There’s a new kosher restaurant right near our office. It’s called Tiberias. The food looks yummy and the decor looks great and, rarest of all for a kosher restaurant (or, as I’m given to understand through reading way too many Anthony Bourdain books, rare for the restaurant business in general), the owners are actually perched by the door, welcoming people, and happy for you to be there. Oh, and hey — they’re giving out free coffee.
And yet, I’m not there.
Let me start from the beginning: Last night, I made the Best Sandwich Ever. (I know because I Twittered about it and everyone else on Twitter agreed.) And, over the course of arguing with one daughter about the social propriety of wearing a bathing suit to school and changing the other daughter’s diapers, I kinda forgot to put it in my backpack.
So here I am, at work, starving, and the day is close to half over. I weigh my choices with all the usual overanalysis — can it be vegan, or do I need protein? how cheap is cheap enough? when’s the last time i ate pizza? — and decide to hit the local kosher Dunkin’ Donuts for a bagel.
And, on the way, I stumble into Tiberias.
At first I don’t even know what’s going on. All I see is two grinning guys out front, kissing hands and shaking babies and looking like they just won the lottery. One of them stops me — the owner, it turns out. Today’s the first day of business. He’s super excited to be there. There is, he mentions several times, free iced coffee.
But the reason I stopped drinking iced coffee is the same reason my brain is working overtime: because I have an anxiety disorder, and I think too much, and caffeine only exacerbates it.
I’m peeking in the counters, and there are actually vegetables (another kosher restaurant rarity) and they look beautiful — the eggplant sliced thick and juicy; corn as yellow as a field of radioactive flowers; perfectly grilled zucchini and red peppers. The menu in my hand lists the prices, and there’s nothing less than $6.95. Except for soup, but I’m talking real stomach-filling food. The real meal meals are closer to $15.