Dishes 85 & 86: Roasted Chicken & Burger, Rouge, 18th and Walnut, http://www.rouge98.com/
Graduates receive advice from everyone, from random ladies in the T-shirt booth at the Phillies’ game to wise twentysomethings. At high school commencement, overwhelmed by the weight of one-liners and overarching Big Thinks, I chose one to guide all of my choices: John Housley’s famous advice, “Nobody looks good in sweatpants.”
I threw away all but one pair of my sweats, in case of cold days and bad breakups, and you know what? I haven’t done so bad. Mr. Housley also taught Film, and we all learned that about one third of the way into the movie –or four months into a twelve-month challenge– there is a paradigm-shifting plot point. Thao tries to steal Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino. Terrorists take over Nakatomi Plaza. Ingrid Bergman walks into Rick’s American Café. The class of 2010 walks the plank. We kiss the PA Gang goodbye, wish one another well, and head along on our paths.
Freshman year I had eight superclose friends, the PA Gang, and we did everything together, from surreptitiously planting tulips all over South Campus to transforming Olivia’s room into a Christmas wonderland, with a chimney that billowed out tissue smoke. Our varied interests guided us down different roads; but yesterday, for margaritas and spinach dip at our old favorite, Chili’s, we were reunited. Olivia, Sarah, Steph, Jess, and I sat in the window booth reminiscing about our unforgettable freshman year.
No sooner had I kissed my friends goodbye than Brian and I jumped on the train to meet his graduate communications classmates at the Phillies game—my first baseball game ever! We ate copious amounts of one-dollar hot dogs and cracker jacks, and I can’t wait to go back.
Today I introduced Brian to Salon Vanity (on 17th and Walnut; results are so silky smooth the salon emits a faint glow) and we had lunch at Rouge. I couldn’t resist swapping the potato puree that comes with the roast chicken for the truffle and parmesan frites, and as the scent wafted from the kitchen, Brian looked at me and said, “here comes truffle!” I don’t know what was better, the mindblowing frites or the aromatic, tender chicken—but the clear victor was the intoxicating, paralyzing, blinding burger.
This probably says everything.
So yes, it was bittersweet to graduate. I am going to miss my friends tremendously. But this is only the beginning of a far bigger adventure.
Tags: bartley hall, best friends, brian, burger, casablanca, causing trouble, chili's, class of 2010, die hard, freshman, fries, frites, graduation, gran torino, growing up, moving on, parmesan, phillies, roast chicken, rouge, salon vanity, spinach and artichoke dip, truffle, tulips, villanova, window booth