Dear Bloggees, I have been so blessed to stay in touch with lots of different friends from different periods of my life. That sounds braggy, but what I really mean is this: I feel so lucky that these friends are such good people that, for example, even after being out of regular contact for a long time, four of our five middle school "best friends FOREVERRRRR" group were able to get together and catch up. We went to different high schools and different colleges and, besides a couple of accidental run-ins with Evanne in San Francisco, I hadn't seen any of them in literally years. It was long overdue and it was so much fun.
Evanne, Michelle, Megan, and I decided the best place to do this reunion would be a long-standing Palo Alto haunt, NOLA.
NOLA is the place I remember going in high school for birthday dinners; the place where, in college, my high school friends and I would re-congregate on holiday breaks (especially after turning 21); a place I frequented in law school. If this place goes out of business, I don't know what I'd do - where would I get my fill of Creole cuisine and oversized drinks?
No, I take that back. They're just the right size.
For any inquiring minds, I got the Ginger Julep. It was delicious, and obviously very photogenic.
What's that? That's not a qualification for a drink? Then you're not a blogger, my friend! Or, you have more discerning taste than I do. Let's move along...
We got the crab guacamole ("crabamole"), which was exactly as good as you'd think it was. I am a sucker for fresh crab and anything with avocado on it, so put the two together and your mouth is in California heaven!
We also got the chicken andouille sausage gumbo with cornbread. I don't usually care for gumbo, so the fact that I lapped this up is astounding.
I'll be honest, the fried green tomatoes were not the best...but we ate them anyway. Even the things that are less than stellar at Nola are still pretty darn good and worth your while. Or your mouth's while.
These "black and blue" ahi fish tacos more than made up for any fried green let downs! They were delectably spicy and perfectly sized. We cut them each in half because there were four of us (math) and they were still big enough to satisfy our cravings when combined with all the other apps we got.
Of course, we couldn't leave without some grits. These BBQ shrimp and grits (with garlic bread to, as the menu says, "mop up") were fantastic. Subtle, but flavorful, and definitely enough to share and still get your fill.
And, finally, who doesn't want macaroni and cheese?
We finished our evening by making the waiter and then the hostess take a multitude of pictures of us...and then comparing it to a very unflattering (of me, at least) photo of us from 8th grade graduation. Maybe someday I'll share that with you guys, but, today is not that day. Let's just say, I've come a long way in the art of makeup...
(Michelle, Evanne, me, and Megan)
For now you'll have to wait in suspense as to why we called ourselves the Flamingos...!
...Alright, I'll tell you. I have no earthly idea. All I remember is that I was the red flamingo (duh, hair) and the rest of us were similarly attributed with pink, yellow, blue, and green titles. We were The Flamingos and we were BFFs and we had a grand old middle school time. I'm not being sarcastic! There are some things about your younger years that just make you so happy to remember, that amidst all of the craziness of growing up and finding yourself, you had great friends and inside jokes and you could create this connection with other people that lasted into adulthood.
It was like our very own Now & Then! Aw.
Guys, help me out - why were we flamingos? Did we just like the animal? I need to know! You can tell me at our next club meeting.