Friday, December 05, 2008

One Night - Two Franklin Cafes

I was able to milk one final birthday dinner out of this year, when Mike insisted that we headed out for dinner last night. Granted, today is Doug's birthday, and we're pretty well ensconced in the month of December, but I'm never one to pass up a free dinner.

My plan was to hit up the new Franklin Cafe here in Southie. I believe they just opened a few weeks ago, and are located in one of the new loft buildings by the Broadway T Stop.

We walked in around 7:30, and were greeted with an hour and fifteen minute wait for a table for two. Unreal! It's a Thursday night. We're in a recession. Everyone's out of work.

What the deuce?

We opted out of the wait, walked back to his car without a Plan B, and drove up Berkeley St. into the South End. I figured we'd hit up Dish or Joe V's - somewhere along Shawmut or Washington Streets.

Luckily we found a visitor spot on Shawmut a block away from...

...the other nearby Franklin Cafe.

Why not?

In we went, fifteen minute wait, not a problem. Had a round at the bar (which I picked up to make me feel better about having dinner purchased for me), then we were seated in the back corner.

Now Franklin Cafe appears to be the type of restaurant that neighborhood folks visit frequently - one of those restaurants that everyone knows the menu, knows what to expect, and doesn't ask questions.

I, on the other hand, had only been there once, and this was Mike's first visit. We were rookies.

I asked our server what he liked, and he mentioned a few entrees, but not the one I was considering (a bacon-wrapped salmon dish). He preferred the steak frites, which apparently people went to the Franklin Cafe specifically to eat. Mike had asked me what steak frites was, and I erroneously claimed that it was like an open-faced steak sandwich.


It's a hangar steak on a bed of fries with a demiglaze.

I didn't know what a demiglaze was either, but it sounded good. We each ordered one.

There were two options for separate sides - beets or mashed potatoes. I saw that another entree had brussels sprouts as part of the dish, so I asked if a side of brussels sprouts was possible.

It was not. Apparently, they are shaved brussels sprouts. Huh? Fine. No side for me.

The meal arrived, and as the food runner was leaving, I asked for some ketchup. She had a word with our server, squirted some onto a side plate, and brought it to me.

Immediately, the server came over and asked if it was our first time eating the steak frites, because "most people use the demiglaze on their fries, it pools up at the bottom and it's delicious."

I felt like an idiot, of course. Not fitting in with the locals. A clear novice. Being judged.

I managed to soldier through the indignation and enjoyed the meal. All of it. Almost licked the plate, but that might have caused our ejection and permanent ban due to inappropriate outsider behavior.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yum, the food look very tasty... but at the same time I feel like all my arteries are clogging up...