Getting all fancy at the Metropolitan Grill

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We celebrated my birthday a few days early at the Metropolitan Grill, a famous steakhouse in Seattle. We went to this restaurant the same night Mike asked me to marry him and now, ten years and two kids later, we came back to say happy birthday to me and devour the best steaks in town.

We waited in the small lounge area for a long time which gave me an opportunity to ogle the steaks in the glass steak fridge. And listen to how many people were making Flinstone’s jokes about the long bone-in prime rib.

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I noticed how casually people were dressed. I had worn a dress and heels and forbade Mike from wearing his Seahawks jersey even though MANY people were in Seahawks sweatshirts, jerseys, mesh racer-back t-shirts and almost everyone was wearing jeans. Maybe it made me look like I never get out at all, a fancy dress is what I thought would be appropriate for a fine steak house while many people looked like they could also go to a monster truck rally. When we walked in and saw all the sportswear, Mike shot me a look like, “Oh, I guess we can’t wear that here, HUH?!”

Our reservation was at 7:15 but we weren’t seated until about 8PM. They were very apologetic when we were seated. By that time, I was already imagining that every name the server was calling was mine. The hunger and steak watching were getting to me. To make it up for the late seating, they gave us a free crab leg cocktail. We accepted the crab leg apology!

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I loved the long wine menu and finding the most expensive wine on the page, like the $3K bottle of Cristal. Which I wouldn’t be able to afford ever, only in my fantasies where I’m sipping this out of a glass while I’m in an ’80s limo that has a pool in the back. My bangs would be aquanet high and my tube top bikini would be a bright mutant pink.

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That’s why I can’t be in a fancy restaurant or rap video, even my fantasies are outdated.

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I drank a delightful pear lemon drop with a slice of pear in the glass. Though it wasn’t cheap, I didn’t need to take out a mortgage to place the order. I’m looking at you CHAMPAGNE!

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We shared lobster mac and cheese with large cuts of lobster meat embedded in the cheesy, creamy goodness. Better than any mac and cheese I’ve ever had and certainly better than any mac and cheese I’ll ever make for my kids. It’s out of the box until you get a job and buy your own mac and cheese, kids!

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Mike chose a New York strip loin, medium well. I was afraid he was going to get it well-done because that is a midwestern thing to do.

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I had thought I wanted the long bone-in steak (which was $150) but I was so happy with my steak. I went all out with a 38-oz porterhouse, medium rare. Go big or go home! Or go home big! I love my steaks pink and bloody. It was the size of my face and I had to remind myself that I was in a fancy restaurant, not a Chuck E. Cheese’s where it would be okay to put my face on the plate to see if it really was the same size. Plus, I had only one drink and one drink does not give me enough courage to measure it out and yell at my husband, “TAKE A PICTURE BABE!”

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HAPPY AND STEAK DRUNK.

For dessert, I chose the cherries jubilee and it was gorgeously prepared, even though my husband wanted to talk about wine and I just happened to capture what sounds like dirty talk.

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I had a great night celebrating me: The best reason to celebrate. Even though there were a few drunk women who kept high-fiving each other after each cackle and the doors were blocked off by 49 fans who didn’t understand how doors work, the night was perfect. There was fanfare, actual fire, and flowers thanks to my husband, plus about 30 ounces of porterhouse that is now in my fridge, waiting for me to take it out and relive one of the best dinners I’ve had in a long time.

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Cheers, friends!

Mona: giving men hope, kids none

Mike wanted to see Return of the Dinosaurs Live! which was in Tacoma this weekend. I was hesitant about going because I automatically knew it was expensive. It sounds expensive. Any show for kids that has an exclamation point or any punctuation will cost more money. I’m still paying off the loan I took out to bring my kids to “Mo’ Money Mo’ Problem$: A Boy’s Journey.”

There was a huge line to buy tickets. We stood in the cold with the wind whipping against our faces. I didn’t believe Mike when he said he had trouble buying tickets online. Whatever Father Time! I had to grab TJ who had run off and when I returned with him in tow, Mike turned to the guy behind him and said, “Could you tell my wife what you told me? That you couldn’t buy tickets online?” The man nodded and another woman in front chimed in and said, “Yeah, we couldn’t buy tickets online.” So I had to run up Shut Up Mountain because Mike was right and I couldn’t yell at everyone, “YOU ARE ALL TERRIBLE AT THE INTERNET!”

TJ had run off again as his is mission to give me a heart attack. The kids were getting restless, so I kept them running around in a far off corner while Mike made his way through the line. He finally emerged, having shelled out money for VIP kids tickets. VIP only meant free face painting and unlimited turns in the bouncy houses, not the VIP I wanted which was champagne room access or free mechanical bull rides or just one person from my past to appear only long enough to say very incredulously, “Mona! Are you losing weight?!”

Mike stopped me and said that the man who had stood behind him, who agreed that online ticket ordering was impossible, pulled him aside and said, “Did you say that was your wife?” Mike nodded and the guy smiled, adding, “That gives me hope!”

I made Mike walk through this entire scene a couple of times. Whenever this has happened, it goes a few ways. Usually people are amazed that I’m so young, he’s so old ancient mature and then sometimes it veers into creepyland where Mike’s friend will ask, “Do you have any friends?” Yes, I have friends. None who will date you.

I thought about how this man must have seen me when I returned with TJ, I was red-faced with a furrowed brow, having chased after our kid who doesn’t return to the sound of my voice. Maybe that’s what gave him hope? That no matter how hard the internet fails us and keeps waiting in the cold, as long as we have someone to keep our place in line, it’ll be okay? Or, if you marry someone younger, you can parade around your child bride at your high school reunion.

Inside, we spent our time pointing to moving jaws and jumping in bouncy houses, the roars of the dinosaurs echoing not like a warning but an invitation to come closer to the sharp teeth that in another far off time would have taken us all.

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