Last night, the staff of CGI Manalapan decided we needed to get together for a reunion, while most of us were still in Crown Heights. None of us had been to Basil, so that was the planned destination.
Three of us went ahead and walked in, thinking to save seats for the other four or five that would be joining us.
I walked in, and immediately felt out of place with my hat and jacket.
I tapped a worker on the shoulder, and asked him if there was space for six or seven of us, since it looked quite packed. He spoke to his manager, and the answer we got was, "Maybe in a while, there will be space."
While we were contemplating our next move, a woman came in from outside. It's hard to describe for you how I knew it, but for some reason I just got the vibe that this woman was crazy. You know, like how every restaurant has their crazy.
She asked us how many people we had, and we told her seven. "Did you make a reservation?" she asked. We told her we didn't, and how regretful we were about our terrible error. She told us she had a reservation for seven people. That meant we had a big line in front of us. "Where are your seven?" she asked us, seeing there were only three of us.
"They're coming," we told her. I then switched roles with her, and went on the offensive: "Where are your seven??!!" I boldly shot back.
"They're coming," she answered. My friend suggested that maybe we'll all get a table together, until the rest of our parties arrive.
Anyway, so we left the restaurant, and headed back towards Bank of America, thinking of a different dinner destination (alliteration, don'tchya know?).
"Come back!" we hear from behind us. Lo and behold, it was our crazy lady, waving to us. "Are you really leaving?"
"Yeah, there wasn't space," we answered.
"You're leaving just because there's no space?"
"Um... yes. And besides, I'd rather come when we have a reservation," I told her.
"No, no! I have space for you! Follow me," she said, and started walking towards Lincoln. She turned back to see that none of us had moved. "What? Don't you trust me?" She had started to turn the corner, and was appalled we weren't happily trotting behind her.
"No, we don't. I think you're going to take us into an alley and shoot us," I explained. She just laughed.
We slowly dragged our feet, playing an interesting game of trying not to be in front and closest to her, as we followed around the corner.
Hey! It was another restaurant! We were surprised as we looked around at this huge, empty restaurant, wondering if this was some treif place, or really part of Basil. She assured us it was the latter. It turns out she's part owner. Her part is about 1/60th, but she still has a part. And she hooked us up with their party room.
We had the place to ourselves, until a party of five showed up later.
We quickly ordered the Basil Fries, having heard so much about them. We were not disappointed. They were excellent!
I had heard so much about bad service, and lengthy waits for food, but we had a great dinner! The food was delicious, and came after a minimal wait. We had a great reunion, three days after camp ended, and we all made a new friend: Clara, the ([not so] crazy) lady who works there.
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