I had dinner with two former co-workers on Monday at Papa Milanos. I’d never been to Papa Milanos, and the plan was to meet them there, since I had to work that day.
When I walked into this cozy place, an ancient woman with a big blonde wig called out in a voice ravaged by cigarettes, “Hi Honey, can I help you?” This was Carmen, one of the owners. I got a seat and treated myself to a glass of chianti while I waited for my pals.
While I waited, I took in the signed headshots along the wall (Dean Martin is de rigeur in these places), and listened to Carmen talking to some patrons (“How are youse doin’?”)
My friends came and we had a really fun dinner. The restaurant was cozy and warm and I loved it. When our waiter came by we all got into conversation, and I mentioned that my great-grandparents were from Abruzzi and Naples, and Michele said hers were from Rome.
“Where are you from?” I asked the waiter.
He shrugged. “Mexico.”
His name was Cesar and he was a doll. He was also clearly smitten with Mary, which got us the free cookies after dinner, hand-fed to us by Cesar. We were laughing when Mary went to the bathroom.
When she returned, she said, “Good God, why didn’t you tell me my whole cleavage was showing?!?!?”
Mary is pretty voluptuous, and her top was loose-fitting.
“See, Mary,” I said, “We girls who don’t have the bodacious ta-tas just take for granted that you’re comfortable putting it out there. I just figured you were showing The Girls off. Hey, free cookies. You took a good hit for the team.”
“Well, Oprah and Gail are going back where they belong,” she said, pulling up the collar of her shirt. (She later tried to rename then Monica and Rachel, but I pointed out that each of her boobs weighed more than both of those women combined.)
“C’mon; poor Cesar is beside himself. Give the boy something to write home to his mamacita about.”
I’m meeting Mary for lunch tomorrow – she works next door to me, in the Sears Tower. I’m trying to figure out which place has the best desserts.
Gail, Oprah, work your magic.