Across from me, the Cornish hen ($11.25) was another good choice. I'm accustomed to game hens being smaller than this one, but it looked like a diminutive whole chicken, slathered with a sweet and not-too-spicy barbecue sauce and "perfectly cooked," according to its consumer. It also came with a cup of large-shell orecchiette mac 'n' cheese that he appreciated, plus pickled red onions, pleasantly heavy on the coriander and not too tart, on a bed of lettuce. The veggies were a grilled skewer-full.

My grilled sea salt-brined pork chops were ridiculously priced at $8. They would have been cheap at 10 bucks more, the two-and-a-half of them. Not pink as requested, still they were juicy, rubbed with herbs and spices and served under a rich onion gravy, which was also on a heap of mashed potatoes. There were roasted veggies as well, with corn niblets. Wonderful.

For dessert we had bananas foster ($4.50). It was delicious but, this being summer, quickly became ice cream soup. What a relief. Perfect meals make me reluctant to go home.

Bill Rodriguez can be reached at

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