But to the rescue was Bite Me's homo pal, Hal, who had the good taste to steer her to beef-eaters paradise Durant's last week. (Why is it that fairies have such style? Hal likes to half-quip: "Straights have children, gays have taste.") This time, he took her to his fave haunt, My Florist, to sample the joint's enormously edible sandwiches, salads and fine wines. (Hal bragged about the fancy chef at the place, but this galloping gal had to proclaim: A freakin' chef at a glorified Quizno's; must be why they charge nine bucks American for a peanut-and-jelly.) My Florist (natch) used to peddle petals exclusively, before it became mostly a bakery and then a bakery/restaurant.
Upon entering from the dingy sidewalk along McDowell, Bite Me was struck by the airy, artful decor at the eatery. There's even a swanky grand piano, at which music is put on beginning at 6:30 Monday through Saturday nights and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays. A place for Atkins dieters, this ain't. There're carbs galore. Bite Me decided on the turkey and Brie on pumpernickel. It arrived with a perfectly dressed salad that just about blew her mind. The pumpernickel was thick and hot from the oven, and the turkey was covered with oozing cheese, watercress and some cranberry concoction. Hal had the aforementioned P&B lunchbox special and couldn't stop licking his fingers. Outside, Bite Me realized that her friend wasn't frequenting My Florist just for the food. Not that everybody in the place was gay, but out came a night train of buffed guy flesh in tight dungarees. Man, oh manwich!
Robert Dowles and Tony Evanson
Party-planning business owner and "clean-up boy"
Bite Me: So what kind of parties do you throw?
RD: All sorts. Basically we do staffing and stuff.
Bite Me: Did you plan that party? (Bite Me points to a monstrous group of pretty men suckin' down sandwiches at a long table.)
RD: We do them at private homes.
Bite Me: So are you with that big group? What kind of group is it? (If Bite Me's gaydar is still in proper working order, she'd say My Florist ain't no place for homophobes.)
RD: Yeah. Oh, we're just all friends hangin' out, enjoying the music.
Bite Me: I won't be able to fill a table at my funeral. Lucky you. So, what's your favorite party to plan?
RD: Big bashes! Theme parties. Military parties, where everybody dresses up and wears dog tags.
Bite Me: That sounds hot! I just saw Pearl Harbor with Ben Affleck on video, and damn, he looked hot in that uniform! What'd you guys eat here tonight?
RD: I had the French onion soup, actually.
TE: Actually, I'm feeling kind of sick. That's why I'm leaving.
Bite Me: I'll be real quick, then, I promise. So what do you do for a living?
TE: I work for Robert right now; just moved here from Michigan. (Mock sadness.) I'm a clean-up boy.
Bite Me: Oh, honey, that's the most important job. So how do you two know each other?