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Wednesday, May 25, 2011


In celebration of the teen passing his exit exams required by the lovely State of Texas, I offered to take him out for a nice dinner.  He had considered a couple of options and then when we drove off the bridge onto the island he said "can we reconsider my choice and go to Gabriella's instead?"  Sure, I said, being in the euphoria of the moment.  I always love Gabriella's food!

Unfortunately, I'm none too fond of the sometimes snail pace of Gabriella's service.  I had my fingers crossed we would get our usual attentive and very entertaining waiter...but not today.  They were packed and we were lucky to get a seat inside.  Since we were still in the upper 80's when we arrived, I wasn't in the mood for sidewalk seating.

We waited, and we waited...finally the waiter came and offered to take drink orders.  I ordered tea and asked the teen if he wanted a Sprite.  He said "no, Decaf".  I said "are you sure you don't want to wait until after dinner for that?"  He responded "No", so I looked at the waiter...and he was already gone.  When he'd asked how we were doing and I said "fine, and you?"...his response was a curt "busy"...I guess he really meant "I don't have time to wait, so get a move on".  Good grief!

We finally (and I do mean that with an irritated emphasis) got our drinks and gave our order.  And we waited and we waited...and he brought 2 bread plates and some dipping olive oil and balsamic vinegar for the bread...but no bread...and we waited and we waited.  Finally, after a longgggg wait, he showed up with a salad and the bread and scampered off.  Not 3 minutes later - and about 4 bites into the salad, our main courses arrive.  Oh good grief, I thought.  The teen finished his entire meal before I finished my salad (because you know HE wasn't eating any salad).  He also finished off the whole 4 skinny pieces of bread in our basket.

Anyway, you get the picture.  Things improved and we got some attention after things were thinned out a bit. We came early...left our house at 5:45...and didn't leave Gabriella's until after 8:00.  The last 30 minutes we got drink and bread refills...and an inquiry if we wanted more salad...huh?

Normally, I enjoy an evening of good food and good company.  The teen is deaf.  There is no table conversation because Gabriella's...and most restaurants...are so loud he can't hear conversational speech with his cochlear implants over the "noise".  We both had a book.  I know people look at us weird, but we neither one care :-)  Two hours over dinner with a non-conversationalist is pretty grueling.

So, let's talk about the good part of the evening...the food!  I'll apologize in advance for the cell phone photos - my camera was in the car...and I didn't want to get up and go get it.  Anyway, the teen ordered a Ravioli Dinner with the house marinara sauce.  Since he slurped up the 3 or 4 ravioli on the plate in record time, I assumed it was good.  I finally got someone to bring us some more bread so he could sop up the marinara.  He offered me a taste and it was quite delicious.

Ravioli dinner with Marinara

I had something different than my usual choices, and boy, am I glad I did.  It was soul-warmingly good!  There was so much food (as compared to the teen's meager looking dish) that I brought home a full half of the order for lunch tomorrow!  I had Roast Beef Papparadelle.  It was described as tender slow roasted beef with red onions, garlic, peas, carrots, a creamy tomato sauce (I'm going from memory because it is not listed on their online menu).  All tossed with Northern Italian wide cut egg noodles - papparadelle.  The beef was falling apart tender - just the way I like roast beef.  The vegetables were perfect - not too much, not too little...and very tasty; the sauce was very flavorful and the papparadelle cooked perfectly al dente.  A smattering of mozzarella topped it off perfectly.
Roast Beef Papparadelle

We decided to forgo dessert (I think we were both tired of sitting there after two hours and ready to move around) so we paid our bill and hopped into the car to head for home. 

Crossing the bridge was gorgeous as the sun was setting and shining through the clouds over the bay.  A perfect ending to a nice celebratory dinner...despite the slow service!  I heard our favorite waiter say "there's nothing 'fast' about Gabriella's food...but the food is really good" and that is the absolute truth!

♫ "we're on our way home...we're goin' home..." ♫

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!

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