This weekend Josh's cousins asked us to go to dinner with them. And boy am I glad we did! They suggested Lola's, which was a restaurant we hadn't ventured into yet. They also said to go ahead and bring our own bottle of wine. Not that uncommon I thought, being that a lot of restaurants down here don't have liquor license, so instead do a "corking" fee. Having not heard of this Lola place, I decided to do a quick google search to see what was in store. To my surprise, they had wine by the glass and the bottle? Weird? Why would I want to pay $5 for a corking fee when I can just buy a cheaper bottle of wine there? But, who am I to complain.
We went to the nearest Whole Foods and grabbed a bottle of red wine from Argentina thinking it would pair pretty nice with our menu options. Then we hoped in our car and drove to our dinner destination. As we approached this tiny restaurant there seemed to be quite a few people standing outside. Pretty happenin' place I thought, which is always a good sign!
After our initial hugs and greetings, and wine in tow of course, we go to put our name on the list. Two hour wait. That's right, two hours. By the time we would even sit down it would be 9:30, and this old lady is usually in bed by then. Surely we are not going to wait here for two hours. I'm not sure I have ever had any food worth a two hour wait time. And that's when everything came together for me. The light bulb went off and it was clear as day.
The wine was not to be enjoyed with dinner. No, the wine was to be enjoyed in the sitting areas around the outside of the restaurant while you wait your two hour turn (dangit, we should have gone for the cheapo wine!) So even though you may have to wait, at least you get to wait with wine in hand and in good company. We parked our butts on the available chairs, enjoyed our wine, and caught up on lost time. Three bottles of wine and six chatty mouths later, we were finally ready to be seated. And let me tell you, the wait was well worth it. Well, I hope so at least! Maybe it was the wine talking or my grumbling stomach? I can be easily swayed when those things get paired together.
Needless to say the food is wonderful and the atmosphere is charming. Turns out, they are known for their paella, which comes in various sizes big enough to feed an army if you want. There is nothing better than sharing wine with good company and a big plate of paella. Everyone reaching in and grabbing at things. Food falling all over the table as if we were a bunch of 5 year olds. Even the occasional fork right into the dish and straight to the mouth moments-we're family, we don't care. At 25 years old, you would have never thought we had never seen food before by the way our table looked. We were actually kind of embarrassed. Another testament as to how good the food was I guess.
That night as a table we had:
Fried Poblano rings
A medium seafood paella
A medium seafood Fideuas
Flan and Cappuccinos
So if you're ever in the mood for Spanish food or just a long casual night out with friends, put this on your list. The wait can be well worth it, just bring the right company and the right bottle of wine.