Back in the day, Friday nights were always a howl. Now, not so much. Could be an age thing.
But we still want/need to click off the work week somehow, and have taken up quieter enjoyments.
Usually I begin Friday evening with the philosophy seminar at RAE’s cigar shop on Third Street, hosted by Joan & Al Baker.
Then I head back to the paper and pick up my wife for dinner, which for the past few years has meant the often excellent cheeseburger at the G-Man on Market Street, with side salad, fries and two Yeungling Porters.
There’s not all that much business at the G-Man, especially away from the bar side. It’s two blocks from the Second Street scene, and it’s quiet, except when legislative aides get snowed in and create long, noisy, drunken discussions at the bar. Or when they pipe in audio of the Penn basketball game on XPN. (Penn? Go figure.)
All in all, though, enjoyable. The only real issue at the G-Man is service.
Since it’s not a busy ka-ching kinda place, waitstaff tend not to make a career of it. So every couple months we have to break in a new waitron. When we have to deal with a real lunkhead — as we did last fall — we go in search of alternate adventures.
One night when we were headed to El Rodeo in Lemoyne (a good BYOB conveniently near the best wine store within 50 miles), we drove up and saw … a line. Yeah, people lined up waiting to sit down. No thanks. I might stand in line for Bricco or Mangia Qui, but not for a comfort meal on a Friday night.
So we started for home and bang, practically next door, Neato Burrito.
People have been telling me about this place for years, but I’d never tried it. Now I have. It is … well, I’d never call take-out great, but it is beyond good.
The tortilla list: flour, jalapeno cheese, spinach, herb garlic, tomato basil, chipotle chili, honey wheat.
The rice list: Spanish, BBQ and brown rice.
The beans: Black beans, vegetarian refried or hummus.
The meat: Chicken, Cajun chucken of bufffalo roast.
The salsa: Pico de gallo, salsa verde or salsa du jour.
My choice: chipotle tortilla, Spanish rice, refried beans and pico de gallo on buffalo.
And it’s big enough to share with a friend.