Thursday, April 23, 2009

Taking the Queue

In Singapore where there are numerous dining options, it becomes a dizzying task of choosing where to eat. But one sure way to have a good meal, they say, is to simply go where there is a long queue.

On holidays in the US, I wonder if the same rule applies. My sister and her fiance have been raving about Sabrina's Cafe, just across the church where they will have their wedding in three weeks. The queue fora table in this place is said to be monumental. But Rissa and Andy are clever. Before going to church, they get their names in the list. After mass, they head to the restaurant and their table. This often works. Sometimes, it takes less than an hour. So they just pretend they didn't hear their names called, and presto they get a table.

With my mom, dad, Rissa, and Andy, last Sunday we needed a table for five. Andy signed up for a table, then we all went to attend mass. After mass, there was still no table available. So we headed to Isgro's, an Italian bakery where we were treated to free samples of Pecan Pie and Cannolis. We went back to Sabrina's Cafe and still no table. We then roamed to the Italian Market a few steps away. Then finally, the table was available. It was an hour and a half wait.

I was amazed. It was 1:30pm when we got seated, and still there was a long queue outside for this Sunday Brunch. Serving gigantic French toasts, omelettes, and mexican inspired breakfasts. Andy and I initially opted for Pork Bean and Rice Mexi Breakfast, but it was sold out. So I chose Sabrina's Huevos Rancheros: "Fried Blue Corn Tortillas topped with a smoky Chipotle-Mexi Chorizo, red bean tomato sauce, fried eggs, lime cilantro sour cream, and spicy red pepper guacamole." It was delicious. Definitely, not something I could easily whip up at home. But I still wonder if it is worth the long wait.

Its waitstaff is artsy and bohemian. Having a tattoo seems to be a requirment. It feels like you are sitting in grandma's kitchen. Most of its diners are students from UPenn not neighborhood folk. Perhaps, if you lived close by you wouldn't endure the wait. It made me think, how long would one wait for table? And does one's expectation on the food correlate to time you spent waiting for your table or food? Food for thought.


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