It’s been a great day for a birthday in Paris. Sunshine all around, coffee with friends, a writing session (with more coffee) with my writing group, a great morning with my prayer group, more writing in a park, and seeing Eddie the Eagle with my kids. But definitely the award for the most unexpected feature of celebrating another year gone by goes to… picking a place for a birthday lunch.
That’s right. A couple of days ago I texted a friend–also named Matt–about getting together. Last night I thought I’d better confirm we were on. And since Matt’s lived here far longer than I have and knows a thing or two about Paris, I was hoping he’d have an idea of somewhere to go. Little did I know what I was getting into…
Right on. I knew he’d be up to the task. But he was just getting started. Never in all my days have I ever experienced such a thorough process of picking a restaurant that took into account every possible preference variable. Time to buckle up!
(He doesn’t think I can handle the spice? I think he’s on to me…)
Adventure? Vacation? Colors? Movies? And if you asked me a different day, I’d give you five different movies… Is this all for real? Yes. But we’re not done yet!
The computer apparently crunched all night. Not sure how much coffee it required. But in the morning, the verdict was in.
Noura–a Lebanese restaurant–turned out to be a great place. Skewers of lamb, beef, and chicken. Hummus. Tabouli. Other tasty stuff. Baklava. Coffee (of course). Matt didn’t steer me wrong! And not only was the food good, but so was the company, as we covered everything from the Paris cinema scene to the best way to tour Normandy and the D-day sites (which we’re planning on doing in June).
But what about all those questions–were they for real? On the walk over I got to pick Matt’s brain. Turns out even the throwaway, just for fun questions played into his restaurant selection equation. Really, even favorite color? Green is my favorite, but I threw in “jewel tones” just for fun (though I do like them). That made him think of the purple of Noura’s decor. Favorite movie? I mentioned Lawrence of Arabia. I’d already said ethnic, and that movie led him away from Vietnamese and toward Lebanese or Moroccan. Wanting to visit Turkey ruled out Moroccan and put things firmly in the Lebanese realm. Not sure if my favorite vacation had anything to do with anything, but then again, Matt doesn’t reveal all of his secrets.
I took a lousy selfie of us, but this is a better picture from another time:
All in all, a birthday to remember. I think I’ll end it with a chocolate (or two) from the nice box I got from my kids!