Last night at a Cuban restaurant. Four weeks away from competition.
First round of drinks for the table. Mojito. Sangria. Corona with a lime wedge. Rum & coke.
For me: Unsweetened ice tea.
Appetizers for the table: Chicken wings. Tostones. Fried plantain. Chips and guacamole.
For me: Another unsweetened ice tea.
Dinner for the table: Large decorative plates arrive heaved with food. Sweet & tangy glazed ribs with sweet potato fries. Slow-roasted pork on a huge bun with wedge potatoes. Flank steak smothered in a tomato sauce with a mound of white rice. Sautéed sesame garlic chicken atop saffron rice.
For me: House salad on a small white dish barely covered by iceberg lettuce, small chunks of tomatoes and rings of red onion. Balsamic vinegar on the side. And another unsweetened ice tea.
Comments from the table: “How’s your food?” “That looks delicious.” “Can I taste that?”
Comments to me: (silence)
Desert for the table: Flan. Pastries. Cakes.
For me: Yet another unsweetened ice tea. Of course.
Half way through (their) desert, I excuse myself from the table to go to the bathroom. (“Sorry. All that ice tea!”) I stay there until the check is paid.
Four more weeks.