Got your attention, didn’t I? Well, so did the name of the restaurant I visited last weekend, I mean, how can something called “Mulebone” not spark curiosity? Plesae know that I think it’s a horrible name for a restaurant, that’s my opinion.
All told, I had a great time at Mulebone. My friend Rebecca joined me, and there’s nothing better than catching up with a friend and criticizing a restaurant at the same time. Actually, Rebecca has never said anything bad about anything or anyone for as long as I have known her. She does laugh at my comments, though, so mark her down for collusion.
I take a sketchbook with me when I go to restaurants, and make pencil drawings of all the things I eat. Used to be I’d take a picture, but then everyone started taking pictures and the more upscale establishments (the ones I aspire to patronize) said that pictures weren’t allowed, so I started drawing. Not really “started” drawing, I do have an art degree. I never mention that when I’m drawing though, so as to protect the reputation of my alma mater. I don’t draw very well, you see.
Entering the restaurant, I was overwhelmed by the multicolored things to look at. They have all sorts of vintage items hanging from the walls and tossed over antique coat racks. I was mostly taken by the candles placed all around the foyer and the reception desk – real candles that cast a warm and inviting glow all around the room. STOP. This post is beginning to sound woefully “Washingtonian.” A real Mulebone, if you know what I mean.
I’ll jazz it up with by telling you about my chat with the hostess. “Do you have a reservation?” she asked. “Yes, I do,” I said. “Jennifer Moore. I know, I know, you’ve probably heard of me.” I say this all the time. It is one of my favorite hobbies, outside of making diners nervous by sitting alone in a restaurant and drawing my food. I have a penchant for throwing hostesses off balance by suggesting I am some sort of celebrity. It delights me to see their faces go blank, that kind of non-committal blank one gets when the fear of not knowing something one should know sets in. I enjoy watching the proverbial wheels in their head whirl as they try to place me, as they begin to think maybe they have seen me on TV or have heard my name on NPR. They stammer a bit, struggling with their conscience as they try to decide if they want to shame themselves by admitting they don’t know me, or lay out a bald-faced lie by saying they do. It’s just then that I laugh, swat at their shoulder with a playful hand, and say “I’m just kidding, I’m nobody.” Does it make me mean that I consider this fun? I don’t think so. I think it’s what makes me fun. It certainly sets a mood. You might want to try it. In my experience, it guarantees the best table in the house and fawning waiters who are all too eager to bring you extras, like a whole bowlful of limes for your tonic water and a heaping plate of butter for your bread. Delightful.
Oh, that was the best part of the evening. The food sucked. The broccoli rabe was overcooked and tough, the shrimp on the grits was tough, and the smoked vanilla ice cream was tough to choke down. “Mulebone?” I should say so. Thank goodness for those free corn muffins.