Saturday, June 01, 2013

Meat and Potatoes and Delightful Dinner Guests

Meat and Potatoes is a delicious downtown restaurant in Pittsburgh that one of the client employees had told us about. The food is fantastic, the ambiance is really cool and it has a really fun and energetic vibe. I had tried it out once with my colleague on the project and knew that it was amazing. So when I was staying in Pittsburgh by myself, I wanted to go back and enjoy it again.

To confirm I wasn't missing out on something better, I asked the front desk attendant about the restaurant when I checked in. Her eyes lit up as soon as I mentioned the name. Excellent - this night was shaping up fantastically!

The hotel lobby was incredible but I was starving. I couldn't wait to run up to my room, drop my things, and start out on my walk to the restaurant. I jumped in the first elevator and headed down the hall. Upon opening the door, I heard myself gasp a little. I did not realize I was checking in to such a beautiful hotel for the night.

I found myself taking a little longer to wander through the room. I had two full walls of windows, the one bank overlooking the front street of the hotel and the other overlooking the river and PNC Park where the Pirates play! The windows even extended into the bathroom. It was such a stunning view!

But alas - I was still starving. So a quick change and I was off.

I headed down the street weaving upstream through the crowds as they headed towards the ball park behind me. I couldn't believe it when I turned left down Penn street - there was the Heinz Performance Hall that I had driven past the last time I stayed in Pittsburgh. I had no idea that I was so close. Just past the theatre was Mean and Potatoes - the patio was open, people were still spilling out into the lobby but I was in luck, as they were about to seat a couple from the bar, I could pull up a stool and grab a seat there.

I walked over to the bar, which was in the middle of the restaurant. The couple gathered their things and I bee-lined to grab one of the seats they were leaving. A gentleman had come in right behind me, overheard my exchange with the girl, caught that I was dining alone and quickly grabbed the other seat for himself.

As I was investigating the menu to determine what I was going to order, the guy started to chat with me a little. By the time our meals had arrived, we had learned where each other was from, that we both travel a lot for work, we enjoy good food and both prefer to stay downtown in a city verses off in the suburbs.

Then somewhere during our meal, he mentioned he does music for a living. I asked him if he played an instrument, he countered that he does video and follows that up with volunteering that right now he is touring with the Dave Matthews Band.

OH MY MERCIES!!!!!!!!!!

I tried to sneak in a breath, ensure I was putting on my best poker face and then calmly let him know that we just saw Dave's summer tour in Dallas AND that if my husband was sitting next to him, he would kiss him as he loves Dave. (Inside I wanted to ask him if he could get us an invite to a bbq with Carter but didn't think that would maintain my cool exterior however telling him that Jimmy would kiss him certainly did!)

He commented on how funny I was and how much fun he was having chatting up the Canadian. We talked about his hatred for pizza and baseball. I told him he was crazy on both accounts. We chatted about how you cannot get good Mexican in any country outside of the US and Mexico. I told him my love of corn tortillas and how those are rare to find in Calgary. He told me how he introduced corn tortillas to his girlfriend in London and she now has a similar love but can't find them there either. I suggested he package up a care package for her. Yes, yes I did. She can thank me for that!

We enjoyed watching the bartender shake the cocktails. We exclaimed over our delicious meals. We talked about my plan to visit Primanti Brothers the next day and his desire for those sandwiches to find their way on the tour bus. We laughed and told stories. I told him about the funniest interview I had ever conducted and he told me about his buddy who was so excited to introduce him to this cool local bar with great food, TGI Fridays.

I didn't think that this reality good get any better, but then a bunch more of the crew showed up for dinner. We had such a fun time chatting - I didn't get any good Dave stories per se but there was some good natured ribbing, chatting about tour bus stories, etc.

I knew that to maintain my composure, I needed to pay the tab and head out. It took every ounce of determination to take my leave and walk out the door first. I couldn't let them think that I was some roadie girl. I am smart, intelligent, and they are just people. People that happen to tour with Jimmy's favorite band EVERY day. People that put on the concerts we have spent good money to attend. But just people all the same.

Soooo, I walked with my head held high, prayed I didn't trip, made sure I was at least a block away before I excitedly dug in my bag for my phone, dialed Jimmy's number and squealed the exciting news to him! Too fun!!!

Oh and on the left of me was another guy eating alone. He was in from Montreal, a sports reporter to cover the hockey series. He also happens to know Kris Letang. And Kris Letang is good friends with the owner of Meat and Potatoes. So the story continues that the poutine on the menu is all as a result of Kris Letang requesting it from his buddy. However, in what some might consider expected Quebec fashion, the reporter was a little 'stiff' and didn't want to partake in our conversations much. Oh well - his loss!

P.S. Meat and Potatoes was as delicious as always! I had this yummy salad and a small little fig appetizer. Delicious!

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