02 November 2008

"Tell me how I'm supposed to breathe with no air" --Jordin Sparks

We meet good friends on Sunday for lunch and hiking. Now I could wax on about how spectacular Sugarloaf Mountain is at this time of year--and it is-- and how lucky we are to have good friends to share fresh air and spectacular vistas with--and we are-- but why do that when I can grouse? Especially about plans that I didn't lift a finger to orchestrate.

We meet for lunch at a deli in Silver Spring: The Parkway Deli. This is apparently the Studio 54 of delis.* It is a mob scene. "Loud and crowded" do not begin to convey the feeling.**

We wait in line, squeezed in uncomfortably close, for half an hour. When we are finally signaled to come forward, we are shown to a "staging area", where there is a shorter, even more compressed line. That's right, a line for a line. What is this, Disney World?

While we are standing in this fresh hell, the hostess asks us to please not block the aisles adjacent to the area that she has put us in. The woman behind me, a total stranger, starts to spoon me. As I have nowhere to go, and I'm not going to be intimidated into moving the 1/4 inch forward I've selfishly kept to myself, I nuzzle back into her.

Another 10 minutes pass and we are directed to a booth. AHHH! We have arrived! Except that it is every bit as noisy as it was in line. This is not my idea of a relaxing lunch.

To their credit, the food is good, inexpensive, and brought quickly, but you'd think they were giving it away for free, the way people are jamming in there and shouting to be heard.*** I, for one, don't get it. I couldn't wait to get out of there and I will not be going back.

* If Studio 54 still existed and smelled of kosher dills.

** You know that feeling you get when you're at a concert and you've scored spectacularly close seats but you're right in front of the 200 foot speakers and the music is so loud the fillings in your teeth are vibrating and the crowd is nevertheless pressing in on you and you think, "If I don't get out of here RIGHT NOW I'll die"? That was quiet and spacious compared to this.

*** Chipotle was giving away free burritos on Friday to people dressed as burritos. I was in the city and saw the aluminum foil madness but cheerfully avoided it, having just recently had the full Chipotle experience.


charlotteharris said...

Ahhhh... but those of us transplanted native Long Islanders will go to great lengths to have a pastrami on rye that reminds us of home. And the Parkway might be our best bet. That's why I drive all that way and stand in that line. If delis like that were not so few and far between I doubt I'd put up with the noise either.

LiLu said...

Loeb's at 14th and I is pretty remarkable as well, as far as delis go.

Mike said...

Yogi says it best with his comment, "nobody goes there anymore, it's to crowded".

Stand in line for food? It has to be a real short line.

rs27 said...

That deli is great. I'm pretty sure I got molested there though ebcause people were so close to me.

I think i liked it.

LBluca77 said...

That post made me hungry.

zandria said...

I wouldn't wait in a line like that. I avoid situations where people are packed so closely together. And just for deli food? I'm sure it's good, but still...

GreenCanary said...

Sorta the same thing with the Royal Bagel Bakery in Germantown. If you go there on a Saturday morning, be prepared to get groped by hungry bread-lovers while waiting for a bagel and schmear.

Kate said...

I can't go places that are crowded. It freaks me out. I lose out on alot of things because of that.

fiona said...

I don't mind squishing it's the volume I can't stand. If everyone would just shurrup it might be kinda cosy.

restaurantrefugee said...

I have such fond memories of lunches and late breakfasts at Parkway. It should be noted, however, that none of them occurred on Saturday or Sunday around brunch time. Next time you have a three day weekend and most of the world forgets to have brunch on Monday because no places are open, take a trip into shallow Silver Spring and enjoy Parkway as it is meant to be enjoyed.

Reya Mellicker said...

I want you to be a restaurant reviewer, I mean a well paid, well regarded, famous, rich restaurant reviewer. You're so good at it!

Kristin said...

It's a good thing I don't know the places to go; I don't think I'd like them.

lacochran said...

CharlotteHarris: It's all yours. Emjoy.

Lilu: Remarkably good? Remarkably crowded? Remarkably loud?

Mike: Right you are.

Rs27: Sorry if I bumped you but glad it worked for you.

Lbluca77: Nothing beats a good blintz.

Zandria: I feel the same way.

GreenCanary: *scratches Royal Bagel Bakery off list*

Kate: There are plenty of places that aren't packed tighter than Andy Travis' pants.

Fiona: The noise is exhausting.

RestaurantRefugee: Noted.

Reya Mellicker: I think I'd love that!

Kristin: Sometimes it's much better to be out of the loop.

f.B said...

I think the overcrowded-problem is clear: someone started a rumor that there was early voting at Parkway.