Whoring for Halibut.
I agree to have dinner with her only because I have almost forgotten how to use utensils other than straws and sporks and I figured, hey, I can put up with a little sales pitch for a decent meal.**
She suggests McCormick & Schmick's, which is her 'favorite every time she comes to Philly'. I've gotta tell you, I don't get this. M & S is a seafood restaurant chain. I am annoyed because A) Philly is not known for its seafood. It's actually illegal to fish in the Schuylkill!) and B) I don't understand why some people who travel insist on sticking to chain restaurants they can find anywhere. Why bother spending all that time on your train or plane to just wind up at a place you could go to without having to schlep your hairdryer with you?
The first time I was in London was on a 24 hour layover with my cousin. The first thing she wants to do after we land is go to The Rain Forest Cafe. Huh? Being the adventurous one of the pair, I insist we eat mushy peas, wander around Harvey Nichols and hit Boots to load up on shower gel and face scrub.*** Because, you know, that's London.
Long story short, M & S was perfectly fine, albeit predictable, save for the whisky selection which was mindboggling (22 types of scotch alone! Giddiness!). But my whoring may just get me a feature in the alumnae magazine which would be great because Martha reads it, or at least keeps it in her first floor powder room in Connecticut. She even said she'd try and swing some sort of rich alum benefit cookery thingy with Martha and me. (What will I wear? Good god!)
To play fair, I offered her free cooking classes and a fancy cake for the upcoming benefit. As y'all know, I'm such an smooth talker when it comes to publicity...
But the halibut was good.
*Flattery will get you everywhere.
**I promise to give my college loads of moolah when it comes in. I swear it.
***This was 1997 and my cousin was not eight at the time. Since then I've developed a more refined palette but I'll always be a sucker for Boots.