Are you sure this is a suit and tie event I asked my buddy as I was looking at the storefront where the party was set to take place. Other then some shady looking Russian dudes standing in front of a few black Mercedes with black tinted windows it did not appear as if anything was going on inside. From the outside it looked like one of those take out Chinese places, neon sign on top reading Royal Palace Glatt Kosher Club. Kind of looked crummy actually, well it was free food, so putting on a suit wasn’t to bad of a trade off. Neither is attending an event where I would know maybe 2 other people, free food is free food after all.
I walked into the place without even paying attention, I saw some food already laid out and hurriedly went to check my coat. I went straight to my friend Elliot to wish him a mazel tov upon getting engaged and chatted for a bit. His fiancée Amy was saying something about how I had better be hungry because there would be some sick amounts of food. I had taken a hike earlier in the day and was famished so I was ready for anything. The last time I had hung out with these two was with my ex-future-wife, we had gone to his house for shabbos and went to some Sphardi shull that had the sickest Kiddush ever, she reminded me of my fascination with the food there and said this would top my wildest dreams- I doubted it until I sat down.
I found my table and took a seat at the end, and proceeded to move the plate next to me and all the glasses in front of my plate over about two feet. I had no idea why I needed so many glasses. Then I saw it, my heart leaped for joy, I probably popped a woody, my jaw dropped and drool started to form on the edge of my mouth. The table had the most beautiful display of food I had ever seen, and it ad the most food I had ever seen. Stacked abreast all the way down the table were plates of weird looking veggie dishes. Sautéed onions with shitake mushrooms drizzled with delightful cream sauce, hearts of palm chili sauce, thinly sliced eggplant rolled up with fresh homemade basil and tomato sauce mimicking a pizza taste, these little scallion cakes, stuffed avocado, basic green salad with ranch dressing, roasted potatoes with grilled mushrooms, and plenty more, on top of these unbelievable array of garden madness that truly looked like a feast- lay another level of dishes, suspended above the salad courses- was a bunch of fish dishes, orange caviar around some sort of raw fish encased in filo-dough, tons of sushi and sashimi, teriyaki tuna, some noodles that looked like coleslaw but in actuality were made of fish. At this point some fellow ashkinazim sat down and also fixated lovingly on the feast of insanity begging their stomachs to expand to the needs of the massive feast that would surely not fit in our small suburban stomachs. G-d please grant us for one night stomachs that resemble big black women that eat 36 pieces of chicken for breakfast- was what they were saying as they loaded down their plates- fearing that this will fill the up before the meat even comes out.
So every time I sat back to adjust my belt and relish in what to take next my plate was exchanged by the ever present wait staff that was there whenever you needed or wanted everything, my personal waiter kept bringing me bottles of whatever I was drinking, in this case Spring mango nectar. The music started up and everyone was asked to rock the hora. A big circle was formed and a bunch of mobster looking Russians and scantily clad hotties started dancing to hava negila. Then some of the plates that were finished were cleared and new salads and fish plates containing completely new dishes were brought in their stead. Ok time for the meat I thought as the DJ put on some terrible dance music of the genre they play at teeny bopper clubs, that pounding bass, and a bunch of people grinding each other was the spectacle out on the dance floor. It was interesting because there were many frummies there. Log bearded black hat type fellows with their large wives wearing dead animal looking wigs on their heads. They look at awe when facing the dance floor and save their comments for the dinner table safely back in Boro-Park.
The waiters came and brought each individual a plate with sea bass- at least that’s what I thought it was. So I asked the waiter when the heck the meat would be served. He went on to say that we were on the 2nd course of a 7 course meal. Wow 3 course meals are big for me, this was insanity, my friend Kalman thought it reminded him of King Achashvaroshes feast that went for 180 days. The liquor was also very generous, I do wish I enjoyed the bitter throat burning taste of liquor because the Louis Royer XO Cognac was said to cost more then $100 a bottle, as was there plenty of champagne, grey goose vodka, and an abundance of nice wine.
So finally the meat comes out. Of course at this time we had all gorged ourselves beyond of what we would normally eat in a weeks time. Of course I had already agreed with myself that no matter what I would chow down at the meat course. I had agreed with my ailing stomach that I knew I would have to either throw up or deal with the runts for a week but that this was worth the pain. So the classic fare of Moroccan cigars, kibbe and meat cakes comes out, they were better than any I had ever tasted, then a second course of meat. Extremely tender steak with a beautiful side of greens shredded and neatly placed in a way that signaled garnish but every one knew better and ate the garnish with much joy, then there was some of the best tasting chicken breasts in some sort of unrecognizable sauce that was finger lickin’ good yaall. On its sides were glorious grilled onions, peppers, and tomatoes. It was good, but not as much as we had come to expect based on the salad and fish courses. Well taste wise it was phenomenal and we chowed down once again until I had decided it was time to leave. The music at this point waqs unbearable especially with so much food filling up the confines of my already bulging stomach. The bass and the annoying women who was singing were just adding to my pain. You could not have a conversation and therefore eating was the only option.
So there I am about to leave saying my last good byes and all of the sudden another meat course comes out. Huge sweet and sour ducks, tongue with mixed veggies and rack of lamb- good thing these three meats are precisely the ones I am not too fond of, but the spectacle made me sit down and contemplate their beauty. Then after rooling once again over the food that I was leaving behind- and in this case probably never see again, I grudgingly departed from a true simcha.
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