"We are born two drinks shy of happiness. Two drinks gets you to what feels like the natural starting line of life. It’s a warm restoration... But if you’re unlucky, it gets harder to hit that retreating target of two-drink contentment."
Let that linger on your lips a little bit, long enough to give your teeth a purple hue. So far, I’ve been able to keep the target steady, primarily through a focused effort to skip days. Years ago I even had an idea for a line of T-shirts that read: “I Skipped Tuesday!” Wash, rinse and repeat for Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, or however your policy goes.
A lot of people would be confused by this shirt, but those of us in the club (sure, we’ll make a club, and our club will meet at a bar!) will give a knowing, low-key wink to each other when passing in the street.
A Round for the KitchenIt serves as an (awkward) segue into another topic: Did you know that at many restaurants, you can buy a round of drinks for the kitchen? I’d never seen that before, until recently at Dibs on Victory. At the center of their drink menu is a box that reads “Beers for the Kitchen, Buy a Round for the Crew to Enjoy $10."
I reached out to them to see if they’re being serious and, if so, how often that happens.
“Yes, of course it happens! Our customers are great,” the Dibs rep replied via Messenger. “We have an incredible team that works extra hard, so we love when people want to compliment the chef. This is a vehicle for them to truly do that.”
I also reached out to an old soul in the food industry, chef Kenny Mills, who started working in kitchens in 1975. Because the ’70s and ’80s, right?
“Back in the ’80s, it was pretty common. TGI Friday's would even offer a shift beer to each kitchen employee after they clocked out. We had a cool manager back then that would bring a tray of shots to the kitchen after a hard shift,” Mills says.
Seems like it might also be more common practice for chefs.
“I myself have bought kitchen crews a round of beers when I’ve been out eating and I’ve bought my crews beers many, many times,” Mills says. “I only have one rule about it: Wait until you are off the clock. Don’t drink on the job.”
Moving targets and all.
So, the next time you’re out and the whimsy strikes, ask your server about buying a round for the kitchen.
Congress Hearts WineFinally, I hope you’re following the proposed tit-for-tat wine tariffs that could do an amazing amount of harm to the wine industry and drinkers at large. Let me set the stage just a wee bit: There’s a thing called the United States Trade Representatives and they could, at any time, impose more (yes, more) tariffs on wines from France, with pricey affects. You might be like, “Well, I drink Spanish wine, no me importa.” Well, it’s all linked and connected through distributors. It’s like trickle-down economics. Buckle up.
But, some good news! In this time of political dysentery, Congress got busy in the name of cabernet sauvignon. First, there’s a Congressional Wine Caucus, which was formed in 1999. Who knew, right?
And on Jan. 14, they sat around a big table, with barrels of vino and wrote this letter, imploring USTR's Ambassador Lighthizer to consider the full financial ramifications of these tariffs. Below are your Texas representatives who signed the letter, in case you want to get out your Sharpies and glitter for a thank you card.
Lloyd Doggett (TX-35)
Veronica Escobar (TX-16)
Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18)