Friday, March 10, 2006

Dine Out for Life

‘Dine Out for Life’ is a fund raiser for Food & Friends, an organization that delivers meals to homebound people with AIDS. I used to volunteer in the kitchen at Food & Friends on Mon evenings for a few years. ‘Dine Out for Life’ is a program where restaurants in the metro DC area agree to contribute a percentage of their receipts for that night to Food & Friends. Diners have an enjoyable dinner at a restaurant, and the restaurant contributes to this worthy charity. It’s all good.

Joe & I have participated by inviting friends to join us for dinner on ‘Dine Out for Life’ night for several years. We enjoy having dinner with friends, and this is just another good excuse to do so. A few times we’ve trekked into the city and met friends at the DuPont Italian Kitchen. Last year we ate with Mike & Clark and Bugsy & Roger at Aroma, an Indian restaurant in Shirlington. We’d originally planned to eat at the Carlyle, but upon arrival found there was an approximately 90 minute wait, and the waiting area was so crowded there really wasn’t room to even stand and wait. Aroma is just down the street, there was no wait at all, and we had a lovely time. (See my blog entry from Mar 10, 2005 called ‘My Life as Carrie Bradshaw, Part II’ for details of that evening.)

Last night for ‘Dine Out for Life’ we went to Pasha Café in Cherrydale. Mike & Clark couldn’t make it, but Bugsy & Roger came and so did our friends Ron and Michael (without their respective busy partners). Pasha Café is a small restaurant with a Mediterranean/Italian/Greek menu. The food was pretty good, but not as good as the Lebanese Taverna, which has a similar menu. We had a lovely evening, catching up on each other’s lives and happenings.

Bugsy & Roger are considering a new car so we talked about Roger’s recent visit to the auto show. We all shared our horror stories of trying to buy a new car from a dealership without spending too much money and without taking 18 hours to complete the transaction. Michael is also considering another car. He really wants a convertible so the previous night he’d gone to see a ’99 Saab convertible being sold by a private seller. Michael felt the car was overpriced, likely because its owner was so emotionally attached to it. A few at our table warned Michael of reliability issues friends had reported with Saabs so I think Michael was probably more undecided after dinner than before. (Personally I still think he should consider a well-maintained, used BMW convertible.)

Joe & I hadn’t seen Bugsy & Roger in close to a year, so we were surprised to see much less of them. They’ve been on Weight Watchers and have each lost close to 40 lbs. After congratulating them and telling them how great they both looked, I confessed that Joe & I had success on Weight Watchers about 4 years ago, but gained all the weight back when we fell off the ‘Weight Watchers wagon’. They then confessed that this was their second time on WW, which made me feel better, knowing we weren’t the only ones. It also made me feel oddly hopeful that we, too, could choose to follow WW again and have success again, like they did.

Yesterday’s weather was unseasonably warm. I drove around at lunch time and drove home from work with my roof down. As we were leaving the restaurant last night we paused on the front sidewalk and commented about what a lovely evening it was. Still probably close to 60 degrees, it was an unusual but welcome March evening. We finished our conversations and said our goodbyes. Although not spoken, I silently pledged not to let much time go by before getting together again with these treasured friends.


Anonymous said...

I joined Mark at the dinner and had a great time too. The food that night, especially the entrees (e.g. lamb kabobs and falafel), was a little disappointing although the hummus and babba ganoush were fabulous, as was the company. And we helped a good cause. It was nice to see Michael, Roger and Joe after many years. Let's do this again soon!


P.S. Great blog, Mark!

Bugsy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bugsy said...

I too went to this dinner and had an enjoyable time! BTW - Bugsy is my nickname and Joe is my real name. This is just a clarification on Ron's comment which refered to me as Joe. Not to be confused with Mark's Joe. After all we don't want confusion as that causes drama! Oh wait, we gay men like drama!