the opposite of what you would find in Junior’s restaurant. When it came it was very good. I ate every single last bite. However I did realize that I would have been more satisfied with the typical American cheesecake. So now I am on the lookout for that.

I believe the best part of my evening occurred at the end. I was drinking, perhaps the best cappuccino of my ENTIRE life while having a random chat with our waiter. When I say random I mean it. Somehow we got to talking about lobsters and whether or not they make noise when they are cooked aka put in a pot of boiling hot water while still alive. Note to self- they do not. I still think it is cruel though. Apparently the reasoning is for our benefit, it is healthier to eat fresh shell fish.  Then we discovered that the cooks check to see if it’s male or female. When I asked why I was told that the females have a sweeter tasting flavor, which makes perfect sense. Although now it mostly sounds gross as I repeat it in my head as I type.

When we got in the car to go home it when I realized what my problem might be. I had been trying to think about how I felt about this experience. It was fun, the food was tasty but I was bowled over by it and that bothered me. You know, it bothered me that it bothered me but there I was.

I eat out quite often, maybe too often, to appreciate the simplistic components of my meal. In this ever growing neighborhood you can have your fill of just about anything ( I also eat quite a lot of Italian food both at home and at local restaurants, so much so that it’s second nature to me. Perhaps I had momentarily forgotten to appreciate what a good simple meal was like. I have decided to count my blessings and this evening as a night out with familiar faces and familiar dishes.

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