Kentucky Derby

Let’s just stop right here. You don’t care. You really don’t.

We’ll all pretend that we are of the horsey set for a few hours but we aren’t. We have no idea whose mare was sired by whose stud or any other such nonsense. But we are pretending.

I hate it but there will be no mint julips. You can have a sugared bourbon.., no idea why you’d want that but we have the technology. We just don’t have mint. And no, I’m not hitting the Piggly Wiggly for a bit of mint on the off chance that you (you don’t) care for a preposterous drink that you would never consider ordering if it weren’t for a sporting event that you only watch once a year, maybe a diminishing two more times if the same horse wins.

You really don’t care.

I used to throw a party for the race. One time a local bartender from another restaurant was eating with me and he nailed the win, place, show. He won $15 grand. That was a fun day. He tipped obscenely. He gets a special trip to the grocery for some mint (did you catch the Britishism) but his was a rare occasion.

So come join us for a regular beer, glass of wine, or non mint infused cocktail. We’ll pretend we are Mark Twain or something for the two minutes of the race and we’ll make a fortune off the drinks we sell in the indeterminate period that NBC spends in the roll out. They talk for weeks for an event that flashes by. It’s gold.

Our House Wines

For the sake of all that is holy, if you are curious about our house wines do not go to their website. Pretentious at first, useless from there on out. You get nothing other than attitude and pictures of how happy and carefree the owners of the winery are. There’s also, at least as of this writing, a picture of a hamburger. That makes as much sense as you let it.

If you want to know about Mondavi CK wines, don’t talk to them. Talk to me. The only bit of useful info I got from their site is that the wine maker has the same name as my middle school friend’s dad. That guy was fun. He’d drive us around in a cherry red Miata and we’d get ice cream. Great guy.

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Otis! My Man!

Animal House (1978) Otis! My Man! - YouTube

We get to pick the music when we are the lead on a shift. Right now I’m in the restaurant as a customer for lunch. I took the day off in case my second vaccination shot plays havoc with my innards, but the ever charming waitress has chosen a station called vocal jazz. It’s pleasant.

With the exception of one waiter who played Gregorian chants and Soviet propaganda music just to see if any one noticed (they did) we set a pretty good mood with the music we play.

If you come in before we open on a day when I’m on, you’re likely to hear a semi-punk or hardcore band blasted at an obscene level. I’ve been on a Replacements kick lately and their album Pleased to Meet Me is just distilled happiness. But I cut that nonsense out when we open. When it’s time to entertain guests I ask Alexa to play the Otis Redding Station.

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The Purported Piracy of Restaurant Crews

Restaurant crews are usually pretty attentive about, if not obsessive on, being mannered but notably lax in their attentions to societal norms. I’m not impugning anyone’s character, and not just because I’m lax in my attention to societal norms. It’s just that we inhabit a slightly more off-kilter timeframe than most. We work when most eat and play, and we eat and play when most work.

I spent years as a real estate agent working a nine to whenever I needed to but mostly five job, but previous years of working at meal times left me unable to eat when everyone else did. You develop habits. I eat lunch at the time of day when the lunch crowd leaves, and have even when given the opportunity to be part of the lunch crowd.

It gets insular. Restaurant industry folks become friends if for no other reason that when we have free time, the only others that do are other restaurant industry folks. A mindset sets in. It’s not us vs. them, but there is definitely an us. We’re the ones you can call at one am because we are just making dinner.

Some of us opt out of that. I only work in the daytime now. You get kids of school age and you want to see them. That doesn’t happen when you are going to work when they are getting home from school. But those without kids have cash and no reason to get up in the morning. There are bars that exist on late night post-shift restaurant patrons.

We’re not all that piratical at DeVinci’s. I’ve mentioned on these electronic pages that years ago we caught a beer delivery guy trying to cheat both us and his company so we blackmailed him into providing a regular keg to the employees at his cost. That was about the most criminal I’ve witnessed here, but that was in the nineties. That was a different group. A really fun group, but a different group.

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