My friend from writing class, Karin (not to be confused with my drawing class friend, Karen), volunteered to write a food review for Philly Style magazine or someone and so invited me along for a free meal last night. The overall dining experience at Meze's was good and I don't want to sound like I'm not recommending it because I am fully recommending it, with the following suggestions:
1. Hold on tight to your silverware and keep an elbow on your plate at all times. Since this is a newer restaurant, the waitstaff has over-service-itis; you know, filling up your water glass after every sip, whisking your plate away at the slightest provocation (if you happen to momentarily lean back in your chair, for instance), having three different people ask you how everything is at four minute intervals, etc.
2. Don't order fish. Actually, that's just a note to myself. If you like fresh fish, order it. If you enjoy choking on tiny little white bendy bones, have the sea bass. We were told we could have it prepared at the table (with head) or fileted downstairs (without head but with fan-tail). We opted for headless. It did come without a head, though the fish platter also contained two eight-inch long sardines whose only disfigurement was the slice down the center of the belly that you were supposed to cut into and eat (I guess. I don't really know what you do with sardines). The heads with the little dead eyes were there and the tails and possibly even the scales. I don't like to eat anything with a face on it and I also don't like to eat anything that looks like it died violently just seconds before.
3. Don't exit the building when you hear a fire alarm; it's actually the ring of the phone at the hostess' stand.
4. If you want the manager to stop by your table, talk about strip clubs. Karin was describing a local male strip club where the women go wild and the manager stopped in his tracks and came over to our table, saying, "Oh, excuse, I overheard you say strip club," and then he told us about how he and his fiance have an ongoing argument about how much more subdued men are at strip clubs than women. I said something academic-like about the male gaze and double standards and he said, "Enjoy your pita! It's fresh from Greece!" and left. Veiled sexual innuendo? If so, compliment or not a compliment?
5. For dessert, you will be offered 5 strange things and 4 of them will have nuts in them. Order the thing without the nuts. It's doughy and has some strange fruit glaze on top (pineapple? apricot?) but no bones.
There now, see I've done all of Karin's work for her, thereby earning my meal.