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A Runner’s Diary: Note to Self – Never Go to Brasserie Julien, Especially After a Run

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There is only two weeks left to the New York Road Runner’s (NYRR) training course that my daughter and I signed up for nearly 10 weeks ago. Every Thursday evening, we would “schlep” into New York City from Long Island and run with the NYRR.

What I loved is that every run was an entirely different experience. On this day, our goal was to run two and a half miles around Central Park. This was one of the hardest runs that the Beginner Intermediate group did thus far.

Although I was never really hungry after our runs, my daughter would be starving, so on this day after we finished, we walked across 81st Street to Third Avenue. On all the other days, we walked uptown on Madison where there were very few restaurants or we would stroll to Lexington. Since we live more than an hour outside of Manhattan, we would be all sweaty from the run.

On Third, there were a ton of restaurants ranging from Mediterranean to Asian cuisine. We picked a small French restaurant called Brasserie Julien.

We walked in wearing our Nike clothes and Mizuno sneakers and the Maître De escorted us to a table. “Would you like to sit in the front or the back?” she asked.

Since it was live jazz night and the band was extremely loud, we told her to put us in the back.

We were seated at a quaint little table in the back. Every table around us was taken. The waiter was frazzled. He kept running back and forth from table to table. It seemed as if people were complaining, but I wasn’t 100 percent sure.

We were served a half glass of tap water. The waiter came by and asked us what we wanted to order. We told him we wanted burgers.

He quickly ran into the kitchen and that was the last time we saw him. Twenty  minutes later, someone came over and dumped a small piece of French bread on our plates. They were burned on the bottom and stale. Since my daughter was starving and at that point I was hungry, we gobbled down the bread.

Another 10 minutes went by and I finally saw the waiter and called him over. “What’s going on with our burgers?” I asked. He told me he had to check. He ran quickly into the kitchen and stayed there for at least another five minutes.

“I’m ready to walk,” I said to my daughter.

The waiter finally came out. He came over to our table and said, “I don’t want to lie to you, but the kitchen lost your ticket.”

“If you want to continue waiting another five minutes, I promise I will bring out the burgers,” he said.

“We’ve been waiting for forty minutes already,” I said nicely. “Do you really think that we can get our food in five minutes? We live on Long Island and we need to get back,” I said.

“Yes, I promise five minutes,” he said.

My daughter put her timer on the iPhone and we waited. “Seriously, if he’s not back with the burgers in five minutes, we are out of here,” I said to her. She agreed.

Four minutes went by and there was no sign of our waiter. The people who came in after us got served their dessert. We watched them eat and we drooled. We were so hungry!

We picked ourselves up and left. As we walked out the door, I told the hostess that we were sitting at a table in the back for forty minutes. “I’m sorry,” she said, unsympathetically. She didn’t offer us anything and just let us walk out hungry.

When we got to the car,  I drove downtown on Second Avenue in search of a pizza shop on the left hand side of the street. Did you know that from 81st Street to 34th Street there were no pizza shops? (If there were, I missed them…)

We got on the Midtown tunnel and drove back to the island. When we pulled into the driveway, my daughter and I realized that my daughter’s car was in Westbury. She met me at work to drive in with me.

“I don’t believe this,” she said. “This has been the worst night ever.”

“The run was great,” I said. “Everything after that stunk! But you know what? At least we had this experience together. And, any time with you is precious time!”

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About Hilary Topper