Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Beautiful Night in Woodlawn: Dinner at The Firehouse

I'd been out of town most of the week, down the valley talking with some people that, from time to time, need talking with. When business takes me out of town, Dolly-girl turns domestic diva while I make the rounds with talked-with people. Come the time I set the brake in front of the house, I'm ready to be home and she's ready to be out. It can lead to tension.

This week, I picked up the blower on the way home. I called. She answered, "Dolly-girl." "It's me." "I knew it was you when I seen it was you [Dolly-girl screens]." "Let's do the Firehouse tomorrow." The Firehouse is a joint in our part of Stumptown, northwest of what people in the Northwest call Gourmet Gulch, but still on our side of both rivers. The part of town we call home and others call Woodlawn. She cooed. I could see her peeking through the wave. Dolly-girl likes the Firehouse and we've been there a coupla-times--took her and some friends there on her big day, back when she was younger than she is today. That won't get me a look through the wave.

I called Kitty. She answered. "Sure," she was in a Firehouse mood. Kitty lives in the neighborhood. I know her from way back, when she and me worked the waterfront. Dolly-girl and her hit it off. She's a fun chiquita and she knows how to laugh even when there's not so much to laugh about. Some call her Baby, but a kitty named Baby used to live next door so we call the kitty Baby and Baby, Kitty. Follow?

It's a nice night so we ride shanks mare to the Firehouse. I stuffed a snubnose in my jacket, a pack of Luckies in my shirt, and my Zippo in my pocket. Our neighborhood sees the least of Stumptown from time to time and I'm a Scout--Be Prepared.

The Firehouse is in an old firehouse. Clever name, eh? The mister of the place showed us to a table in a corner of the front room where I could see to the side and out the front. He knows my business and if he wants my business he's going to put me where I can keep an eye on business. The room's wide open, the hash slingers are working the home-on-the and the brick oven while we watch. It's the kind of place that keeps me loose while I get tight. I like it.

Missy brought us some Bull Run and the whadda-ya-drinking, whadda-ya-wants. "I'm guessing Bull Run ain't gonna do it for you tonite, am I right?" He was right. "Hop Lava," was my order. Kitty wanted to try a couple from the tap jockey. Dolly-girl ordered up a skid-row, blond, by the name of Domaine des Ménard--Cotes de Gascogne. Kitty settled on a local ESB, HUB. The girls' spots were hit so I was happy. Besides, that Hop Lava is some hoppy brew--what's gonna eat at you about that?

Missy parked at the table. "Food?" "Yep." "Yours?" "Hang some beef for me." "Medium-red OK? And?" "Something from the sea--cod, the real cod, will do it. Cook it on wood and bring me some green mobster." "Salmoriglio? It's yours. And?" "Fennel sausages--got any lentils and green sauce you can stir up?" "You betcha." "Bring us some get-us-goings: fried stuffed olives; beets and pecans; and beans and fennel." "You betcha." He was gone. We toasted the day.

Missy brought the get-us-goings and they did the trick. Just the snack to make the drinks need to be drunk. We told him to do it again and he did--the drinks, that is.

Missy buzzed around, laid the table, and brought the orders. It was what we asked for, and then some.

Kitty's steak was sliced thin, done just right, and mixed with some seared cowfeed and stacked high on some crisped up murphies. There was some shaved wax--looked like Grana Padano to me--on the side.

The fish swam right up to Dolly-girl's place and flopped over, ready to toss it in. Some roasted what's-up-docs and fennel were tucked under it. Dolly-girl flashed me a look through the wave--making a date for the Firehouse took the tense out of domestic, follow?

Sausage? Home-made. All-gone.

Missy cleared the nothing's-lefts and brought a tempter. The girls checked it out and settled on a who-knows-what that was really good. Dolly-girl purred, "Meyer lemon semifreddo with amaretti..."It was down the hatch and out the door with Jackson and Hamilton, arm-in-arm, left behind for each of us. I dropped an extra ten spot for Missy--it made a generous see-you-next-time.

Dolly-girl, me, and Kitty headed out into the night. It was quiet and calm, and a good thing; I couldn't have chased a shot with a beer after that feed.

The Firehouse? Like most firehouses, they give it their all and you get more than you pay for. It's not the last time we'll be there.


Ronna said...

I love the "what's up docs." Very funny!

Elisabeth said...

Love the Blog. Been following it since Ronna let the cat out of the bag. Just call me....Betty.

Why Oxbow? said...

Thanks for reading Elisabeth. Of course Betty is both a name and noun and an adjective on these pages. Check out December 31, 2008...

Newsman said...

Cripes! That photo of those sausages made me mouth water!
That would be enough to fuel us through a morning of slicing up some logs on Fiske's Corner, lad.