One of my favorite restaurant moments was in July of 1982, at the Olive Tree Cafe on Macdougal Street, just below Washington Square (In NYC, that is).
I was sitting at the bar, drinking a turkish coffee (this was before we knew about espresso), eyeing the waitresses. At that point, I hade been eyeing the OTC waitresses for almost a decade, but what made this particular moment special was that the singularly most spectacularly attractive waitress of all times, the waitress of my dreams, was working her first shift.
Instantly I knew that this was the girl for me. I smiled at her. She actually smiled back. So I waved. She waved back (we were all of six feet apart).
About two years later, we were married, and tomorrow, we'll be taking our older two children down for the best shwarma, babba ganoush and french fries and bugers in NYC, not to mention borscht, and a few other faves. We take the kids there once a year or so, to see where mommy picked up daddy, or vice versa, depending on who is telling the story. The booster seat at Olive Tree was purchased by management for our Paula, whos is almost 13.
Incidentally, I'll confess that I prefer the felafel from Mahmoun's next door. In the old days, I'd wait in line in the dingy, dark crowded hole of thar served as Mahmoun's dining room, be served a perfect felafel by a brusque Palestinian youth, slather it in harissa (hot sauce), down it on the street, then saunter into the Olive Tree for a cafe, and to gaze at beauty and dream of nirvana.