If Vodka excels at one ridiculous skill in life, it is the ability to meet "niche" celebrities. Never one to be interested in the true A-listers, she tends to only come face-to-face with those that are very famous, but to a specific population of people
Want to meet Bernadette Peters, Regis Philbin, Nancy Kerrigan, Constantine Maroulis, Paula Deen, or Roger Bart? Vodka will figure out a way, and she will do so without the threat of a restraining order. Her methods have never failed her.
As previously mentioned, Vodka's mother is nothing short of in love with Jose Garces. A frequenter of his many Philadelphia restaurants, along with the one in Chicago, she has been known to say that she feels like she is "cheating" on Jose when she enjoys the culinary delights of, say, Marc Vetri.
Yet despite all of these hours and dollars spent at Jose's many institutions, their paths have never crossed. Nevertheless, my mother, as soon as she walks in the front door of any Garces restaurant, accosts the waitstaff with "Is Jose Garces here tonight?!" He never has been.
So Vodka, never finding a celebrity challenge she couldn't conquer, began her pursuit to get her mother a meeting with Jose Garces three whole months before the fateful December night when my family would be celebrating my mom's birthday at Amada. Emailing the Garces Restaurant Group, I had explained the situation and said that we would show up at any restaurant if Jose were guaranteed to be there.
And no such guarantee should be made.
Instead, the Garces Restaurant Group (who were, it should be mentioned, quite pleasant in the face of my stalker-like pursuit) recommended that we make the dinner special by pre-ordering a roast suckling pig and a birthday cake.
It's not quite Jose Garces, but I suppose it will have to do.
|Charlotte Web Lovers, Stop Reading Now|
|My Mother Was Still Hoping Jose Would Pop Out of This Cake|
Never in my life have my groupie ambitions fallen so flat.
My parents and I arrive at Amada for the consolation prize pig dinner, which had to be ordered days in advance.
|We Suppose It Takes That Long to Trim All the Hairs on Their Chinny-Chin-Chins|
|Because That's Just What Jose's Absence is Providing: A Broken Hug|
|Plus, the Chef Sends Out This Appetizer, Which Tastes Like Upscale Tuna Fish|
|Lamb Chops Which Thankfully Do Not Sing "This Is the Song That Never Ends"|
|Apt to Cause Fred Flintstone Dining Habits|
|Well, "Flat"-Bread May Be an Exaggeration|
|We'll Take Eight More to Go, Please|
|If the Sous Chef Had Only Worn a Garces Mask, We Think We Could Have Fooled Her|
|Because Clearly, THIS Won't Be Enough for Three People to Eat...|
|You Say Potato, We Say Delicious|
|And I Am Posting Them in Succession Because I Don't Know Which is Which|
|There Are Just So Many "White Beans" to Choose From|
|"I Let Him Go, I Didn't Know He'd Stolen My Beans!"|
|Unlike Buddakan, Amada Serves a Plethora of Scallions|
|This Little Piggy Went to Amada|
|The Pig Should've Used Better Moisturizer|
|Red Velvet Meets Mood-Lighting|
|For Instance, This Would Be Number One on the List|
I just hope when the time comes, she's not the one to break our family's lack-of-restraining-order streak.
|Because A Lifelong Ban from Amada Would Be Nothing Short of Disastrous|
*Certifiable Best Thing We Ever Ate