A Fine Lunch in Englewood

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What? Yes, really.

Day two working a restaurant kitchen installation, I wanted more for a lunch break than a Publix chicken salad wrap while sitting in my car answering emails. I wanted — needed– to be SERVED. So I headed out from dust, grime and stress to the nearest grocery store strip and found myself sitting at the wooden counter inside  Flatbread of Englewood. Staring right into California bottles of wine and how I so wanted a glass. But I had another five hours or so to complete my day. Sometimes focused responsibility is harder than hell. I ordered a cup of lobster bisque and half a BLT and certainly I wasn’t expecting much, although I found the lobster bisque on the menu to be an intriguing item for such a place in such a town. Does Sysco sell lobster bisque now?

The server was very helpful in my quest to not order something too big, which is usually an issue with American restaurants and I braced myself as she placed the bisque in front of me. I could tell by the brownish color it was the real deal! It was yummy, “toothsome,”  trendy food writers would say, although it was a tad thick and I would’ve hit it with a bit more sherry to cut the richness. Helpful server was  aloof and I had to ask for a napkin, at which request she plunked a one inch stack of paper napkins in front of me. No I didn’t say I wanted ten napkins, just one will do.

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There was a wait for my “Applewood smoked bacon oven roasted on our homemade baguette. Baby spinach, tomatoes & mayo” and I Googled one of the enticing zinfandels in front of me. Poppy Wines in Monterey. Looking into the picture of their vineyards and wondering why I had to get back to that construction site. Sigh, sigh and sigh.

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The BST finally arrived, sitting simply on a white plate but the baguette was shiny and crispy-looking, over-stuffed with fresh spinach and such, oozing with mayo and I eagerly took a bite. This was not your mother’s BLT. The bread’s texture was crunchy dense and the mayo and ripe tomato bracketed the smoky bacon and my taste buds whisked me back to Bergamot Alley in Healdsburg where I’d had the most scrumptious grilled cheese sandwich of my life. When I was on vacation. (See Sonoma blog here) When I could drink WINE with lunch. I looked into the Poppy vineyard picture on my phone again. Sighed some more as I chewed. Thought of the construction site kitchen I was managing. What time would my fabricator arrive with the soiled-dish-table? Would it fit? Would the client be happy?

I ate the yummy BST slowly to prolong the luscious experience. I wonder if this place is consistently good; lack of consistency the downfall of so many restaurants. Well, it was a great break from the grind so that made me happy. Fortified by this surprising meal, I paid my check, hopped of my stool, shot one more longing glance toward the array of wine and headed back to the construction site, figuring I’d get home around seven. Maybe I’d crack open a bottle of Sonoma Cutrer Pinot Noir to cut through the dust of my daily grind and relax into my memory of good food and good wine.

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