Food Fight

Ex In The City

Staying friends with an ex-girlfriend is a certain kind of special. Some people are too self-centered. But I've always enjoyed the reminiscing, like when we broke up on the steps of The Louvre.

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12 weeks have passed since I had surgery to re-attach my achilles. That's not a metaphor for my inability to keep a relationship. That's a fact: I snapped my achilles playing basketball.

Since the surgery, walking has not been easy. So you'd think a working-vacation in New York City might not be the best idea, since it's a "walking town." Everyone walks, all the time. The sidewalks are like a runway show of high fashion. The women are adorable.

Especially "Cheeks," my ex from college: Hippy Chick turned Power Lawyer, Long Island Lolita turned Uptown Hot Mom (I'd call her a "MILF," but I don't want Phil, her husband, to get the wrong idea).

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We meet on the Upper West Side just around the corner from Citrus Bar & Grill, the first restaurant I got hired at to be The Executive Chef. Unfortunately, back then, I knew how to make changes but I didn't know how to lead.

So what did I do? I changed everything: homemade bread, homemade pastries, even going so far as rebuilding the entire menu, from Southwestern to Spanish Cuisine. The regulars were furious.

The owner, Louis Lanza, figured my experience working as a Sous Chef under the Too Hot Tamales, celebrity chefs on The Food Network, would bring him notoriety. That's how he saw it. I saw it as an opportunity to get paid. I did. I got paid. I got paid a lot. In fact, it was the first, and last time, I was ever overpaid.

My flimsy connection to The Food Network only got me so far. As soon as Louis Lanza realized the cameras weren't coming, I got fired. In two seconds flat, I went from Executive Chef making $75,000.00 per year to a burnt-out Line Cook making $8.00 an hour at Gramercy Tavern in a basement kitchen with no air circulation, and a chain smoking crew. 

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So much for leadership.

Jen and I meet at Josie's. She has Black Bean Gluten-Free Dumplings. I have Seared Tofu over Baby Arugula. Jen's 6-month-old, Ruben, dives into the Roasted Sweet Potatoes, right off my plate. Imagine the scene: me having lunch, just down the street from my big break in the food business, with an ex-girlfriend I love all the way back to college, and the Sweet Potato stained baby my mother doesn't get to call her grandson.

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Now that's a masterpiece which belongs in The Louvre.

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5 Comments

Babs said:

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Always loved Cheeks. I'll say this for Joey. He always had good taste and made some good choices in the women he got serious with. Diana, Sarah, Cheeks (Jen #1), Jorie, Nicole and Jennie!

vince vegas said:

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Girlfriends may come, and girlfriends may go, and some will just peater out you know. But we will be friends through thick and thin. Peter out or Peter in.

Tap Duncan said:

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To me, it's a testament to your character if you can still get along with an ex. Too often, we let pride get in the way, or the need to be right. Good on you, amigo. The meal was a great story. We can unlove from the romance, and replace it with the love of the person as a friend.

vince vegas said:

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How long do I have to wait for a new post? Sure, I gave you a travel day. Now get to work. It only took Joey 23 minutes to post a new blog, and that was with uploading and resizing pictures. Maybe Greg can learn to cook and turn the pen over to Joey.

vince vegas said:

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So, here I sit. Nothing to write about. I need direction. If this blog can't help me then I must move on to another. Speaking of that, does MoveOn.org have a blog? If so, can you give me their site? Thanks in advance for your cooperation in this matter.

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