Black Bean Soup and Sour Dough Bread
I love good soup. I love good soup with good bread even more. And my mother always said that the way to a persons heart is through the stomach. This past weekend, my wife and I stopped at a bistro that occupies a building that was built in 1885. It shares the space with a quirky and eclectic apparel shop upstairs. So, for my first and official merchant endorsement, I would like to say that the Down the Alley Bistro and Amore Boutique that share the 1885 building in a symbiotic relationship is something that the casual traveler to Georgetown Texas shouldn’t skip.
The meal was not only affordable at less than three (3) dollars, but also very filling in a substantial way. Anyone who knows me and my waist size will attest that I like my food, and the cup portion was just enough to satiate for evening fare. The best part – the shop upstairs entertained my wife while I enjoyed my meal in peace, without the constant wail or complaint of royalty. The Queen was resplendent as I heard her laughing upstairs as I took the picture. I would later venture upstairs and find the proprietor of the boutique happily enjoying my wife’s obvious fascination and captivation with her varied selections. I would venture to say that the boutique is more of a place of accessories than apparel, but I can see that a woman could purchase a complete ensemble if desired. Mind you, I’m a guy. I’m a hunter – not a gatherer.
I hunted my food, ate it, and I was collecting my woman for the hike back to the cave. In my best caveman repertoire “Err Err Errr.” You’ll have to forgive my Texan vernacular of caveman language. As a Texan, we naturally tend to add a slight drawl to our “Err” for emphasis. Regardless, women are gatherers – they will go into a store and pick up this, pick up that, try this on, try on that one, and then pick up three different sizes when they really know they need the big one – and go into a “dressing room” to try it on. By the way, why do they call it a “dressing room” when they should call it “fitting room?” Just wondering.
Me. Man. Me hunter. Me know what me wants. Me walk in. Me get what me want. Me pay. Me leave. Two (2) minutes. Errr Err Errrr. (that was Yankee Errr for those epaying attening)
The woman will take at least 15 minutes to go into a fitting room (ha!) and try to fit into the small dress when they already know that they need the large dress. Then, they’ll come out of the fitting room and stand in front of a mirror and nit pick the selection that they just picked out. If she utters the phrase, “does this make me look fat?” – be very careful. My suggestion is to burp. She’ll be so disgusted with your behavior that she’ll roll her eyes and return to the fitting cafe without waiting for an answer.
Anyhow, as I was saying. While I was downstairs eating, the Queen was upstairs and oblivious to my presence, as she was talking to the other female occupant of our house (my teenage step-daughter, aka The Princess). The two of them were in phone shopping heaven, with mom relaying what was available and the perceived ridiculously low prices. I helped her, as only a caveman of my stature could, by grunting my approval and taking a few more pictures after I made my way upstairs.
Why would a person of my obvious intellect and refinement go into a place like Down the Alley Bistro you ask? What possessed me? Was I the victim of a cruel female shopping trick?
Fear not, fellow brave caveman warriors. I am immune to the sly female shopping tricks used on simple minded fools who purchase leather couches. (oh wait, we have leather couches) Anyhow, we stopped because while I was outside taking a picture, I asked Her Majesty The Queen to go in and look at the menu because the place looked cool. I mean – just look at the tables and the floor in the picture. A place with a really old wooden floor and wood tables with green tops and red legs…. it’s got to be cool. So, after the Queen gave her initial approval I entered and headed to the menu/ordering station. This is a tactic that young men need to learn quickly in their lives. When you want to go somewhere, ask your partner what they think. After your mate gives clearance, you can enter the establishment and it will be her idea, and she will not fret about your ordering a large adult beverage if you so desire.
So, I walked up to the counter and asked “what’s the most popular item on your menu?” The girl behind the counter thought for a second and then pointed and tried to sell me the most expensive Cuban sandwich listed. I slyly looked at her. Clearly, she had this question asked before and she was well versed in the restaurant business to know “if they ask what to eat, then offer them the best thing we have” school of thought. As it was, I already saw what I wanted. Soup. The “most popular item” was a ruse to see if the staff was smart. The girl behind the counter was not an idiot. I could tell. So, Black bean soup with jalepeno sausage to be exact was my choice. That’s what I wanted, so I ordered it. “Errrr Errrr” doesn’t sound the same, but translated means “A cup of black bean soup and a water, please.” Imagine my surprise when she only asked for 3 credits (dollars). At that time, my wife was busy in the ladies room doing whatever ladies do in there.
Come to think of it, what do ladies do in the ladies room? Obviously, they do not go potty. Too much time is spent for that to be the case. For some time, I’ve thought that there is a scrabble machine in the ladies room which they all conspire to use to outwit their boyfriends and husbands playing games on their smartphones. The scrabble machine allows them to enter big words with megamultiplier scores. But I was wrong. They actually smoke cigars in the ladies room. It’s true. Yup – they go into the ladies room and smoke cigars. Why else would they smell like perfume when they come back outside? Obviously, it’s to cover up the cigar smell, naturally. Gee. Duh.
Now, back to the matter at hand. I sat down with my cup of soup and looked for the water. They hid the water in a large gravity driven drink dispenser marked “water” on the side. Wow. Genius. I sat and took my first bite. Wow. I then soaked up some soup juice with a piece of sour dough bread. Mmmmmm…… Errr Err Errrr. (translation: damn good soup).
After I was done eating, I walked up the stairs to the boutique and saw the Queen had picked out a hat. I sat down my tripod and asked the owner if I could take a picture or two. Come to find out, this spot is a favorite among the local photographers – I suppose for obvious reasons. It’s cool. We talked about business, about future plans, and the fact that the bistro downstairs was just opened a few months ago. We discussed the possibility of ghosts in the 1885 building, but the owner denied any knowledge of ghosts in attendance. Naturally, I didn’t believe her. Why? Because, the next song on the music playing in the bistro downstairs was “Ghost Busters.” Coincidence? I don’t think so. Coincidence is just God’s way of staying anonymous.
So, after the Queen gave the owner some gold coins, and took a bag of booty into her possession, we walked downstairs and out the back alley.
Nice place. Nice People. Good food. Good finds. You should visit. Err Er Er!