Thursday, January 19, 2012


While Elze's South African friend, Morne, was still here, we mostly enjoyed our evenings inside cooking wondrous things for each other. Foie gras, saucisson, boudin noir, cheeses, gourmet salads, and so on. But after a few nights of this we grew lazy and so one night we felt that we had no other choice but to go out to eat. We, of course, did not make this decision until I was reaching a critical point of starvation. You see, ever since I was a child I have had issues with hunger. What I mean to say is that when I'm hungry, really hungry, I morph from a perfectly normal human being into a full on psychotic gremlin. It isn't pretty.

Luckily enough I had a few ideas of where we could go and eat, and even luckier they were all just down the street. But I was, of course, with Elze, who had her own ideas. And so though she completely agreed that we could go to one of the many places I had seen just down Oberkampf, she still wanted to walk around aimlessly and see if there was anything else that looked tempting. After passing place after place which failed to perk our interest, and after both she and Morne failed to make an executive decision on where to go, I started groaning in angst and hunger. "Well then why don't you make a the decision," she said to me kindly, "since you are so hungry."

Had I missed something? I believed I had said, numerous times, that we should just go down Oberkampf where there were at least four restaurants that looked promising. But perhaps the hunger pains were causing me to hallucinate. Though I could feel the famine monster growling not so deep inside of me, I managed to say, with some control, "I have decided! Before we even left the damn house I told you where I wanted to go." "Oh," Elze said in her oh-so-sweet chirpy voice, "well let us just go there then." Damn indecisive crazy women, I thought to myself. But at least I would be able to eat...soon.

Right down Rue Oberkampf at Rue Saint-Maur were at least four restaurants that looked promising. They were all practically overflowing with people, and one was the restaurant Au Pied De Fouet, which I knew to be good and cheap. But, of course, Elze couldn't listen to everything I said and so instead we went to Chez Justine. I didn't complain, though it was far more expensive, because at least I would be eating. And from the amount of customers it would, at the very least, be good.

The atmosphere was wonderfully cool and comfortable, like a hip couple's home where you feel welcome and chic just being there. We were seated in a lounge area and so while it wasn't exactly conducive to eating, it was easy to lean back and be comfortable, and after having to deal with Elze and her insane feminine ways, I was more than happy to do this. I had a hankering for fish tartare and avocado, and was lucky enough to see tuna and avocado tartare on the menu in both appetizer and main course sizes. Thank the lord!

After putting in our orders we had a chance to look around. And since my stomach was no longer aggravating me because it knew that it would soon be sinking its teeth into some delicious tartare, Elze and I were able to notice what was obviously the most popular draw of this place. And that, my dear readers, were the gorgeously handsome waiters. They were impossible good-looking. I had to gather my jaw up from the floor and hope that not too much drool had spilled at my feet. Poor Morne, the only guy in the trio, had to suffer through a night of Elze and I giggling over how beautiful these men were. We, of course, were not lucky enough to have our own waiter be one of the gods serving us, but the others did, at least, pass by our table every five seconds in the same determined and quick paced way that most waiters move about in this city. The only difference was that these waiters seemed to do it in floating swagger that made them even more irresistible.

Elze and I shared two bottles of wine whilst Morne drank two pots (or half bottles) of red wine to himself. We ate our meals, which were good, though nothing to write home about, and drank two bottles more together, all while feasting our happy peepers on the eye candy dancing through the restaurant. Though Morne did not partake on the visual feasting, he certainly seemed to enjoy how much his female companions were making swooning asses of themselves. At some point, Elze was able to pull herself together just enough to make the astute observation that the restaurant seemed to be filled to the brim with single women, and it was no wonder why.

Two of the waiters were more striking than the rest, and both looked as if they had been plucked from celluloid and dumped gracefully into this restaurant. They certainly knew what they were doing. And they looked undeniably sexy with fabulous coifs while doing so. One of them looked like Ryan Gosling and Jake Gyllenhaal's love child, while the other looked like taller, pointier version of Varsity Blues' Scott Caan covered in tattoos. When the latter warned Elze about the toothpick in her burger which lead to a conversation about how you say "toothpick" in english, he apparently found the word so hilarious that he couldn't help but flash a large grin. I practically melted right there in my seat. And it was hard for me to gather myself with the other one's puppy dog eyes looking sweetly across the room as he swiftly and deftly made the steak tartare.

Though we were one of the first people to arrive in Chez Justine we were certainly the last to leave. The lights came on, the chairs were swung up onto the tables, and we were unceremoniously scooted from our seats. And much to our avail, though we had spent the entire night swooning over these hollywood look-alike french beauties, they certainly did not seem even remotely interested in Elze nor myself. But we had indulged ourselves in much too much alcohol to care. The three of us skipped home in our inebriated states and happily trotted up to our apartment. Elze and I were so giddy from our night of stalkerish staring, and Morne seemed more than happy with all the vittles and vino that he had consumed.

Only a few days later we were eating lunch a few blocks away from our apartment when Elze began to jump up and down in her seat screaming in girlish excitement, "Lora! Lora! Lora! Look! Look!" pointing out the window as she did so. Though I only caught the bottom half of the man that she was pointing at, I still recognized that confident swagger of the puppy-dog eyed waiter from Chez Justine. He wasn't a figment of our imagination, or all the wine, after all. We have ranted and raved about Chez Justine to every breathing woman we could get our hands on since then, though it does seem foolish to share these men with anyone else. But all the same Elze and I certainly look forward to going back there, in full hair and makeup, of course.

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