One of the many benefits of working part-time is that I am now free to “do lunch.” At least once every week or two, Abby and I meet up with my dad on his lunch break. It’s a fun date for all of us.
My dad is a creature of habit, and so 9 times out of 10 we go out to eat at a little sandwich shop called DaVinci’s. It is such a classic place, I thought I’d tell you about it. It will probably remind you of some little restaurant that you know.
Inside, DaVinci’s is not that attractive. The floor is orange tile, the booths are orange, and the walls are decorated with yellowing posters that are at least 20 years old (one of them is a big list of Murphy’s laws, written so small you cannot read them unless you’re in the table immediately below the poster). In one corner are two ancient arcade games, which no one ever plays. The restaurant is small, containing maybe eight tables, and from the counter where you place your order, you can see into the whole kitchen.
The menu is one of those lined grids with the letters that you can press into place and rearrange (although it never changes). The fare is pretty standard- several kinds of sandwiches, hamburger, salad.
Every time we go, Dad knows every person in the restaurant. 80% of them are other “old guard” dentists who have been frequenting this same sandwich shop for the past 20 years. Everyone who is anyone in the local dental community shows up for lunch here on a regular basis. So we walk in and almost every patron looks up from his or her sandwich, burger, or salad and greets us. Before sitting down, we visit every table like politicians at a parade, except it’s us with the baby and everyone else pinching her cheeks. Sometimes it takes 10 minutes before we get to the front to place our order, even though, like I said, it’s a small place.
Not everyone in my family appreciates eating at Da Vinci’s very often. But I am my father’s daughter, and there’s something very comforting about the same old, same old of those orange plastic booths and my burger and fries. I’d like to lift my styrofoam cup to many more identical lunch dates!