Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I had an authentic--that is, huge--muffaletta sandwich at Cafe Beinet.

It was a dreary morning: it had been raining, and a fine mist still hung shimmering in the air. My friends and I wandered over to the restaurant for a quick bite. The restaurant was decorated with statues of New Orleans music legends; a sign boasted live jazz every night from 6 PM 'til close.

The muffaletta was too big to tackle alone; I had to share with a friend. We split the sandwich (making the meal quite affordable!) and both ordered Earl Grey tea. I poured in some skim cream and stirred in brown sugar. The steam was nice and warm against my cold hands.

As we sat down, it was hard not to notice the birds.

The birds started out beside the trash can. During the meal, they started to inch their way over. At one point, several birds were perch on the table beside us within reaching distance. Birds scurried around underfoot for crumbs, not caring that in a single movement we could squash them flat.

Of course, they jumped in the trash when we threw our food away!

Back to the sandwich.

When I bit into the muffaletta, I first noticed the strong taste of olives. The meat, tomatoes, lettuce--that all came after. It was a nice, hearty meal. I enjoyed the tactile sensation of sitting on a wet chair in a New Orleans café with this huge sandwich in my hands.

(I gotta say, the Earl Grey tea was the greatest idea ever. I walked around with it after the meal, and each hot sip warmed my body for the briefest of moments. It was lovely.)

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