Peter Luger

Last week, we gave up Occupying Garfield Realty to go for our annual holiday office dinner.  This year we chose to go to Peter Luger, the famous steakhouse in Williamsburg.  We used to go there every year up until about six or seven years ago, when  Zil became a vegetarian and we decided $150.00 was too much to pay for a tuna sandwich.  [In an essay I’m going to write one day which will be titled, The Tyranny Of The Frail*, this hegemony (first time using that word–very exciting!!) by vegans and vegetarians will have its very own section].  But in the ever-shifting wind that is Garfield Realty, Zil said that Peter Luger would be fine this year; she’s still a vegetarian, but she thinks that all that protein will be good for her six month old fetus.  Apparently, he or she is quite a meat eater.

In any event, we made our way to the restaurant and true to form,  De had a beer in his hand before his ass hit his chair.  We all followed suit with our own choices of alcohol (except Zil…the fetus is underage) which loosened me up enough to tell one of the very few stories I keep in my social toolbox.

During the summer after my first year of college I took myself to the beach.  I was in a phase of trying to “better myself” so the light beach reading I had brought along was Dostoyevsky’s, Notes from the Underground.  While I was sitting there not reading,  a  pretty, young woman passed by and I uncharacteristically started a conversation with her that ended with me taking her phone number. I called and we made plans for me to pick her up and go on a date.  When I got to her house I could see that it was situated on a double lot and was grander than the other houses in the neighborhood.  Once inside, I was introduced to her mother who sat me down and started asking me some questions about me and my family.  I remember thinking: “This is  so nice–this person is really interested in me”.  After a few dates I started to get a truer picture.  Ellie’s family was very well off–her father owned Peter Luger— and her mother had been vetting me to see if I measured up.  I may have met the mother’s expectations but apparently, not Ellie’s, because it was a short-lived romance.  But it provided me with the story of how I never got a meal at Peter Luger despite going out with the owner’s daughter.

A number of years ago I had read in The Times that Ellie and her sisters had taken over running the restaurant.  So in a pathetic attempt to belatedly extract some benefit from my almost-relationship, I asked our waiter if her family still owned the restaurant. When he confirmed that they did, I explained the special significance I had in the history of the place.  For this, the waiter rewarded us with a huge plate of schlag (from which I’m still recovering).  Redemption at last!

At the end of the meal I was presented with the check.  As you probably know by now, Garfield is a non-denominational and democratic organization so we rotate paying for things.  But sometimes it’s hard to remember whose turn it is; so we decided a while back that I would pay for the first fifteen years (just one more left) and after that it will be someone else’s turn.  I love how we all agree on so many things.

Thankfully for you, this will be my last posting for 2011.  That is, unless something amazing, awesome and incredible happens in the next several  days.  If not, this is my chance to wish you all  joy and peace for the new year.

*An expression conceived by someone way smarter than I am. (remember that asterisk from way back?)

I'll take mine medium-rare

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6 Responses to “Peter Luger”

  1. Rob Says:

    I laughed out loud at the “light beach reading” line. The stuff about your coworker’s fetus is gold too.

  2. iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

    thanks rob… the real IRONIC thing here is that the family that owns Peter Luger doesn’t eat there either…they’re orthodox jews and the restaurant isn’t kosher. not sure how they finesse that…i guess that’s why there’s talmudic scholars.

  3. Kitty (My Husband Hates Veggies) Says:

    When is it Ed’s turn to start paying?

    • iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

      When the cows come home?

      When the chickens come home to roost?

      when swallows come back to capistrano?

      when hell freezes over?

      probably one (or all) of those

  4. Jane Says:

    Happy, healthy new year to you and yours, Neil. I love Peter Luger’s – great blog.

  5. iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

    thanks a lot jane. wishing you the same.

    Neil

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