Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Every 5 year old should have a bachelor/ette party

The past few months the girls have been begging us to try some new foods and to eat with their hands. While the two were not related I thought that combined they would make for a good, new experience. As a result, I started looking around for a Morrocan restaurant. I asked a few friends and as it turned out one of them had recently dined at such a place in San Francisco, El Mansour. She wanted to eat there again, and started recruiting people to join us.

Tonight was the night that we could all make it, so we piled in cars and met up in the city. The girls were thrilled with the concept, and excited that the day was here. Upon arrival we were immediately seated at a low table surrounded by low couches and "tuffets". While I should have seen the disaster coming, I did not. Tuffets plus two 5 year olds equals one very "active" dinner
with many reminders that we were indeed in a restaurant and needed to behave accordingly. Overall, IMHO, other than expanding our dining space to include the vacant tables next to us, they were pretty good, especially for such a prolonged dinner.

The start of the experience began with handwashing where they bring out a large brass tureen and pitcher and pour nice warm water over your hands. The girls thought this step was great, and lots of fun. Sam even required a solo washing. Soon after came the bread which was passed around between every course. Better grab extra though, because this is what you use to pick up your food, and they don't leave any on the table. The bread was followed each time by something new, soup, a veggie platter with uniquely cooked and spiced treats, some sort of puff pastry appetizer that Riley devoured, the main course, belly dancing, and dessert which was more puff pastry yumminess and fried bananas. The girls seemed to enjoy most, if not all of the food.

The belly dancing, however, is where the bachelorette party started. The dancer came out, did a short dance then brought Riley up to dance with her. Sam refused, but held on tightly to the scarf the dancer gave her. Riley did a great job copying everything that the dancer did,
and had me in tears of glee throughout. She was so serious about the whole thing, and was really paying attention to what the dancer was showing her. After her turn was done, the dancer moved on to other tables to dance with their occupants. At this point I was pretty sure
we were all done. Nothing could be further from the truth.

After performing for each table, she made her way back towards the kitchen where the manager put a dollar in her shirt strap giving everyone a clue as to how they should tip her. Members of our party gave the girls dollars for the dancer, which I thought was really nice...until they
delivered them. I mistakenly assumed (I know, I know) that they would hand her the dollars, she would say thank you, and they would sit back down. Oh noooooo. She held out her waistband and let them tuck the dollars in. They were very entertained by it all. I, however, was mortified. My girls had unknowingly had their first bachelorette party.

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At 21 May, 2009 13:46, Anonymous Carey said...

Having been friends with a middle-eastern dancer for many years, and having been to El Morocco to see her dance, the dollar-wasteband thing isn't anything out of the ordinary. Most dancers have the tipper slip the bill into the waistband or the shoulder-strap, unless the tipper is some creepy guy who mistakenly thinks he's at a strip club. I don't think I'd equate it with a bachelor/bachelorette party...especially knowing that the dancers would strongly disagree.

At 21 May, 2009 18:09, Blogger snarfdog said...

It's not that it's out of the ordinary for the normal person, but watching your 5 year olds tuck dollars into a waistband is still disturbing. I didn't mean to equate her with a stripper. This was dance, not stripping. It is definitely different, but my 5 year olds? Dollars. In waistbands. Ack!

At 27 May, 2009 14:09, Blogger wen said...

It's never too early to learn propper tipping etiquette. LOL.

It's not in the most upscale part of town, but Tanjia in Oakland is another good choice for Moroccan food. :)

I loved this post, btw.


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