Lunch #11: Pizza, Salad and Zombies at The Pasta Factory

First I have to confess that the lunch I’m describing now took place a week ago. If it had happened today, I would not have been able to blog about it.

This is owing to new and rather strict blogging controls at my place of work. People have been hauled from the building (sometimes without even being allowed to reach the ground floor first) for blogging during work hours. Okay, they haven’t really, but stern words have been spoken, some of them to me.

So right up front, I wish to make it very clear: this post was definitely not written during official working hours.

If that is clear to everyone, I will now get on with the lunch.

As usual, I broke my own rule of sticking to lunch spots in Long Street. The Pasta Factory is in Park Road, which is just off Kloof Street which, as everyone knows, is really just Upper Long Street. So I think that’s close enough. Besides, ‘One Woman’s Quest For Lunch within Walking Distance of an Office in Gardens’ doesn’t have a very catchy ring to it.

When you arrive at The Pasta Factory, they give you a plastic credit card that they swipe every time you order something. Unfortunately, just like a credit card, you do have to pay it off in the end.

As usual, I went with the YP. The YP was in an Odd Mood, possibly because he’d arranged to have people over for dinner that evening and he can’t actually cook anything besides stir-fry. I insisted, maybe a bit tactlessly, that I wasn’t in the mood for stir-fry.

Then, when it came to ordering, we both wanted the pizza. The Pasta Factory is (was?) running a special where there are three items on the menu each day for only R30 each. Last Friday, there was a pizza, a salad and some other thing that I can’t remember now because it was last Friday. I insisted that we share a pizza and a salad, even though the YP just wanted pizza and didn’t want salad. The YP tried to get the waitress on his side, but she was as neutral as Sweden (although not as chilly).

Between the stir-fry and the pizza, the YP was starting to look a little sulky. This was probably not the right time to mention that I expected him to join me in dressing up as a zombie  and doing the Zombie Walk the next (this) weekend. The Zombie Walk involves lots of people dressed as zombies walking – although preferably staggering – from The Company Gardens to the V&A Waterfront, attempting to scare people along the way and then drinking beer afterwards. (Little known zombie fact: When there’s a shortage of brains, beer will do.) Zombie walks are popular all over the world and it’s about time Cape Town had one. If you’re keen on coming, you can find out about it on Facebook.

The YP was not keen. I demonstrated my best zombie walk for him. He remained unconvinced. I pulled several of my very impressive zombie faces. The YP just stared at a pizza that had been delivered to a nearby table. “It doesn’t look very big,” he said. As I dished out a heap of cos lettuce, I offered to show the YP an excellent video on how to turn yourself into a zombie. He looked down at his lettuce leaves glumly.

The large piles of lettuce and the almost adequate pizza. This was the last photo I could take, as in true BlackBerry style, my phone then froze and I had to take the battery out and wait three years for it to reboot.

As it turned out, the pizza was big enough for two (just). I have since worked out that the probable cause of the YP’s antipathy to zombies is that he himself is actually a werewolf. (If you are wondering whether you might also be a werewolf, take this highly scientific werewolf test.) Cunningly, I have suggested that he dresses up as a vampire for Halloween. That, I reckon, should throw the werewolf hunters off the scent.

Happy Halloween everyone!

P.S. There is also a reliable zombie test, for all my fellow walking dead. (I aced it.)


Lunch #10: Salami, Avo and Brie Roll with Travelly-Type People at Yours Truly

I’ve been rather peeved today. Firstly, because it’s Monday, and the weather is better than it was on either Saturday or Sunday. Secondly, because I keep getting updates from the YP about the amazing time he is having in Switzerland. Things like, “I am on top of Europe and it is magnificent.” So far I’ve managed not to reply, “I am doing my laundry and it is deadly dull.”

Just before lunch today I got an SMS telling me about watching a glorious sunrise over the lakes at Interlaken while on a train heading to Locarno. I love Interlaken and Locarno. I love trains and lakes and sunrises. I miss the YP. The question was: Could a Long Street Lunch save me from dejection?

I decided I needed bread and cheese, because that’s what I would be eating if I were in Switzerland. I remembered a cute little sandwich shop I’d bought a roll from once before and headed there. On the way I noticed two things:

1. After their vicious pruning a couple of months ago, the roses are blooming again in the Company Gardens.

I know the things at the front aren’t roses. But the picture would have been a bit brown without them. Note how I’ve included the yellow of the cigarette stompie for additional colour. These are the things you learn to capture as a top travel photojournalist.

2. Bob’s (The Home of the R10 Shooter) is now offering R29 pizzas.

Was I tempted? Not particularly.

When I got to Yours Truly (I didn’t know it was called Yours Truly before, but now I do. I pay attention to these things especially for you) one lucky thing happened and one unlucky thing happened. The lucky thing was that two nice Travelly-Type people I know were already there and had just ordered their rolls. I invited myself to sit at their table.

The unlucky thing was that, just as I bit into my roll, I remembered that Yours Truly doesn’t take credit cards. I knew this because I’d tried to buy a roll there once before using my credit card. At least that time I hadn’t yet taken a bite of it (the roll, not the credit card).

It was awkward. The Travelly-Type Person I knew well enough to borrow money from had already borrowed money from the other Travelly-Type Person, who I didn’t know well enough to borrow money from, having only met once before. I was thus forced to eat my roll with the matter of its payment undecided.

While we ate, we discussed the following:

  • Other amazing places to eat lunch at and blog about.
  • A mutual friend who works at CityMob
  • The amazing half-price deal CityMob has on for Table Mountain Cable Car memberships. (If you’re interested, it’s on until Wednesday. I bought two.)
  • Whether there’s any chance of Table Mountain being successful in the ‘New 7 wonders’ campaign, or if the whole thing is a money-making scheme and is rigged.

I am sure you are dying to know how I solved the problem of the cash for the roll. Did I wash dishes? Did I busk on the pavement by singing my Potato Song? Did I call a bomb scare?

Well, I will put you out of your misery. Leaving my handbag as a hostage with the Travelly-Types, I went to the cafe next door and drew cash from the ATM there. Which is what I recommend you do too, if you ever find yourself in the same situation as yours truly at Yours Truly.

There is usually an unchained bicycle parked outside Yours Truly, but I don’t think it would be suitable to use as an escape vehicle should you not have the means to pay your bill.