This afternoon I detoured waaaaaaay around the two car accidents I could see from OHSU's upper tram station (including a sedan partly stuck under a tanker truck on the west end of the Ross Island Bridge) to walk a good chunk of my commute home. Wanting a treat to celebrate my positive annual work review ("Meets Expectations"! Woo hoo! I must celebrate with meat!), I decided on a special dinner at Le Bistro Montage
. The name sounds fancy, but it's not overly fancy: let's put it this way, the adjoining bar is called Le Merde. The food I got was good stuff: chicken/andouille sausage gumbo with cornbread, and a passion fruit-orange-guava juice.
What follows is what I noticed while waiting for food:
* I arrived about 20 minutes before the 6:00 opening. A man showed up five minutes later, and became second in line. He said he used to live in Portland, and visits Montage when he's back in town. He talked about being there one Fourth of July when the staffers were setting off big fireworks in the industrial-area street next to the restaurant.
* "This is the sound of me not knowing what to say." -- Me after he told me the Montage's original owner had died from brain injury while in police custody
* After a few women had arrived as well, this exchange occurred: "Not open?" one woman asked. "Soon," I said. "No," I added, "they'll just hold the dishes up to the window. It's...it's like food porn." "Nine ninety-five to wave it at us!" the man added.
* They did indeed open the door, and we did indeed enter, and ordering commenced...except for the special, the steak linguini. I learned this when one of the cooks yelled from the kitchen "Hey!
What is it about steak that's not grabbing any of you?!" Another cook said, less loudly, "It's like a hoity-toity beef stroganoff. Order it." Was it ordered later? I guess I'll never know...
* And maybe the alligator-meat dishes were ordered. Or not. I don't know that either. "Reason for me to go to New Orleans," I told the man. "Eat alligator. And visit friends." (Hi, aoniedesade
* As seen in a couple of examples above, the Montage staff is known for its boldness. And creativity, too: leftovers get wrapped in foil sculptures, made to look like various animals: geese, lobsters, whatever.
* Walking to the bus line home afterwards, I passed a clearly-closed restaurant with the "OPEN" sign still in the window. "Eating in the dark," I said. "It's the new thing." (And apparently I'm not joking.)