Maven Takes a Field Trip

Dish 92: Fish ribs or Haloumi and lounza sandwich at Kanella, 10th and Spruce,

Thursday, Maven took a walk to Kanella to have a goodbye lunch for Megan, to celebrate her three great years that helped develop Maven into the nascent star it is today. The light atmosphere carried from the office to the temporary satellite campus on 10th and Spruce, and the conversation shifted from how to persuade clients not to demonstrate bizarre athletic contraptions on TV to getting along with siblings, babies, and the best Memorial Day weekend plans.

While the other ladies discussed hummus versus tzatziki, the platter versus the spanakopita, I quietly dreaded the prospect of fish ribs. What were they? Are you expected to eat the bones? Do they get stuck in your teeth?

Our floppy haired waiter explained that the fish ribs are made from the prominent, sturdy ribcage of the pacu fish, which is an omnivorous (read: voracious and not picky) cousin of the piranha. While pacu have a less severe underbite than piranhas, and are therefore cuter and sometimes sold as pets, do not be fooled. Wikipedia notes a report that a pacu once leapt from its aquarium and bit off its owner’s nose. The nose was reattached, but the left nostril could not be saved. The collective sucking-in of breath was released when the waiter added, “But we are not serving it now. There was difficulty with the supplier.” Whew.

Megan, Jessica, and Rebecca all ordered the platter, which offered several bites of popular Greek dishes; Sarah bowed out early to meet with a client; and I opted for the halloumi and lounza sandwich, a Mediterranean cousin of the ham and cheese, with a thick slab of ham and a generous chunk of a mozzarella-like cheese on a toasty multigrain roll.

Halloumi and lounza sandwich

 As we cooperatively shuffled seats to maximize shade and happily noshed on Greek eats, I realized we spend more time with our co-workers than anyone else. Certainly, much of the time we are glued to the phone or the computer, but there aren’t many people with whom we spend 8 hours continuously. In one room. Listening to one of Jessica’s well-mixed playlists on the iPod that was frozen in time when her friend spilled coffee on it. That’s why I like work so much, because it has a funny way of bringing together strangers with the same purpose and making them into friends. And we grow and change, sometimes our purpose will change, and we need to move, but our friends will remain.

Maven, from left: me, Jess (in sunglasses), Rebecca, Megan (not pictured: Sarah)


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