Zocalo: Great Dinner, Plus the Decline and Fall of FATB

Inside Zocalo, a tiny restaurant on Bloor Street, just east of Dundas St. W. on a recent Thursday night after work.

Beast: Who told you about this place?

Foodie: Anne from work. Her boyfriend is a big time sommelier and they had a great meal here. Look! Every bottle of wine on the list is $33! I love that.

Beast: I love that units of alcohol are all $4. I’m starting with a gin.

Foodie: Holy bleep. Will you get a look at our waiter?

Beast: Wow. He’s bleeping good-looking. He’s so good-looking that even my bleep is starting to bleeping bleep.

Foodie: Me too! Who do you think he’d want to bleep more? You, or me?

Beast: It’s hard to tell just yet.

Foodie: Oh my: canned fish with blueberries? That sounds bleeping disgusting. We’re ordering it.

Beast: Bleep?

Foodie: Because I want to be proven wrong. Should I just order for the two of us?

Beast: Yes. Do you know that I don’t feel capable of ordering food for myself any more? I just rely on you to do it.

Foodie: Holy bleep. What if the waiter comes over and I try to touch his bleep?

Beast: I’ll hold down his bleep so that you can bleep it.

Foodie: That’s team work!

The server takes our order.

Foodie: And he’s bleeping charming to boot! Can you believe it? He’s got it all. My bleep feels bleep.

Beast: Your bleep? You should see the bleep of my bleep!

Foodie: Okay. I was wrong. This fish thing is amazing! I love it. And the deviled eggs are such a nice touch. Have you tried the roasted corn hummus yet?

Beast: It’s amazing. And you’re right about the fish. This is really, really good.

Foodie: Oh god, here comes the server with the wine. What if I grab his bleep by accident when I reach for my glass?

Beast: Yeah, like, “Oh I’m so sorry! I thought you wanted me to just bleep on your bleep! How embarrassing!”

Foodie: Yeah and I’d like grab hold of that bleep like it was a wine glass and try to swirl it all around.

Beast: And then I’d be like, “Oh I want some too mister! And I’d put his bleep in my bleep and be all like, this wine tastes like bleep!”

Foodie: Yeah and then I’d be like, “Sir! Your bleeping wine all over my bleep and my bleep! It’s getting everywhere!” Shut up. Here he comes.

Foodie: Okay, that is like the cutest wine chiller EVER! What a great idea.

Beast: Yeah, and if my bleeps get too bleep I can just cool them off in here.

Foodie: Totally man.  Hey, you know what I like about this place? There’s a sincerity to it. I mean, sure, it’s gritty. But it’s not, “Oh look how gritty we are.” There are so many charming details but none of them feel contrived.

Beast: I completely agree. Okay. Here’s a question for you. If Oliver Platt’s body is a one and Alcide’s body on True Blood–

Foodie: Who’s that? The hot werewolf?

Beast: Yes. If Alcide’s body is a 10, then what number do you think my body is?

Foodie: Ummmmm. Four. No wait. A three.

Beast: Okay. If Vampire Eric’s body is a one and Alcide’s is 10, what’s my body?

Foodie: Minus 20.

Beast: Okay.

Foodie: How many more questions are there?

Beast: If Nicolas Cage’s hair line is a one and Alcide’s hair line is 10, what number is my hair line?

Foodie: Uh, a five?

Beast: Ouch. You really hate my hair, don’t you?

Foodie: I don’t hate it, I just think it looks so nice when it’s a touch shorter.

Beast: You’re wrong.

Foodie: You’re obsessed with Alcide, aren’t you?

Beast: I just think he has an amazing body. Do you think that if I worked really hard my body could look like that after one year?

Foodie: Ahhhhhh—

The main course arrives.

Foodie: Look how they put it all on one platter! It’s kind of like Ethiopian in style, but different.

Beast: These lamb and barley meatballs are wonderful.

Foodie: Wait until you try the jerk-flavoured sausage.

Beast: Wait until I try the server’s bleep and bleeeeeeeeeeeeep.

Foodie: Humdinga! You’re on fire! Who does the server look like to you?

Beast: Like a young, hip, more muscular, more handsome Yul Brynner.

Foodie: Who in the bleep is that?

Beast: From The King and I. He was the king.

Foodie: Oh. I think he kind of looks like an Ottoman prince, or a more muscular version of Dan Humphrey from Gossip Girl. Do you think he knows that I want to bleep him?

Beast: Do you think he knows that I want to bleep him?

Foodie: This is a really adorable place. I can’t wait to tell Liz about it because there are so many gluten and dairy-free options. Did you hear how the server described the soup with that voice and those hands–oh bleep.

Beast: Liz, Liz, Liz.

Foodie: I just said I’d bleep the bleep out of that guy’s bleep and you’re jealous because I want to tell Liz about this place?

Beast: I really like the wine you ordered.

Foodie: Thanks. It feels like it’s the never-ending bottle.

Beast: I like how you stare at the server whenever he comes over to fill our glasses. It’s not working you know. He’s not pouring you more.

Foodie: As long as he bleeps my bleep before the check comes then I don’t really give a bleep.

Beast: Oh, boom! You have gone off the deep-end!

Foodie: What’s wrong with us tonight? We are being more inappropriate and crass than ever before.

Beast: I just think we’re having a romantic night out.

Foodie: Are we not able to have a descent conversation over dinner? Is this the end of us?

Beast: If you’re breaking up with me, you should have given me more time to call my mom and dad so they could come pick me up.

Foodie: Do you think Erinn would want to go out on a date with our server? Let’s make that bleep happen!

Beast: Oh, that is a good idea. Hey, and try not laughing so hard whenever the server speaks. Some of the stuff he’s saying isn’t even supposed to be funny but you’re roaring and snorting like a maniac over there.

Foodie (snorting): I can’t bleeping help it!

Dessert arrives.

Foodie: Not bad at all for a spelt crust! I do prefer a flakier crust for a butter tart, though.

Beast: Me too.

Foodie: Did you hear him describe their oatmeal cookies and how they come out all hot and steaming from the oven and you can get them for breakfast?

Beast: Weren’t they chocolate chip?

Foodie: Who the bleep cares? I’m changing my morning bike ride route so that I can bleep by here!

Beast: Should we just get the check?

Foodie: Sounds good. I’m just going to use the washroom.

As I descended the stairs, the server dropped off the check to our table and, while looking at the Beast and nodding towards me, said “Good timing.” I threw back my head in laughter and snorted and cackled like a starved hyena. I may have even slapped my knee. The Beast stared at me, with a look that bordered between sympathy and embarrassment.

We will definitely be coming back to Zocalo. Both the service and the food were wonderful–and far more tasteful than our deplorable behaviour.

Foodie: ***

Beast: ***

Categories: Zocalo

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