Panini SpecialPosted: March 13, 2012
“Meet me at 6 for the happy hour panini special,” Wayne, my date, texted me.
I figured that Wayne was either a deal-hunter, panini enthusiast, or joking, but there was only one way to find out. Wayne’s affinity for food was what attracted me to him in the first place. On the “6 things I could not do without” list he put:
1. milk chocolate
2. dark chocolate
3. chocolate chip cookies
4. gianduja chocolate
5. chocolate fondue
6. flourless chocolate cake
It was clear we were going to have at least five things in common. I didn’t know what gianduja was, but I wanted to find out.
In Wayne’s profile it also mentioned that he liked to “sniff and swirl” wine so I wasn’t surprised when I walked in the bar to find his nose deep in a glass of Tempranillo. After we greeted he welcomed me to a smell of his drink.
I reached for it, he pulled it back and swirled it three times in each direction, then slid it back to me. “It needs to breath,” he cooed. I commented on its leathery aroma. “Continue…” he urged me.
I know a bit about wine, I’ve even gone to some vineyards in Bordeaux but this was wine in a dive bar that didn’t seem worthy of an in depth description. I looked up above the bar at the game on the flat screen TVs and over at the prominent Jaeger chiller, “Spicy?” I gave it a shot to humor him. He nodded like a proud teacher.
When I ordered a beer I felt the disappointment in Wayne’s eyes, It turned out there really was a free panini “special”, with any drink you get a panini of your choice between the hours of 5-7. Wayne suggested we go “half-sies”, the creative term he explained, that he uses with his friends when they split meals.
Wayne was laid off from his corporate job last year and has taken to being an “entrepreneur”, apparently this is a growing job title. When I asked what he was working on he told me he couldn’t share those details because it’s in the “top secret stages” of development. I told him I had a business idea too, this is supposed to be under wraps also, but seeing as the insurance for my business plan might be too high to ever pull off I shared it with him:
Zipsters. Zip-lines that connect Brooklyn to Manhattan. The speedy and fun alternative to the subway for hipsters. Harnesses would be as cool as skinny jeans and facial hair. This is a billion dollar idea. Right? Wayne didn’t think so. He pointed out all the holes in my plan and told me it would never happen. Pssshhhh, we’ll see.
With the uncomfortable business conversation in the air, it was a relief when our paninis came so our attention could be turned back to our shared interest, food. Like the wine, the panini also had notes of leather in it. We both tried to enjoy our sandwiches but there was no denying that they were free for a reason and our only true connection was based on chocolate.