Food, food, food

February 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Do you find this hand scribbled tasting menu appealing?  Cesar and I certainly did.  On Saturday night, we visited the Metropolitan Building to sample their in-house caterer’s cuisine.  Nestled in a salmon colored interior room on the kooky third floor that houses a collection of antiques and props, we joined three other couples and a mother/daughter team, none of whom seemed to enjoy the scattered charm of the evening as much as we did.  After each bite, we kept saying, “Mmmm, that was tasty!”  The other guests were much more critical … of everything.  Some of the night’s comments included, “How are you planning to decorate the bath tub in the main bathroom?  It’s unsightly.” and, “This lemon flavor must be from a bottle, I taste benzoate.”

Benzoate?  My palette must not be refined enough if that one slipped by me.  But then again, I don’t spend much time analyzing the preservative flavor of everything I ingest.  So I’m going to go ahead and say I liked the lemon flavor of the perfectly cooked asparagus, even if it came from a bottle.  I like to be a little rough around the edges.  That way it’s so much easier to accept quirky elements like a bathtub in the bathroom (how’d it get there?), rather than letting it become an obstacle to my enjoyment of our wedding day.

The goal in attending the tasting was to make sure the caterer can in fact cook a piece of meat or fish.  The beef had a satisfying amount of red in the center, the salmon was melt-in-your-mouth, buttery-delicious, and the hors d’oeuvres were tasty enough to get me in line for seconds.  So for us, they passed the test.  After all, we are inviting guests to our wedding during which they will be fed, not a dinner party in which we’ll incidentally get married.  And so after savoring the last morsels of salmon, Cesar and I licked our chops and put satisfying plus signs next to the items we liked the best.  Others in the room asked flatly, “Is that it?”

For any bride considering the Metropolitan Building, this should be the take-away: the spaces are magnificent and there is the potential to have tons of fun putting together a totally unique and affordable event if you embrace the inherent character of the cracks and crevices.  But be aware that the owner Eleanor does business in a manner consistent with a bygone era, and while you can absolutely expect to enjoy yourself in the quirky world she has created inside the defunct factory, do not expect the trappings of a packaged ballroom wedding.  The staff is willing to accommodate any needs you might have, but they may go about it a little differently than you’re used to.  If you call to inquire about a tasting and Eleanor is not by her desk, she might ask you to put your inquiry on a postcard and send it via snail mail (in which case you simply call back later and ask to speak to Amanda).  If you ask her if she has recommendations for wedding officiants, she may tell you to that’s between you and your god.  If you call on the day of the tasting to confirm the time, you might have to call twice (or thrice).  So if you don’t enjoy eccentricity in your planning process, hire a planner who does.

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