Sunday, February 20, 2005

The Grill From Ipanema

Mirna invited all of us for a brunch out in Washington, DC on Saturday. It was sort of a farewell gathering as she will be going back to Brazil on Friday. The venue was a cozy little Brazilian restaurant called "The Grill From Ipanema". For all you non-jazz fans, that name is a take on the famous bossa nova song "The Girl From Ipanema" (my favorite version is the most famous one, the one performed by Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto. Here is the original Brazilian version.)

Let me see if I can remember who all were there that I know: My advisor, of course, and her husband Steve. Okan and David. And Mirna, of course. I also got to know Okan's roommate, Tikir, a little better. He is a very nice guy and very fun to talk to. Also met David's girlfriend Hwa (sp?).

We ordered from the brunch menu. The food was pretty good and so was the service. I got the "Frango Ao Molho Branco" - which, as Mirna told me, literally means, "Chicken and White Sauce". Systran says it means "Chicken The White Gravy". Close enough. It was not cheap though. $17.99 for each entreé, not including the gratuities and taxes. I guess it is to be expected when you are eating in Adams Morgan. Anyway, we got our choice of drinks and I ordered iced tea again without asking whether it was sweetened or not. Had to drink unsweetened iced tea for the rest of the afternoon. The irony was that they had free refills too.

The conversation was fun. At one point we were talking about programming languages, since Bonnie is teaching a class in Java this semester but her real allegiance certainly lies with Lisp. David and I (the resident pythonistas) were chatting up python every chance we could get. It is nice to have a fellow python lover in the research group, I must say.

I also talked with Okan and Tikir about the similarities and differences between the education systems of India and Turkey. Turns out they are not all that different. Other topics in the conversation included airline-bashing (domestic and international) and neighborly relations (or the lack thereof) between India-Pakistan and Turkey-Greece.

We also had our choice of dessert included in the price of the brunch. Well, it was not really much of a choice. There were just 3 items on the menu: Fried Banana, Rice Pudding and Guava Paté with Cheese. Okan, Tikir and I ordered one of each and shared. The rice pudding tasted very simiar to the Indian version.

After the meal, Bonnie and Steve left. The rest of us walked back to the Metro station. David, Hwa and I headed back East. Okan, Tikir and Mirna headed off the to zoo to see the new baby cheetahs.

Mirna said that she is looking forward to going back but in 2 weeks she will be missing the US too much. Well, that never happens to me. When I go to India, I wish i could stay in India forever. May be my threshold is just higher :-)

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