Thursday, March 10, 2011

Maggiano's with Roger's Sisters

Roger and me

Jane and Mary

Paul and Jane

Roger and Bruce celebrated their March birthdays a little early with some candlelit cannoli.
Jane and Paul are enjoying a trip to Florida as a break from the long Michigan winter and a family visit. We had a huge Italian meal at Maggiano's.
I often dreamed of being a travel and food writer, but obviously, I have much to learn. Where is the lovely restaurant ambiance? Where are the overflowing plates of spaghetti and the baseball-sized meatballs? Where are the pretty glasses of wine, the crusty bread and the candlelit cannoli's? I like people in my pictures, but why don't I ever remember to photograph the food before I dive in?
Mary and Jane had been shopping at International Mall and Bruce and Paul had a successful visit to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino. Maggiano's has very generous servings. Each couple split an entree with plenty of food to spare. And then when we were leaving they said we could have three more entrees of any of their classic pasta dishes to TAKE HOME! I came home with a take out package of Eggplant Parmesan and another of Lasagna donated by Jane and Paul and three scrumptious cannoli's. Mary and Bruce took home some Lasagna, too. Lucky we didn't order 6 separate entrees, and get 6 extra take homes! That would have lasted for weeks if we were even able to finish it at all.
Speaking of food writers, I will have to describe my days working at Florida Trend magazine. Our offices were on the top floor of a beautiful restored cigar factory in Ybor City (a historic Cuban part of old Tampa and home to the famous Columbia Restaurant.) Our office space was enormous with wood floors, brick walls covered with art and huge windows. There were great restaurants and antique stores in the building and a little coffee shop where we got Cuban toast and Cafe con Leche. I was the typesetter for the magazine but I loved working with the writers and artists and meeting various celebrities who came to sightsee. That was back in 1978-1979. The magazine had a food critic and always did an issue of the Top 100 Florida Restaurants. My friends and I made it a mission to try as many of them as we could. In addition, we celebrated many happy hours on Friday nights where we shared appetizers and entrees and good times.

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