Saturday, May 8, 2010

What I Did Out of the Garden Today

For several months in 1979 and 1980, I worked as a waitress at the original Ouisie's Table on Sunset Boulevard, and I still count that job as one of the best I ever had. Located on the edge of a beautiful residential neighborhood and within walking distance of Rice University, Ouisie's was one of the first to feature a chalkboard menu that changed daily according to what was fresh and seasonal. The clientele was a diverse and interesting mix of people: my favorite customer was a federal judge who sent me perfume for Valentine's Day 1980 because I'd lamented my lack of a boyfriend at the time. (He was my favorite long before that but he cemented his status with that gesture.) After the tragic loss of her only child in an accident, Eloise closed the restaurant and for several years Ouisie's aficionados could only reminisce fondly about the glory days. Happily, she went on to open for business again in a new location, which she designed and had built from the ground up. It's a much bigger and more elegant space than the funky yet charming original but it still retains the same comfortable vibe and it still feels like somewhere I belong.

So when my family asked me where I wanted to go for Mother's Day, the answer was the same as last year: Ouisie's for brunch, of course! Since we left it a little late to call for reservations, we decided to visit on Saturday instead of Sunday. I did my best not to overdo it in the garden, working only to clear some dead leaves and foliage from a small area in front before cleaning up and heading to brunch. My mother joined me, the Executive Producer and both of our delightful children for a delicious, leisurely and convivial brunch. We once again were graced by the deft service of Farid, a delightful and personable fellow from North Africa who traces his ancestry to the Berbers. He kept me well supplied with Mimosas, a trait I value highly in waiters (and friends). As we left, my son presented me with a box of Pommery POP to share with my mum: 2 splits each to enjoy when the occasion is right for a little bubbly. My daughter will bring home a pint of Toasted Coconut frozen custard next time it's on the menu at her job (Ritter's Frozen Custard, North Fry Road in Katy ... absolutely scrumptious ... tell them I sent you!)

Once I'd had a little nap to counteract the effects of the Mimosa, I did head back out into the garden to continue clean-up efforts. Here's how I left things ... if you double click to enlarge the picture, you'll see that's a large pile of yanked plants lying on the path near the pond.

4 comments:

Carol said...

Sounds like a most excellent day to spend with your family. It's great you could all be together and have a good time. Not all families can do that these days it seems.

beckie said...

Sounds like a delightful way to spend pre-Mother's Day! I love a place were the food is good, the service great and it still feels cozy. I, too have worked as a waitress many years ago and appreciate a good wait person who knows how to keep a drink fiied-in my case coffee. :)

Jean said...

Your larkspur looks beautiful. Sounds like you all had a great day. I remember taking a cooking class from Eloise back in the early 90's (I think).

Cindy, MCOK said...

Carol, I hope my kids will continue to enjoy such outings with us.

Beckie, once you've worked as a waitress, you're much more understanding of those who serve you!

Jean, I didn't know Eloise had ever taught any classes. I'd probably take one just to renew my acquaintance with her!