While the girls were at Grandma Cheryl's, Jeffrey and I took the opportunity to have a friend stay with sleeping toddler so we could go to dinner on Friday evening. We opted for Italian, and drove over to a highly recommended place in the next town over. It was closed, for no apparent reason, with no sign or explanation.
So we decided to head over to another Italian place, a little pricey, but one we know is good and is in the next town over from us, albeit in the opposite direction of the first place where we attempted to eat. To our surprise, this Italian restaurant was also closed, but this time there was a big sign announcing that the family was on vacation for the week. These family-run Italian restaurants aren't like Olive Garden, you know. If the family wants to go on vacation, they have to close the restaurant. So we went to the next town over in another direction, this time to a trendier, newer Italian restaurant that is also good though not as traditional. Wow! Also closed! So I guess the first week of July is family vacation time for Italian restaurant owners.
On our drive through that borough, we happened to spy an Italian place that was open. We'd never heard of it, but by this point we'd been driving around among four different boroughs and just wanted to sit down and eat dinner. It didn't have the greatest ambiance inside, but the menu looked promising and we decided it would suffice. Upon sitting down, we were asked what we wanted to drink, and when Jeff said a glass of wine he was informed that it was BYO. This is common around here, but still takes us by surprise.
We ate our stuffed artichoke (delish!) and then were onto our entrees, when, seeing a delivery van outside, I noted to Jeff that they seem to do delivery. He replied, "Yes, cash only." I had a sudden moment of panic. "You mean, the delivery is cash only.........or this restaurant is cash only?" We both began furtively glancing around, surreptitiously trying to ascertain if anyone was paying by credit, whether they seemed to have a credit card swiper or a sign on the door. It appeared that everyone was paying in cash.
Jeff and I don't normally carry much cash, and normally I don't even take my wallet if we go out to dinner. That's why we were concerned about the "cash only" policy. Fortunately, I did have my wallet, and we both had some cash. Soon we were both checking our wallets, and we determined that combined we had $45 of cash.
By the grace of God, this was the total amount of our bill, including tax and tip. We made it out of that one OK. But the next time we're feeling like eating Italian food here in Jersey, we'll remember not just to feel Italian, but think Italian. Summertime is family vacation time. BYO wine. And pay in cash.