A passion for food + fashion

Pocket Full of Change

In Drink on April 15, 2010 at 12:34 pm

I met a college friend yesterday for coffee, and with weather like this the conversation quickly turned to gin and tonics. Which lead us a little further down memory lane to a now defunct bar in Davis, California, called The Paragon. On Friday afternoons, our friend Matt would load up his pockets with Susan B Anthonies—he preferred coin to bills—and head down to the Paragon. The dive’s selling point was its outdoor patio, and when the weather was fine, Matt would order pitchers of gin and tonics and dig deep into his pockets for a fistful of Susie Bs to pay the bartender. I haven’t seen Matt in over a decade, and my stomach turns just a little thinking about what kind of turpentine gin we were drinking back then. (I guess the upside to emerging crows feet and a mortgage means now being able to afford decent gin.) But then—and now—there are few better ways to enjoy a warm spring night than with a gin and tonic, surrounded by friends.

  1. Ahh too sip a G&T on the deck at the paragon to a bad rendition of “brown eyed girl.” Thanks for the memory. If you are ever passing thru I would be happy to pour you a Junipero or Bluecoat and fever tree tonic. Fortunately it wont cost you any hard earned Susan Bs and fortunately it will be in a glass not a pitcher

  2. I know Matt, and consider him a good friend. You would be interested to know that he too has become a foodinista. We share a love of gin; which on those warm summer nights in places to hot to enjoy anything during the day is often a catalyst for deep conversation on the finer points of charcuterie or the design proportions of Julia Child’s massive marble mortar.

    There is often a raucous cook fest happening in his kitchen where all six burners are occupied by everything from his grandmother’s Croatian creations to the latest Alinea experiment. All stirred by any number of friends who are near enough not to keep their hands off.

    One great endeavor was pulling a vacuum (using one of those wine stopper things) on slices of cucumber submerged in Hendricks gin to serve with a granite.

    He and those around him have taught me much about family, friendship and slow food.


  3. Well Matt, EP, and Foodinista, you best get yourselves to Davis for the reunion May 1st. I seem to remember the traveling cocktail case…

  4. My inlaws will be visiting that weekend, but if you find the party migrating south – like waaaay south – to Los Angeles, there will be an ice cold g&t waiting for you on the porch….

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