Pastini Pastaria

Man, that JLowe goes out to lunch alot.

In fact, I can report to you that he went out to lunch yesterday. I know this because I was there.

It goes like this. I used to work with JLowe, and also with some other people. I don't miss JLowe at all, since he's widely known as my "Hetero Lifemate." But I do miss some of the other people, so I invited one in particular out to lunch.

Now, I'm a married man. The person I invited out is an unmarried, attractive woman. She's a great person and a good friend who used to work in the same department of the office that I did, so that was why I asked her out. But I know better than not to bring a wingman to maintain the appearance of propriety, so I invited JLowe.

The plan was for lunch last Friday. In fact, I went out and had pictures of my 19 month-old daughter printed up so that my friend, CW, could see them (whenever I see her at the coffee shop or whatever, she asks to see pictures, and I didn't feel like being that lame-ass dad who only has the ones on his cell phone when she asked again).

Friday turned into Tuesday when my boss surprised us with a lunch meeting. I had been assigned the job of picking a place, and I threw that job back on CW because I picked the last time we went out to lunch (which, I believe, was last fall). She shifted the job over to JLowe.

JLowe and I happened to go to the driving range on Saturday, and on our way back into my area of town we passed a billboard for Pastini Pastaria. And we were surprised with some knowledge: they have a new store at 9th and Taylor, downtown, well within range of our various offices. And so the decision was made, at that point, that lunch would be there.

Pastini Pastaria is a local chain with 5 locations hitting most of the major areas of town (they aren't in NoPo yet, but I bet that's just a matter time). Their hallmark is affordable, delicious pasta dishes served quickly. Not really any frills.

We got there at about 11:55. We ended up being a party of five, thanks to some last-minute (and entirely welcome) additions from my old office. Noone chose the same dish.

I ended up ordering the Linguini Misto Mare, which is shrimp, halibut and seasonal shellfish with garlic, lemon, herbs, butter and white wine. It comes with some nice bread on the side. It cost $8.95.

The dish itself was well-sized. Not so much that eating it all made you feel at all guilty. Not so little that you were left wanting any more. Exactyl perfect. The fish wasn't skimped on (there were four mussels, four shrimps and several chunks of halibut). It was just about perfect, as far as portioning goes.

Food was served to our group about 7 minutes after it was ordered. We were able to have good conversation, order, be served, and eat in an unhurried manner and were done by 12:40, which was, in my mind, pretty good given the range of pastas we selected and the number of people being served.

Most importantly, everyone was pleased with their food. No complaints.

The only disappointment was that none of us ever remembered to ask them to split the check, and they never offered. I think a downtown place during lunch hour ought to, but that's really a minor gripe. Just be sure to ask for it, if you need it.

So, go to Pastini Pastaria. I've been to two of the five locations, always been happy, and never felt like I over-paid.

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