Mateo

It’s been kind of a lost weekend.  I had dozens, just piles and piles, of to-dos to accomplish.  This is pretty much what I did instead:

Porch swing, and Gone Girl. I mean, I didn’t even…I didn’t think that…how the hell did they….wow.  Just- wow.  I couldn’t stop until it was over.  I’m exhausted.

I did cross a few things off the list though.  I puppy-proofed a little, you know, in a casual way, just in case.  I worried alllll weekend about Hypothetical Puppy, who is not himself hypothetical, but it’s still very hypothetical whether he might come live with me. My stomach is in knots thinking about it.  Deep calming breaths.   I rearranged my guest room and made a massive Goodwill run.  I made four more state fair recipe attempts.  No dice. I do not have a winner yet.  My confidence is wavering and I have been through terrifying amounts of both butter and brown sugar.  I added two more bands to my September music list, which ties me with last year’s total, although I did not blow that total out of the water as intended.  (43 bands in 30 days, if we’re counting.)   And I did a long fall Sunday walk (with Gone Girl in my bag) to Third Place, where I curled up in a sidewalk chair for something like two hours without looking up from my book, except to get a coffee refill.  I haven’t even managed to open my New York Times yet.

Probably my best achievement of the weekend, though, is my trip to Mateo with Tucker and Julia.  I decided to start working through the Triangle’s international restaurants, having given up on my try-every-food-truck goal.  There are too many sandwich and ice cream trucks.  I can’t get excited about sandwich and ice cream trucks, not when there’s the possibility that Pie Pushers is around somewhere.

So we started with Mateo.  It’s dark and swank in there.  It’s set up like a French brasserie, which is weird for a tapas place, but it works.  I immediately developed a huge crush on these lights:

Since it’s tapas, there are a million choices, and nothing looked even vaguely familiar, so it was already going to be an evening of firsts.  They came by and took our drink orders.  “I’ll have the amontillado,”  I said.

Tucker and Julia both looked at me like we’d never met.

“What’s amontillado?”  They asked.

“I don’t have a clue,” I said.  “I can’t wait to find out.  You know, Edgar Allen Poe? The Cask of Amontillado?”  They both looked at me hard.

“What.”  I said.  “English major.”

Turns out, amontillado is sherry.  Who knew?  On its own, it’s not my thing.  But look how pretty:

It tastes a little like toasted almonds, and went pretty well with the feast we had.  Everything comes in tiny portions, which was good, because we had a lot of them.  There was oxtail on garlic mashed potatoes, and a Spanish barbeque slider, and then something that looked omelette shaped but was actually fried cheese.  With a duck egg inside.  You’ll have to take my word for it that it was transformative.  That one stopped all of us mid-sentence, and we three are hard to stop mid-sentence.

The next round was calamari, and pimento cheese croquetas, and grilled shrimp.  We followed up with churros dipped in chocolate sauce.

It was a splurge, on every level.  It made for a pretty good start, as far as the international food list goes.  I’d go back this second for another plate of queso frito con huevo.

Next on the international food list is probably Afghan, but I’m open to suggestion.  I’d love to know your favorites.

So, the weekend has not turned out exactly as planned, but that’s fine, I’m trying to leave space in my life for “unplanned,” which is not easy for a to-do lister to do.

I’m getting better at it.

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2 Responses to Mateo

  1. I know- fried cheese with an egg inside would be a great way to start the day! Hope y’all had a great time- hoping to catch Geoffrey on Friday too! And maybe you??

  2. meredith says:

    Ah, so funny….Geoffrey got in town last night late and we made him meet us at Mateo immediately. Sadly, (for him) the queso frito was devoured before his arrival. I pretty much want that every day for breakfast!

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