Saturday, August 9, 2014

Why I Hate Yelp and Love My Wife

(With apologies to James Thurber -- and his short story, "What Do You Mean It Was Brillig?)

I was sitting with my iPad on the couch this morning, staring at the screen, when Nancy walked by.

"It looks like the elks are going to pay for the maps!" she said cheerfully.

It did not surprise me that they were. Living with Nancy, it would not surprise me if the elks not only paid for the maps, but also bought drinks for the caribou. No doubt hilarity would ensue.

Life with Nancy is always brillig; she can outgrade a mome rath on any wabe in the world. Only Lewis Carroll would understand my wife completely. I try hard enough.

I tried Googling this phrase and found myself at the Colorado Parks & Wildlife site. I could have continued, as I often do on lazy Saturdays, wandering the Internet. But I had no interest in obtaining a license to hunt elk.

So I simply asked Nancy to explain further -- and discovered the prosaic truth that she was referring to elks with a capital E and certain maps of interest to our local Historic Preservation Commission.

A typical Saturday: My mind sometimes works so fast that my body can't keep up with it.

Anyway, this evening, I wanted to go someplace different for dinner, so I suggested that we finally try Luigi's -- an iconic-looking small restaurant on a Ridgefield Park side street that we have driven past for years.

It was wonderful... in the sense that the food was terrific and the atmosphere was unique. For example, there was a large crucifix hanging in the dining room.

The waitress/bartender was friendly and charming, with a uniquely warm and melodic voice. The rest of clientele, gathered around the bar at the other side of the room, was engaged in a high-spirited, intelligent and witty conversation about first love, complete with obligatory references to "How I Met Your Mother."

I thought the place was so great -- and, truly, it was the best cheese tortellini I had ever eaten, and they had ice cold Peroni on tap, for God's sake -- that I immediately Googled it when we returned home.

Despite being a family-owned restaurant in business since 1948, Luigi's received mixed reviews.

I was, in fact, horrified by the litany of mean-spirited, semi-anonymous reviews -- not only for Luigi's but seemingly for all local restaurants. One woman, from stay-classy-Bergenfield, NJ, was upset that Luigi's didn't accept a "double take" coupon and yet managed to have dinner for three for $27.70. An unedited excerpt from her Yelp review speaks for itself:

"It was taking a little long for anyone to come take our order but then a lady shows up. Hispanic girl, fairly young, nice looking and somewhat friendly. She brings our drinks and takes our order. While putting our drinks on the table, She sort of bent down and I noticed that her blouse dipped down too low and she gave my husband a major peep show, LOL. It didn't even look like she had a bra from my angle. I pointed it out to my husband and we both laughed about the classiness of this chick. An anka tatoo front and center of her chest was visible and then no bra or so we thought."

Nancy, meanwhile, loved the waitress, and the experience, and the food. We had a great time tonight.

No, Luigi's is not Olive Garden.

And this is why I love Nancy.

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