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Moved From D.C.Board: update/review on client dinner with rancher/cowboys

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Well, it certainly was an eventful evening. The place was just right for the group...loud and just raucous enough (there was a group of about 15 at a ROUND table just behind us from Georgia that were having quite the party, so we looked very civilized in comparison).

The food is always good, so I'll just hit the highlights of the "atmosphere" with food stuff sprinkled in.

These folks are all drinkers, so Jameson on the rocks were had by 4 of the 5 to start (keep in mind this is AFTER a cocktail reception at a martini bar, during which time they had all had at least a couple). They're all Northern Californians, so I ordered a Frog's Leap Merlot 2002 (which I like) for $85/bottle. Pricey, but I know that these guys, for all their other issues, know CA wine. The first bottle was deemed delicious, and the second was slightly corked, so I sent it back for another bottle without any questions from our server.

I had alerted the folks that Oceanaire makes a really, really good crabcake, so most got that as an appetizer. All were so surprised to find that a crabcake (a) can be made of real crab, and (b) can be all crab and no filler. They LOVED em. Big rancher girl (BRG) ordered (no kidding) the crabcake app, a cup of clam chowder, and a ceasar salad as appetizers FOR HERSELF. Man, can this chick eat!!!

A word about bread. Don't know about you, but I was taught that if there is a bread basket and a cup of whipped butter alongside, to take a piece of bread and some butter with your knife and put both on your bread plate, and then pass the bread and butter along to the next person. Apparently I missed the lesson where (BRG knew to do this) you rip hunks of bread off the loaf, butter each, and pass the buttered bread by hand to the other people at the table. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!! She then proceeded to swipe her bread after each bite into the whipped butter dish meant for the whole table.

On to entrees. Again, don't know about you, but I try to follow my host, and if that's not an option, I order mid-range if I know it's being paid for by someone else. BRG and Rancher Client Guy (RCG) ordered, respectively, the Surf n Turf (2 lb lobster and filet mignon) and the 4--kid you not--4 lb lobster. The 4 lb lobster was $136, and was a la carte. I nearly choked, but, they are the clients. The others were more modest, choosing the mahi-mahi and a salad Louis, respectively. BRG and RCG, when the waiter suggested vegis for sides, nearly yelled "yeah, we need some potatoes and greens." We ended up with mashed potatos, broccoli and asparagus that could feed an army (I don't even know if the asparagus got touched...) BRG and RCG proceeded to eat off the serving plates, force chunks of lobster from their plates onto the others (you've GOTTA try this!) and generally eat like they were at McDonalds and needed to get back on the road in a hurry.

As if there could be any more, we shared the caramel brownie sundae for dessert. BRG took huge spoonfulls of ice cream directly from the serving dish to her mouth, swiped caramel sauce from the same dish with her finger to her mouth, and the others thought it was so funny they followed suit. I couldn't wait to get outta there.

Next time, I'll just take em to a local taco truck and we can eat in the car and cruise around the monuments....

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  1. sounds like they had more fun than you.

    10 Replies
    1. re: pepper ann

      I agree. I would have had a blast with them. In fact, they may be friends of mine.....LOL.

      1. re: Janet

        so funny. thanks for posting. whenever i'm on capitol hill and see folks visiting from parts south and west with the belt buckle, hat and all i wonder if they're really that much different or if it's just the wardrobe. now I know.

        1. re: shellymck

          I wouldn't be so quick to assume it's a regional thing. I've met similarly boisterous souls in Wall Street type evirons, and I've met lowly Army privates with drawls as thick as molasses whose instinctive humility, courtliness and good manners (and not the ostententatious "politer than thou" sort, either) made me feel like a rampaging Visigoth by comparison.

          And of course, there are some who push the stereotyped images just to get a reaction or a read on others. I wasn't at the dinner described, so I can't even begin to guess if the behavior was real, an act, or even some sort of "What will this guy put up with to get our business?" test.

          Regardless of what was going on, or which parties (BRG and RCG or the poster) you feel more affinity with, we should not paint with too broad a brush in assuming that any of the parties involved were somehow "typical" of any region, class, income level, or other category.

          1. re: Warthog

            Hear, hear, Warthog. And now on to more important issues, such as everything we never wanted to know about port bungs! ;-)

            1. re: Chino Wayne

              "Hear, hear, Warthog. And now on to more important issues, such as everything we never wanted to know about port bungs! ;-)"

              Port bungs... aren't those the corks that fit in the side of barrels of port?

              1. re: The Rogue

                Yes, they are made from the lower GI tract of pigs. The bung is first removed from the donor (in a simple out-patient procedure under a local anesthetic)and then marinated in the port barrel. After the port from the barrel has all been drunk, the chef sautees them with some onions and serves them with a nice chianti, with fava beans on the side...

                Oh, and the port has a very robust flavor also.

                1. re: Chino Wayne

                  LOL! It's a shame the sound Anthony Hopkins makes in Silence of the Lambs can't really be spelled (if that's what you were thinking about)!

                    1. re: Sweet Pea

                      Great minds think alike.

              2. re: Warthog

                Bad manners know no geographical boundaries.

        2. This is too funny, and after a week of bizarre (in a good way) coincidences recently in D.C., I have to ask.

          Wed. morning, Apr 13, I was in the waiting room of Rep. Jim Costa's office on Capitol Hill, when a group of mostly John Wayne size fellows all wearing big cowboy hats began coming out in single file, so many of them in fact it brought to the minds of all in the room the old circus gag of a dozen clowns exiting a small car, they were laughing about it themselves, the office isn't all that big.

          After they left, the staff informed us that they were representatives of the Cattlemen's Ass'n.

          Jus' wonderin' if them good ol' boys from the central valley and yer group were one and the same, podnuh?

          Should add that a couple of hours later, ran into an old aquaintance managing the bar at the Marriot that was my dining and wine guru for the area several years ago, his not to miss rec.... the crabcakes at Oceanaire.

          1. So why did this have to be moved from the D.C. Board?